Author Topic: The State of the ELCIC  (Read 1030 times)


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The State of the ELCIC
« on: July 09, 2013, 10:29:47 AM »
I had the following article forwarded to me from a friend.  In short, it says that the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is hemorrhaging - it has lost almost half of its members it had at its founding in 1986 (262,000 to 139,000), a descent that accelerated following the decision in 2011 to allow individual churches to perform same-sex marriages.  And the future is not exactly rosy, either - the study (commissioned by the ELCIC Council of Bishops) estimates that another 64 congregations could leave the denomination or shut their doors by 2020.  (Fifty four congregations have already closed since '86.)

The numbers are sobering.  How does this decline parallel and/or differentiate from the ELCA's current track?  Does the ELCA have any obligation to their northern neighbors?  Is a similar decline evident in the Lutheran Church-Canada?  Anyone here have any experience with Lutheranism north of the border to provide any insight?


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Re: The State of the ELCIC
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2013, 10:33:34 AM »
I see the Canadian Anglicans and the ELCIC merging down the road...

David M. Frye, OblSB

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Re: The State of the ELCIC
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2013, 11:18:58 AM »
If I can trust my memory, the ELCIC departed from the LCA. I don't recall when, other than that it happened before the formation of the ELCA. Does anyone with more institutional memory have the details at hand?
David M. Frye, OblSB

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Re: The State of the ELCIC
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2013, 12:05:48 PM »
The ELCIC was formed by the merger of the LCA - Canada section, with the ELCC (Evangelical Lutheran Church of Canada).  The ELCC was formed back in the late 60's IIRC out of the Canadian districts of the  ALC.

Yes, I believe the ELCIC is dying. Although the number of congregations leaving is small, the attrition through closure of small rural congregations, and the steady loss of members from existing congregations make the losses unsustainable.

The ELCIC, I fear, will in the not-too-distant future be little more than a non-geographical diocese of the Anglican Church of Canada.  The ELCIC's two major concentrations are in the prairie provinces, and in southern Ontario.  Our national church offices were moved from Winnipeg in the centre of the country, to Ottawa in eastern Ontario (where there are few Lutherans) for two major reasons:  1. to co-locate our national offices with the Anglican Church of Canada's head office; and 2. to provide easy access to lobby our national government on social issues, which seems to be a large chunk of our mission work. 


Daniel (for the time being still a member of an ELCiC congregation)