Skip to comments.ECUSA Membership Plummets as Clergy Number Soar
Posted on 06/14/2005 3:49:17 PM PDT by sionnsar
The Episcopal Church USA is a denomination in statistical free fall.
The recently released 2005 Episcopal Church Annual shows the numbers of "Baptized Members" reached an historic high of 3,615,643 in the year 1965 but by the end of 2003 that figure had dropped to 2,284,233, a drop of 1,331,410, a decrease of 37 percent.
The number of baptized members in 2002 was 1,902,525, in 2003 that figure had dropped to 1,866,157 a decline of nearly 36,000.
The number of actual new baptisms reported in 2001was 52,535 but by 2003 that number had dropped to 49,316 a loss of 3,219.
From 1965 to the end of 2003, the number of clergy increased from 10,309 to 17,174, an increase of 6,865 or 67 percent, an astronomical climb even as parishioners were leaving and new converts failed to materialize.
However the number of clergy reported in 2002 was 17,443 which includes all clergy listed as ordained by the Church Pension Fund, but by 2003 that figure had dropped to 17,174 a drop of 269. Average Sunday attendance in 2001 based on a 52-Sunday average and the best indicator of Episcopal Church health was 860,686. By the end of 2003 that figure had dropped to 823,017 a decline of 37,669 the largest single decline in the history of the Episcopal Church.
The number of communicants in 2001 was 1,902,525 but by 2003 that figure had dropped to 1,866,157 a drop of 36,368.
In 1955 the Episcopal Church had 8,053 Parishes and Missions. By 1965 that figure had dropped to 7539. By 2003 that figure had dropped to 7,220 an overall drop of 319 parishes. This figure is expected to drop well below 7,000 when the years 2004 and 2005 are tabulated.
Confirmations also showed a marked decline. In 2001 the number of people confirmed in the Episcopal Church was 34,274, but by 2003 that figure had dropped to 31,561 a decline of over 2,700.
Even the number of burials has dropped. In 2001 that figure was 44,169, by 2003 that figure had dropped to 35,840 a drop of 8,329.
It is believed that when 2004 and 2005 figures are made known that the Episcopal Church will go well below 800,000 in average Sunday attendance with as many as 500 Episcopalians a week leaving the Episcopal Church over the election and consecration of avowed homosexual bishop V. Gene Robinson.
We were told by the parish secretary at our old parish that in order to have your name officially removed from their rolls, you must request an official transfer - to another Episcopal parish. Just b/c you want your name removed (i.e. b/c you are no longer consider yourself an Episcopalian and are in fact actively associated with another Christian body) does not mean they no longer count you as being a member. Ours is not an isolated incident of being told this either.
How can the number of clergy rise by more than 60% while the number of adherents has fallen by nearly half?
The buildup is in clergy the congregations are not recognizing as validly ordained, hence, they are moving out while the new clergy settle in.
Just a speculation from what few facts are on the ground here.
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