1. An official report by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) revealed that the denomination suffered a net loss of 370 congregation in 2011, along with a loss of 213,000 members. ELCA membership at the end of 2011 stood at 4,059,785, down from 4,272,688 at the end of 2010.
2. On October 14, St. James Lutheran Church, Liano, TX failed to passed it vote to end affiliation with the ELCA. Resolution lost by 2 votes 47-26.
3. St. Peter's Lutheran Church (829 baptized members) Lexington, SC passed their first vote to leave the ELCA, October 14, 2012, 174 yes, 11 no. They will cast second vote to leave the ELCA on Sunday January 20, 2013. If successful, they plan to join the NALC.
4. West Prairie Lutheran Church, Leland, IA plans to take second vote to leave the ELCA on Nov. 11, 2012.
5. St. Luke's Lutheran Church, Mansfield, will close its doors in November after 126 years of ministry in the city. The property is being sold to Pastor Paul Lintern who will operate an outreach ministry from the building.
6. Grace Lutheran Church, North Branch, NY is fighting a battle with their synod to be released from the ELCA with their property after two successful and legal votes were passed. A recent letter from the synod stated that their vote to leave is not recognized and the church is now under “permanent synodical administration.” Pray for this congregation.
7. A new adult Bible study, Animate Faith, produced by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), is being taught and promoted in ELCA congregations all over America. The study, released August 2012, might better be called “Animate Unbelief.’’ The material for this study incorporates the distortions and ramblings of assortment of leaders from the Emergent Church. (Read about the Emergent Church in The Vine and Branches, Summer 2012, Issue 3.) An extensive review of this material will be presented in the December issue of The Vine and Branches. If you are not among the 8000 households receiving The Vine and Branches, you may email us to sign up. This publication is offered free of charge but donations are requested to cover costs.