Membership in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America remained steady in 1998, says ELCA Secretary Lowell G. Almen.
Membership in 1998
* Current baptized membership is 5,178,225, down 6,830.
* About 1.6 million (30 percent) of the baptized members worship each week, which has remained fairly consistent since 1988.
* Child baptisms decreased by 876 to 81,224, but adult baptisms increased by 219 to 8,468.
* The number of congregations dropped by 27 to 10,862, largely as a result of consolidation.
* The average congregation has:
480 baptized members.
356 confirmed members.
236 communing, contributing members.
* The number of members of color rose across every ethnic community to 2.3 percent of ELCA membership.Income in 1998
* Total income for congregations exceeded $2 billion for the second year in a row, up 6 percent.
* $1.5 billion was received in regular offerings, up nearly 5 percent.
* Giving to world hunger and disaster efforts totaled nearly $12.5 million.
* The average congregation spent its income:
66 percent for operating expenses.
11 percent on capital improvements.
8 percent for debt retirement.
8 percent to fund synodical and churchwide ministries.
* Average annual giving per confirmed member was $448.