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US Episcopal Church misplaced practically 60,000 members in 2021

Washington Nationwide Cathedral(Photograph: Getty/iStock)

(CP) The US Episcopal Church continued to endure declines in membership and worship attendance in 2021, nicely under pre-Covid-19 pandemic ranges, in line with just lately launched statistics.

The Episcopal Church launched the official statistics final week, which included summaries of information on common weekly worship attendance, baptized membership and monetary figures.

In keeping with the numbers, the denomination had roughly 1.678 million baptized members, which is almost 60,000 fewer than the 1.736 million reported for 2020.

The Episcopal Church’s 2021 membership can be practically 400,000 fewer than it was in 2012, when the mainline Protestant denomination had over 2 million baptized members.

Common Sunday attendance was also in decline, with 2021 reporting roughly 312,000 worship attendees on common, contrasted with round 483,000 in 2020.

The 2021 attendance numbers additionally sharply distinction with 2019, the final yr earlier than the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns performed a job within the numbers, which reported over 547,000 in common Sunday attendance.

In saying the statistics on Nov. 22, the Episcopal News Service identified that among the reported numbers for the denomination nonetheless “depart room for optimism.”

“The variety of energetic baptized members, although down by greater than 3% for the second straight yr, is almost in step with current historic developments, exhibiting a extra gradual decline that’s mirrored by different mainline Protestant denominations,” acknowledged ENS.

“The pandemic, in the meantime, didn’t halt the continued pattern of rising pledges. The typical Episcopal pledge elevated in 2021 to $3,339, and general plate and pledge earnings was up greater than 3% for the yr.”

Jeff Walton of the Institute on Faith & Democracy wrote in regards to the numbers in a current blog post, noting that “dioceses posting the biggest year-over-year membership declines have been discovered throughout completely different areas.”

“Throughout the previous decade, solely the Diocese of Navajo Missions has reported any improve in membership, with some home dioceses reporting declines in that point interval of as much as 75%,” wrote Walton.

“Attendance equally declined throughout all home dioceses, however was particularly pronounced in Oregon (-56.2%), Newark (48.2%), Maryland (49.4%), Easton (46.7%), Lexington (50.8%), North Carolina (-52.8%) and Iowa (-48.9%).”

Over the previous a number of years, the Episcopal Church has seen a gradual decline in its members and common worship attendance, which some have argued is due partially to the denomination’s general progressive theological route.

When the Episcopal Church ordained Gene Robinson as the primary brazenly homosexual bishop within the denomination’s historical past in 2003, scores of congregations left the denomination in protest.

In 2020, the Rev. Dwight Zscheile, an Episcopal priest and professor, warned that, on the present charge of decline, the denomination will successfully stop to exist by the yr 2050.

“The general image is dire,” mentioned Zscheile, as reported by Church Leaders. “Not one in every of decline as a lot as demise throughout the subsequent technology until developments change considerably.”

© The Christian Post

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