Friday, October 10, 2014

Episcopal Church dropped 6% in ASA in 2013 over 2012
Church edges closer to dropping below 2 million membership mark
Departure of Diocese of South Carolina left TEC with plummeting numbers

By David W. Virtue with Mary Ann Mueller
Oct. 4, 2014

The Episcopal Church dropped six percent in domestic Average Sunday
Attendance from 2012 to 2013, with every diocese except one experiencing
decline. Only Western North Carolina saw a slight uptick in membership
(72); ASA (44); and pledging ($282,000).

Based on bar graph calculations, overall domestic ASA figures in 2012
(including South Carolina) were 640,142. Approximate figures for 2013
are 611,575 -- a drop of 28,567 (without South Carolina which did not
report its figures). With figures obtained from the Diocese of South
Carolina (Anglican), the ASA drop would be 38,498 bringing the TEC's
overall ASA down to 601,664 - a six percent drop in the domestic ASA

Through death and departure to other denominations, The Episcopal Church
lost nearly 550 Episcopalians each week of the year. That's the
equivalent of 408 parishes closing in one year, though most of the loss
was localized to South Carolina.

TEC's domestic membership, excluding TEC's 10 foreign dioceses, was
1,894,181 in 2012. In 2013 that figure was down to 1,862,294, a
preliminary drop of 31,887. Adding in South Carolina's anticipated
loses, TEC's church-wide membership, including the foreign dioceses,
would drop to 2,011,378 or a drop of more than one thousand a week --
55,332 -- from 2,066,710 in 2012. Parochial reports from the foreign
dioceses will be released later this month.

The domestic membership dropped below two million in 2010. If TEC
continues to lose membership at its current rate, the church-wide
membership, including foreign dioceses, will drop below the two million
mark by 2015.


The DIOofSC (Episcopal) 2012 membership was 29,236.

The 2013 membership numbers, following the split in the diocese,
reflects a drop of the 23,445 members that Bishop Mark Lawrence took
with him, leaving 5,791 behind in TECinSC.

ASA in the DIOofSC (Episcopal) in 2013 was 12,371.

The 2013 ASA figures reflect a drop of 9,931 -- the number Bishop
Lawrence took with him, leaving 2,440 behind in TECinSC.

DIOofSC 2012 Plate & pledge was $27.9 million.
In 2013 Bishop Lawrence took in $22.6 million leaving $5.3 million in

If one adds the DIOofSC's $22.6 million to TEC's $15.2 million, the
National Church would have had a $37.8 million income increase over

If one adds the DIOofSC membership of 23,445 to the 31,887 loss, it
would show a domestic membership drop of 55,332 or a 3% drop.

If one adds the DIOofSC ASA of 9,931 to the 28,567 loss, it would show a
domestic ASA drop of 38,498 or a 6% drop.

Overall, Bishop Lawrence took 81% of the diocese with him leaving 19%


In 2013, 57 dioceses reported an increase in Plate & Pledge, an increase
of $15,224,974 or 1.1%

This is the second year in a row that TEC has shown an increase in Plate
& Pledge.

2012: also showed domestic dioceses increasing their P&P of $15,878,404
or 1.2%, although the figures will be skewed because South Carolina is
not included.

NOTE: Information for this story was garnered from graphs which could
show a 1-3 percent differential from the final figures.

Overall, the Episcopal Church continued to decline in membership and
Average Sunday Attendance. The uptick in income might indicate a "dead
cat bounce" situation. In finance, a dead cat bounce is a small, brief
recovery in the price of a declining stock. It is derived from the idea
that "even a dead cat will bounce if it falls from a great height"; the
phrase, which originated on Wall Street, is also popularly applied to
any case where a subject experiences a brief resurgence during or
following a severe decline.


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