The ELCA affirmed 41 congregational starts for 2010.
"These new starts represent what America is becoming, as 23 are among immigrant populations," said Stephen P. Bouman, executive director of Evangelical Outreach and Congregational Mission.
He said the 41 starts are a sign of "hope for our beloved church" in the Easter season. Twelve are "worshiping communities" authorized by synods.
For instance, Central Lutheran Church, Elk River, Minn., voted to leave the denomination in response to decisions made at the 2009 Churchwide Assembly. But nearly 200 of its members wish to remain in the ELCA and are seeking to become a "synodically authorized worshiping community."
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