Monday, December 8, 2008

Episcopal Church Average Sunday Attendance Stats for Last 10 Years: Gay agenda had a negative impact here in SD

First, let me commend the Office of Congregational Development for keeping and compiling honest stats. Not sure how much longer this will continue - for example, The Episcopal Church has been replacing its journalists with public relations people. So much is now geared to "spin" and deception and this is likely to get worse after the upcoming General Convention.

But, while we have 'em, here is the link to the stats going back to 1997, both by province and diocese (pdf file).

In South Dakota, Average Sunday Attendance (ASA) fell

  • - 10% over the ten years (average decline of 1% per year)
  • - 6 % since 2003 (in 2003, TEC consecrated an active homosexual as a bishop in New Hampshire. In South Dakota, ASA fell from 2,839 to 2,677 that year alone, with another decline down to 2,583 the next year)
  • - 1% 2006 - 07.

At the bottom of each Province (regional) bloc, you will find statistical summaries. It is shocking to look at the ASA 2002, and then track what happened thru 2004 or '05. The promise of the Gay activist church leaders was that moving ahead with their agenda would fling open to doors of our churches and fill them with secular folks looking for Bible-free Christianity.

So, the Gay bishop got his title and perks, and now flies all over the world on the church's dime sharing his feelings about being him. And those secular people are still out there being what they were, while the Bible-free church dies.

By the way, prior to our 1979 Prayer Book, Episcopalians gathered with this prayer on the Second Sunday in Advent (yesterday):

BLESSED Lord, who hast caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning; Grant that we may in such wise hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that by patience and comfort of thy holy Word, we may embrace, and ever hold fast, the blessed hope of everlasting life, which thou hast given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

5 comments:

Lofty said...

I seriously doubt the accuracy of the numbers being reported in the first place. Adding together what I know are usual Sunday morning turnouts of the largest parishes in the diocese don’t approach a number anywhere near 2,600 bodies. Seriously...does that number even seem credible? You would have to take the ASA of the cathedral and multiply it by 18 or 20. How many total priests do we have in the diocese? It just doesn't add up. The diocese can hide behind the fact that NOBODY (not even the bishop himself!!!) ever goes from church to church in any given year validating these numbers.

Anyway, I doubt that the "gay agenda" has had that large an effect on ASA in this particular diocese. Sure, a few people have left the cathedral over it, but I think the biggest problem for the church in general is that liberal agnostics have gained control of the church and made it their very own jobs creation program.

It is well known that "bishop" Robinson of New Hampshire learned in seminary that he didn't have to even believe in something as basic to the Christian faith as the creeds. After 50 years of seminaries pushing the "cafeteria plan" you now have an organization run by people who do not even believe in what it is they are supposed to "sell". If the salesmen don't believe in the product...why should anyone else?

A cafeteria Catholic is not Catholic.

A cafeteria Christian is not likely Christian.

If I am looking to strengthen my relationship with the Lord, why would I devote any energy at all to a "church" which is really only political action committee underneath a veneer of albs and stoles?

Karen said...

Tim+
T19 commenters did some math yesterday and discovered TEC has incorrectly reported the 1997-2007 ASA change. (it looks like they reported 1997 - 2006 by mistake).

The actual loss in SD is 12%, not 10%. But actually, SD is doing well compared to the rest of your Province. Province 6 as a whole lost 18% in ASA from 1997 - 2007.

TLF+ said...

Yeah, this is not a very important part of the country for TEC. It was in times past, at least for the Reservations, but even that's passe.

I am working on verifying some info I received that Schori herself ordered the fudging of stats (mainly the retention of numbers from realigned congregations). Need to get some people to stand by the report before I can blog it. But I would not be surprised.

The Underground Pewster said...

As far as I can tell, the population of South Dakota rose by 2.8% between 2000 and 2005. I could not find the 1997-2007 numbers, but doesn't this indicate a greater decline in ASA relative to population?

TLF+ said...

Pewster: good point. Awhile back, I posted a piece showing the stagnation/decline of TEC in SD's fastest growing counties:
http://northernplainsanglicans.blogspot.com/2007/09/episcopal-church-2006-statistics-are.html