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United Methodist Members Dying Faster than Americans (Death rate 30% higher than national average)
Christian Post ^ | 10/24/2009 | Audrey Barrick

Posted on 10/24/2009 9:20:43 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

Offering a new perspective on the reality of aging denominations, The United Methodist Church studied the death rates of Methodists and the general American population and found that the church is dying faster.

The death rates for members of the nearly 8 million-member denomination are about a third higher than the national average, according to the "Pockets of 'Youthfulness' in an Aging Denomination" report.

In 2005, the United Methodist death rate was 134 percent of the U.S. death rate among those 15 years and older.

Among UMC's 62 annual conferences, or regional bodies, in the United States, 34 of them (representing 41 percent of UMC membership) reported death rates 20 percent or higher than their general population.

"There is no future for The United Methodist Church in the United States unless we can learn to reach more people, younger people and more diverse people,” said the Rev. Lovett Weems, director of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership, which compiled the report, as reported by the United Methodist News Service.

The graying and declining membership has led to numerous multi-million dollar ad campaigns in an effort to reach more people, particularly young ones.

"Rethink Church" is the United Methodist Church's newest campaign targeting 19- to 34-year-olds who may not be familiar with the church or who are seeking to make their lives more meaningful.

More than $20 million in ads are being launched over the next four years.

"Reaching new populations – which tend to be younger and more diverse than traditional United Methodist constituents – needs to be a high priority," Weems told UMNS.

According to the Lewis Center for Church Leadership, members in mainline denominations were younger than the general U.S. population in the 1960s. But over the last several decades, membership has continuously grown older.

While death rates may not be exact indicators of age, the Center – which set out to examine age trends in the United Methodist Church – pointed out that they do help show patterns that should correspond generally to age, considering that 75 percent of deaths in recent years occurred among people aged 65 and older.

The Lewis Center recommends that United Methodist churches not only reach new populations, but also begin new congregations as they tend to reach younger people at a higher rate than existing churches.


TOPICS: Current Events; Mainline Protestant; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: methodist; umc; unitedmethodist

1 posted on 10/24/2009 9:20:44 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Must be their Method sucks..


2 posted on 10/24/2009 9:23:45 AM PDT by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole....)
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To: SeekAndFind
United Methodist Church, member in good standing of the World Council of Churches. World Council of Churches upcoming events list:

15.11.09 - 20.11.09 -- United Nations Advocacy Week, New York, USA

13.12.09 - 13.12.09 -- Bellringing for climate justice, Worldwide

3 posted on 10/24/2009 9:26:50 AM PDT by La Lydia
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To: SeekAndFind

Preach the Gospel of Christ. Our Church does and it grows...


4 posted on 10/24/2009 9:27:28 AM PDT by ColdSteelTalon (Light is fading to shadow, and casting its shroud over all we have known...)
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To: hosepipe

Well Church should bring you closer to God but it seems like the Methodists must have an express lane directly to The Almighty.


5 posted on 10/24/2009 9:27:57 AM PDT by Frantzie (Do we want ACORN running America's health care?)
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To: SeekAndFind
"There is no future for The United Methodist Church in the United States unless we can learn to reach more people, younger people and more diverse people,”

I am not getting this story. Is it only because Methodist tend to be older that they are dying quicker. They really do not explain what is going on.

6 posted on 10/24/2009 9:28:07 AM PDT by Always Right
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To: La Lydia
Without sounding blasphemous - screw that. Who wants to join a church to be bombarded with a leftist agenda? I can stay home and watch MSNBC if I want that sh*t.
7 posted on 10/24/2009 9:30:18 AM PDT by Frantzie (Do we want ACORN running America's health care?)
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To: Always Right
I think it means that demographically, their membership is older, and older people are statistically closer to the grave than younger people.

I grew up Methodist, but Readers Digest sermons don't do it for me.

8 posted on 10/24/2009 9:32:00 AM PDT by Tuscaloosa Goldfinch
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To: SeekAndFind

Aren’t the United Methodists the biggest enemies of Israel among Christian denominations? I guess they missed the scripture about the Lord blessing those who bless the Hebrews and cursing those who curse them, or “if I forget thee o’ Jerusalem, let my right hand wither.”


9 posted on 10/24/2009 9:32:21 AM PDT by montag813 (During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act. -George Orwell)
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To: SeekAndFind

Mom turns 90 next July.

BUT she is from Nebrasks. Maybe this counters the Methodist rearing?


10 posted on 10/24/2009 9:32:32 AM PDT by bannie
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To: montag813
Aren’t the United Methodists the biggest enemies of Israel among Christian denominations? I guess they missed the scripture about the Lord blessing those who bless the Hebrews and cursing those who curse them, or “if I forget thee o’ Jerusalem, let my right hand wither.”

