Stats on the Southern Ohio Synod are In and They Look Good!
There are 65 synods in the ELCA, broken into nine regions. Some are growing their membership numbers rapidly and some are declining just as rapidly. What about the Southern Ohio Synod, which is part of Region 6?
According to statistics submitted to the ELCA by our congregations, the Southern Ohio Synod is doing pretty well, especially given that we are not in a rapid population growth state.
In 2011, the ELCA reports that the Southern Ohio Synod:
- Had 17.3% of its congregations grow—a greater increase than 32 of the 65 synods. We also grew more than any other synod in Region 6.
- Has 35 of our congregations on the upswing with membership numbers increasing in 2011—more than 51 of the 65 synods. We continue to have the greatest number of congregations in growth mode than any other synod in Region 6.
- Increased worship attendance from 31.42% to 32.28%.
- Saw the number of active participants increase from 42,630 to 43,151.
- Began to see more diversity in membership with increasing numbers of worshippers stating that they are people of color and/or their primary language is not English.
- Reported an increase of 7.7% in regular giving by confirmed members.
- Has just under 2/3 of our clergy, who are serving congregations, over the age of 50. (Our clergy are seasoned and bring experienced leadership to our synod.)
Perhaps your congregation is one of the 35 congregations that experienced growth in 2011. If so, congratulations! If not, don’t despair. There are many ways to continue to have a positive impact on your community and the mission of the Church through your ministries, even if your numbers aren’t on an upward trend. Talk with the Assistant to the Bishop assigned to your area of our synod about ways to increase ministry impact and membership. We appreciate your faithfulness to our mission in the Southern Ohio Synod and the ELCA. There is still more to do in 2013! May God continue to bless our work together.