The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Worship attendance is falling

What does this mean?

Thank you for “Downside of worship” (March), which alerts us to a very real emerging problem in the ELCA. Worship is a key activity for the church — through it we gather around the word and sacraments and directly express our love and awe of God. The article indicates that ELCA worship attendance has dropped by 9.1 percent from 2002 through 2007, the last year for which data is available. Even more alarming is that the trend is accelerating. Perhaps worship attendance is the canary in the coal mine. The bird is beginning to gasp for breath. This is an acute problem. I hope the upcoming synod assemblies are aware of this and focus on efforts to identify its causes and to prepare action plans.

Bob Simis
Chapel Hill, N.C.

Where real life is lived

The worship trend article shows that your magazine is no bureaucratic propaganda agent. What’s best is real journalism that’s about who, what, when, where and why — not only on the street level but up to the heights of the church steeple as well. In other words, it’s where real life is lived and where we hope it takes us. My heart goes out to the critics and skeptics profiled in the article. I’m probing my attitudes that circumvent the way, the truth and the life.

David Kleppe
Plymouth, Minn.

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