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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Resources strong in spite of congregational withdrawals

Report of the secretary

Despite the loss of several hundred churches, remaining ELCA congregations control assets worth more than $22 billion and that figure grew in 2010, ELCA Secretary David D. Swartling told the Churchwide Assembly.

"Undeniably, the ELCA has been affected by congregations leaving, but we continue to have enormous capacity for ministry," he said. "Based upon [annual] congregational reports, as analyzed by Research and Evaluation: approximately 95 percent of our congregations; 94 percent of baptized membership; 94 percent of total congregational giving and congregational assets remain," he said.

Julie Fletcher
ELCA Secretary David D. Swartling.

"We can do things together in ministry — do different things and things better — than we can do separately. Because of who we are as the ELCA, we have the potential for evangelical synergy."

Swartling also noted that congregations received $2 billion in contributions for mission and ministry in 2010, plus had more than $2.1 billion in endowment funds, memorials and cash.


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