A higher percentage of members with a certain virus?
11 posted on 10/24/2009 9:33:47 AM PDT by aruanan
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To: Always Right
Is it only because Methodist tend to be older that they are dying quicker.

If a church does not seriously preach the gospel, if church members do not seriously teach their children about the gospel, if a church gets involved in liberal politics as a priority over obeying God's word, the effect is for people to shun the church, for young people to ignore the church and for disappointed Bible believing members to leave the church.

The UMC IN GENERAL has been straying from the gospel and obedience to God's word for decades. What you are seeing is the "Church of Ephesus" effect --- Christ taking away the golden lamp stand this church once had ( See Revelations 2)
12 posted on 10/24/2009 9:35:42 AM PDT by SeekAndFind (wH)
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To: montag813

The UMC isn’t the only dying denomination. A lot of mainline protestant denominations are experiencing the same decrease in membership.


SOURCE: http://www.religionnewsblog.com/20746/church-membership

NEW YORK — Most of the United States’ 25 largest church bodies either lost members or experienced no growth in the past year, according to a 2008 yearbook produced by the National Council of Churches.

The Episcopal Church, locked in a conflict over interpretations of the Bible and homosexuality, suffered the steepest decline, reporting a more than 4 percent drop to slightly fewer than 2.2 million members. Another mainline Protestant group, the 3 million-member Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), facing similar divisions, suffered a 2.4 percent membership decrease.

The figures are outlined in the 2008 Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches, which tracks membership and other trends from 224 national church bodies.

The yearbook’s editor, the Rev. Eileen Lindner, said many churches reported that people in their 20s and 30s attend and support local congregations but resist becoming members.

Of the churches that reported growth, the Jehovah’s Witnesses said their group had a 2.25 percent increase to 1 million members, while the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said it grew 1.56 percent to 5.8 million members in the United States.

The Roman Catholic Church, Southern Baptist Convention, Assemblies of God and African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church reported membership gains of less than 1 percent each.

A dozen churches said membership remained steady, while seven reported declines.

The yearbook also reported a 4 percent increase in per capita giving from the 65 churches that reported contribution trends.


13 posted on 10/24/2009 9:38:49 AM PDT by SeekAndFind (wH)
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To: aruanan

I think the elephant in the room that the Methodist Church is missing is that given a choice between a church that professes a liberal agenda and the liberal agenda, individuals will take the liberal agenda. They are looking at effects (we aren’t reaching the 19-34 year age group) rather than causes (why aren’t we reaching them?).


14 posted on 10/24/2009 9:39:18 AM PDT by Toirdhealbheach Beucail (Am fear nach gheibh na h-airm 'n am na sith, cha bith iad aige 'nam a chogaidh)
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To: Toirdhealbheach Beucail
I think the elephant in the room that the Methodist Church is missing is that given a choice between a church that professes a liberal agenda and the liberal agenda

In other words, why join a politicized church, when I can have the REAL THING --- A political party ?

If all a church does is give me what the secular world already gives, I don't have to go to that church.
15 posted on 10/24/2009 9:41:33 AM PDT by SeekAndFind (wH)
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To: Always Right

I believe the problem is that they are not restocking the pews with new Methodists.

My wife is a non-practicing Methodist, who attends my Catholic Church, with me and our kids.

There are some very good Gospel preaching congregations, which I believe are doing quite well, as one of the previous posters states. Then there is the secular humanist congregations that are sort of out there doing there own thing; I’m okay, you’re okay. It’s all good.

I’m pretty sure George W. Bush is a Methodist. When he first came to DC I think it took him a bit of time before he found a church that was to his liking.


16 posted on 10/24/2009 9:42:21 AM PDT by incredulous joe ("Live Free or Fight")
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To: Frantzie
[ Well Church should bring you closer to God ]

If God seems far away....... Who moved?...

17 posted on 10/24/2009 9:43:16 AM PDT by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole....)
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To: hosepipe
If God seems far away....... Who moved?...

You hit the nail right on the head with that question pal...

Here is one other reason :


This article explains a lot :

Why Methodist seminaries are becoming irrelevant and dying

The Cross and Flame symbol is the official logo of the United Methodist Church

[This article was written by Dr. Riley Case of The Confessing Movement within the United Methodist Church. As a graduate of one of the top seminaries in the country, and one that has been removed from the list of approved UMC seminaries, Methodist Examiner James-Michael Smith WHOLEHEARTEDLY agrees with Dr. Case's assessment and urges Methodists everywhere to raise this issue with their Bishops, District Superintendents and Pastors.]

--------------------------

These are tough times for church institutions and agencies.

