Based on a report, the Episcopal Church loses about 60,000 members and has fewer worshippers

Based on a report, the Episcopal Church loses about 60,000 members and has fewer worshippers
Based on a report, the Episcopal Church loses about 60,000 members and has fewer worshippers

Based on a report, the Episcopal Church loses about 60,000 members and has fewer worshippers.

According to recently released statistics, the Episcopal Church continues to see membership and worship attendance reductions in 2021, well below pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels.

Last Monday, the Episcopal Church issued the official statistics, which contained summaries of information on statistics for membership by baptism, average weekly worship attendance, and financial data.

The figures show that the denomination had around 1.678 million baptized members, which is close to 60,000 lower than the 1.736 million members recorded for 2020.

In addition, the Episcopal Church will have roughly 400,000 fewer members in 2021 than it had in 2012, when it had over 2 million baptized members.

Additionally, the number of worshipers attending on average on Sundays decreased, from around 483,000 in 2020 to about 312,000 in 2021.

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The attendance figures for 2021 also stand in stark contrast to those for 2019, the final year before the COVID-19 epidemic and associated lockdowns affected the figures, which showed an average Sunday attendance of almost 547,000 people.

The Episcopal News Service noted that some of the reported numbers for the denomination still “give opportunity for hope” while reporting the findings on Nov. 22.

Despite declining by more than 3% for the second consecutive year, the number of active baptized members is still close to historical averages, reflecting a more steady drop that is shared by other mainstream Protestant churches, according to ENS.

“The pandemic, meanwhile, did not halt the ongoing trend of rising pledges. The average Episcopal pledge increased in 2021 to $3,339, and overall plate and pledge income was up more than 3% for the year.”

In a recent blog post regarding the statistics, Jeff Walton of the Institute on Religion & Democracy noted that “dioceses showing the biggest year-over-year membership decreases were located across diverse geographies.”

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Only the Diocese of Navajo Missions has reported any membership growth during the previous ten years, according to Walton, who also noted that other domestic dioceses had membership decreases of up to 75% during that time.

In other domestic dioceses, attendance decreased in a comparable way, although in Oregon (-56.2%), Newark (48.2%), Maryland (49.4%), Easton (46.7%), Lexington (50.8%), North Carolina (-52.8%), and Iowa (-48.9%) it was most significant.

The Episcopal Church has experienced a steady loss in both membership and average worship attendance over the past few years, which some have said is partly attributable to the denomination’s generally progressive doctrinal stance.

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For instance, a large number of congregations protested by leaving the Episcopal Church after Gene Robinson was appointed as the first openly homosexual bishop in the denomination’s history in 2003.

The Rev. Dwight Zscheile, an Episcopal priest and lecturer, issued a warning in 2020, stating that if the denomination’s collapse continues at its current rate, it will essentially cease to exist by the year 2050.

“The overall picture is dire,” said Zscheile, as reported by Church Leaders. “Not one of decline as much as demise within the next generation unless trends change significantly.”

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My Passion for The Gospel bought about this great Platform.. I love to share the Good News. That's my PASSION. I don't believe the Gospel should be boring. Nobelie is so exclusive. You won't find what we offer any where else. You ask a friend.

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