ENS reports that preliminary data from the 2011 Parochial Reports show an increase in Episcopal Church revenue and a moderation of recent declines among Episcopal congregations.
“Some churches are growing, fewer churches are seeing large declines in membership and attendance, and many dioceses are seeing gains rather than losses in gifts from their congregations and returns on investments,” noted C. Kirk Hadaway, Ph.D., officer for congregational research and author of the report.
Among the key elements of the report indicate:
-An expected 95% of domestic congregations will have filed the 2011 Parochial Report.
-Average Sunday attendance (ASA) will show an improvement in 2011.
-While 2011 will witness a decline in membership, it is the lowest since 2002.
-Plate and pledge giving is expected to rise by around $12 million, or +0.9% in 2011.
-Gifts and assessments to dioceses by congregations suggest an increase of .04% in 2011.
“The last three years should not be considered the ‘new normal’,” Hadaway states. “This is not to minimize the declines in membership and attendance since 2002, nor the loss of income in the last several years…Still, there are signs of improvement in terms of membership, attendance and finances.”
Meanwhile, another report shows about 41% of Episcopal dioceses have committed to pay their full asking for the 2012 budget.
Just more than 41 percent of the Episcopal Church’s dioceses and regional areas have committed to contributing the full amount asked of them to fund the wider church’s 2012 budget.
According to a report posted June 21 here on the website of the church’s Finance Office, 46 of 111 entities reporting will pay 19 percent or more in 2012. Six of those dioceses have pledged to pay more than what is known as “the asking,” and which for this year is 19 percent of diocesan income.
Thirteen entities have not pledged to pay any portion of the 2012 asking. They are Colombia, Dallas, Ecuador Central, Ecuador Littoral, Georgia, Haiti, Honduras, Navajoland Area Mission, Quincy, San Joaquin, South Carolina, Taiwan and Venezuela.
Quincy and San Joaquin are two of the four dioceses that are rebuilding after a majority of their clergy and laity left the denomination because of theological disputes. Quincy is the smallest of the four. The other two, Fort Worth and Pittsburgh, have each pledged 19 percent.
Two dioceses – Arizona and Los Angeles – have committed to paying their full 2011 pledge at some time in the future.
Here is the link to diocesan commitments to the Episcopal Church in 2011 and 2012.