Right across the board--progressive, evangelical, in the U.S. or overseas--church groups are struggling because of the economic recession. The Billy Graham Association is laying off 55 workers, or 10% of its staff. The Association's budget is being cut 15%, to about 84 million.

Christianity Today is shutting down four publications (it has 9 more still in operation) and laying off 31 (or 22%) of its staff. The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) is reducing its next year's budget by $5.6 million and has eliminated 23 jobs. Other staff salaries have reduced 3%. The Presbyterian Church (USA) has dropped 56 jobs since September of last year. The Friends Committee on National Legislation has cut 12 staffers. The Church of the Brethren has simply closed its Washington office.

As for United Methodists, the General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM) is reducing the 2009 operating budget by $3.9 million, or 7%, which will include cutting 17 staff positions. The Publishing House has indicated it will not be able to donate the $1 million to annual conferences for pastors' pensions. The Board of Discipleship (GBOD) has laid off 30 employees since January. The bishops have voted to roll back their salaries in 2010 to 2008 levels, from $125,658 to $120,942.

Annual conferences are facing similar cut-backs. Clergy pensions and retired clergy health benefits are facing deductions. Local churches are eliminating staff positions.

United Methodism's seminaries (and indeed, seminaries of all traditions) are also facing budgeting problems. While some seminaries are well endowed, the endowments are themselves suffering as the result of falling stock markets. In this climate it is time to ask the tough (actually it shouldn't be such a tough question since the answer would seem obvious) question: does The United Methodist Church have too many seminaries?

Forty years ago, at the time of the Methodist-EUB merger, the newly formed United Methodist Church declared that the combined fourteen seminaries of the new denomination were too many and not well located to be effective. The General Conference mandated (or at least strongly recommended) at least two mergers. One merger did take place: Evangelical Seminary merged with Garrett Biblical Institute to form Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary. The other logical merger, United (former EUB) in Dayton, and METHESCO, in Delaware, Ohio, never took place.

Because there were too many seminaries chasing too few students, the seminaries made urgent pleas for help. The church responded by establishing the Ministerial Education Fund in 1972, a "bail-out" fund before the term "bail-out" was widely used. The fund would subsidize US seminaries (but do nothing for overseas seminaries where the help was really needed) to the tune of $15 million a year. This means that over the 40-year period since 1970 the church has poured $600 million into the seminaries.

Since the merger The United Methodist Church has lost 3 million members. Despite the loss of 27% of its membership there has been no reduction in the number of seminaries to serve the smaller denomination. Enrollment has plummeted in many of the seminaries. At Garrett Evangelical, there were 73 graduates in the 2009 class. Fifty years ago (before the merger) Garrett alone graduated 153.

One of the unfortunate by-products of this pressure to keep the seminaries viable has been the effort to force students to attend these United Methodist seminaries. Numbers of excellent seminaries, where students would prefer to attend, have been disapproved for the training of United Methodist seminaries in an effort to force students to attend United Methodist seminaries.

There is a further question as to whether these seminaries are really serving the church. Claremont School of Theology was put on probation in 2006 by the Association of Theological Schools, and in danger of losing accreditation because of continual bleeding red ink. The school has recently announced, with great fanfare, that its financial house is now in order. Not only that but, thanks to a $5 million gift by an anonymous donor, it is transforming itself into a "multifaith university," with a new vision and a new mission statement and a new set of values.

The new vision and new mission statement and new set of values say nothing about Jesus Christ, nothing about preparing pastors, nothing about United Methodism, nothing about theology or Biblical studies, and nothing about the Christian Church. The statements stress preparing "leaders" for an increasingly diverse, multi-faith world. As evidence of what the seminary is all about, a Muslim graduate of the class of 2009 read from the Koran at the graduation ceremonies.

Claremont can obviously do what it wants to do. But does The United Methodist Church need continually to pour $1 million yearly into such an institution? Isn't The United Methodist Church supposed to be something about winning disciples to Jesus Christ?

The University Senate while disapproving numbers of excellent seminaries because they do not "reflect United Methodist ethos" evidently feels that Claremont does reflect "United Methodist ethos." It is a strange understanding of United Methodist ethos.

So the question remains. Does The United Methodist Church have too many seminaries? The church downsizes programs and personnel; when will it begin to downsize the total number of seminaries?
18 posted on 10/24/2009 9:47:28 AM PDT by SeekAndFind (wH)
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To: SeekAndFind

This would probably concern my far left Methodist brother.


19 posted on 10/24/2009 9:51:24 AM PDT by fkabuckeyesrule
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To: fkabuckeyesrule
This would probably concern my far left Methodist brother.

