[Bumped from Saturday]Read it all and think about what is said and left unsaid.
Well, let’s see, I would speculate that Iowa and Missouri are “growing” because the folks who were crossing the river to bolster the couple hundred left in TEC-Quincy are now back in their home parishes after the vote to combine with Chicago. The total number added in the 33 dioceses that are “growing” is just about equal to the loss of 4,000+ in Dio Los Angeles, and just slightly higher than the loss in Dio Ohio (14% decline, although I would assume some of that might be due to bad reporting in previous years).
And, of course, there is a diocese in South Carolina that shows a remarkable number of people, all things considered. However, in defense of the stats people at TEC (who seem a remarkably accurate and honest group), they are bound to report the numbers for the diocese until such time as they are officially informed that said diocese is not to be counted, and I am sure that memo was not sent by 815 in a timely manner.
Wow, just throw out a number with nothing to compare it to. Must not be pretty, especially if someone starts digging into “average age” etc.
Well, let’s take our cue from Kendall and look at what’s NOT said here. With 100 domestic dioceses, if only 33 grew at all, then 67, twice as many, actually shrank. IOW, 2/3 of domestic dioceses declined last year.
But particularly telling are some of the stats on the Fast Facts sheet Kendall has posted a link to in another thread farther down the page. Espeically ominous are two figures that are quietly omitted from the summary above.
Glaring Omission #1: Ten Year % Change in ASA: 24%. Wow, that’s really, really bad. From 2003-2012, TEC’s ASA dropped almost a quarter. That’s stunning.
Glaring Omission #2: in 2012 the Median Ave. ASA dropped from 65 to 64. And remember, that’s the national MEDIAN ASA, a lousy 64. That means that fully half of TEC congregantions have LESS than 64 people show up on Sundays. How many of those little churches have longterm viability??
And then there’s an even more ominous fact that’s omitted even from the Fast Facts summary: the average AGE of worshippers. The last I knew, the national MEDIAN age of Sunday worshippers was an alarming 61 years old. Maybe it’s 62 now. But that figure has been climbing relentlessly for decades. How high can it go before the slope of decline in ASA in TEC tilts so sharply that it looks like a cliff. Soon the ASA in TEC will be in free fall, as the graying Boomer generation dies off, with very few younger folks joining and taking their place.
Bottom line: TEC is much closer to the brink of implosion than most people think. And the collective leadership of TEC is still hopelessly stuck in denial that they’ve chosen a completely disastrous course. TEC is committing suicide. That’s the bottom line.
If TEC reports 6667 congregations and they decrease by 50 per year and if ACNA reports 900 congregations which grow at 50 per year then they will be equal in only 57 years!
Some people are confusing the ASA with the median attendance.
TEC ASA for domestic parishes is around 96 and stays fairly constant as the downturn in parishes is matched by downturn in membership/attendance. Smaller parishes are closing allowing the ASA to stay up.