- Bishop James Hazelwood, of the New England Synod of the ELCA reports, "Several years ago, I presented a picture to the June Assembly of this synod. I explained that we were a synod of 40-100-40: Forty congregations in near crisis, forty healthy and one hundred in between trying to figure out which way they were going. Three years later, I’d venture a guess that this assessment is no longer accurate. In the last three years, we’ve had churches close, others merge, others partner with Episcopal congregations, and others go from full time clergy to part time. In 2017, I think we are now 20 functionally or officially closed, 60 in crisis, 60 in the middle and 30 that are healthy. These are challenging times.” (see here)
Despite the financial crisis in the bishop’s synod, he is/has taken two trips to Israel within a matter of months. (see here)
- The ELCA recently released their 3rd Quarter financials for 2017, and they do not look good. (See here)
- Then we learn from a publication of St. John's Lutheran Church in Summit, NJ, that, “Bishop Bartholomew of the NJ Synod has asked our pastors to be willing to occasionally serve as supply pastors in 2018 due to the lack of supply pastors in the Synod.” (see here)
- I also came across the following information online. If someone could help me find the source I'd greatly appreciate it. It tells of the enrollment problems happening at ELCA seminaries over the last 10 years. You can see additional ELCA seminary enrollment information here.
- A poster on ALPB Forum writes:
"In the Lutheran Forum (Winter 2017 Edition) there is a interesting chart on the enrollment at the 8 ELCA Seminaries for the 2016-2017 Academic year.
There was a total enrollment of 663 ELCA students studying for their Master of Divinity degree. This compares to 1274 ELCA students studying for the M.Div degree ten years ago. This amounts to a decrease of 611 seminarians in one decade." (see here)