If he's far left, it wouldn't concern him. After all, he always has the Democratic party with its own Messiah leader to replace his church in case it closes its doors.
20 posted on 10/24/2009 9:56:19 AM PDT by SeekAndFind (wH)
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To: All
I've attended both Methodist and Catholic services in the last several years, and one difference stands out starkly to anyone who takes the time to notice. Children! While Catholic families no longer as a rule sport "cheaper by the dozen" size families that I recall from my youth, every mass in our parish always sports scores of youngsters in the pews with their parents. In the Methodist church not so much. Two or three infants and toddlers is the rule.
21 posted on 10/24/2009 10:01:27 AM PDT by Spartan79
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To: All

The 254 member United Methodist Church which I pastor has grown during my tenure here:

In 2007 we lost 4 members due to death but gained 14 members as professions of faith, 6 on transfer from other UM churches, and 5 on transfers from other Churches (197 members - 4 + 25 = 219). Average attendance 125

In 2008 we lost 2 members due to death, 1 transfer out, but gained 11 members as professions of faith, 7 on transfer from other UM churches, and 3 on transfer from other Churches (219 members - 3 + 21 = 237). Average Attendance 149

In 2009 we lost 5 members due to death (one in Iraq), 3 transfered out, but gained 16 on profession of faith, 2 on transfer from other UM churches, and 7 on transfer from other Churches (237 - 8 + 25 = 254). Average Attendance 171.

My congregation is fairly moderate as far as theology goes, some FAR LEFT liberals (they’re not too happy with me) and lots of people in the middle and a few on the right. Average age of the worshipping congregation is in the 40s. Oldest member of the church is 92. I have few in their 80s, a bunch of super active 70s, and then a lot all the way down to the 20s and teens. Not a large number of little children (about 8 in the average children’s sermon on Sunday morning), but the youth group has grown a lot as the little ones have been growing up into it. Churches this size tend to go through waves where there will be lots of little kids but not many youth, then lots of youth but not many little kids.

Even despite the economy, our finances are up as is all of our programing — Bible Studies, music programs, youth programs, mission programs, outreach and evangelism. in 2007 and 2008 we built one Habitat for Humanity house ... this year we built 2. We opened a food pantry which serves a huge number of people in need, and my people supply and run it wonderfully. We had a HUGE turn out for VBS the past 2 years.

So ... not all UM churches are declining.


22 posted on 10/24/2009 10:14:16 AM PDT by TexasGreg ("Democrats Piss Me Off")
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To: Spartan79

You can more or less get to know the future of a church by the size of their Sunday School and Youth Program as well. Inspite of the fact that the UMC overall is losing members, there are still pockets of UMC churches out there that are GROWING. Such churches within the overll denomination tend to BUCK the politically correct trend and remain faithful to the traditions of the Wesley Brothers.


23 posted on 10/24/2009 10:15:56 AM PDT by SeekAndFind (wH)
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To: La Lydia

That’s why my family quit the Methodist Church.


24 posted on 10/24/2009 10:17:23 AM PDT by USNBandit (sarcasm engaged at all times)
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To: SeekAndFind
United Methodist Members Dying Faster than Americans (Death rate 30% higher than national average)

I would expect the death rate most denominations to be higher than the national average. Most have problems getting teenagers and young adults, thus they are skewed older than the population in general. Maybe if you had communion as all you can eat nachos and beer, you might skew the church's membership younger.

25 posted on 10/24/2009 10:30:50 AM PDT by KarlInOhio (Soon everyone will win a Nobel Peace Prize for not being George Bush...well, except for George Bush.)
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To: SeekAndFind
The death rates for members of the nearly 8 million-member denomination are about a third higher than the national average, according to the "Pockets of 'Youthfulness' in an Aging Denomination" report.
For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged.
-- 1 Corinthians 11:29-31

26 posted on 10/24/2009 10:56:20 AM PDT by Alex Murphy ("Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him" - Job 13:15)
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To: SeekAndFind

Years ago I posted my tale of ostracizing and dismissal from my UMC when I demanded greater theological orthodoxy and less leftist ideology. Despite some isolate pockets of Christianity in the UMC, I now consider the UMC en toto an apostate, pagan organism. They are part of the liturgical wing of the international communist movement, testimony to the malevolent genius of Antonio Gramsci.


27 posted on 10/24/2009 1:27:20 PM PDT by crusher (Political Correctness: Stalinism Without the Charm)
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To: SeekAndFind

Is George W Bush still a member?


28 posted on 10/24/2009 3:16:50 PM PDT by Salman
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To: Salman
Is George W Bush still a member?

Wikipedia still lists George W. Bush as Methodist, so I guess the answer tot he question is yes. I'm not sure which specific church he goes to.
29 posted on 10/24/2009 3:24:34 PM PDT by SeekAndFind (wH)
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To: ColdSteelTalon

I go to a UMC and it is growing.


30 posted on 10/24/2009 3:29:49 PM PDT by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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