As to the math from Fr. Slusser, this has always been a math problem I have not solved well. So there were three, now there are four. Meaning the mission is one of four or 25%. At the same time, the mission was 3 and added one, or one third more (kind of) . And that's why we stick with the verbal rather than the mathematical area of life.

It is confusing. Going from **3** to 4 is a 33% increase, but going from **4** to 3 is a 25% decrease.

The percentage is found by taking the difference between the new and old numbers: 4-3=1;

dividing the difference by the **old** number (boldface above,) then multiplying by 100 to get %.

Thank you, Pr. Stoffregen.

Rarely do we agree on things theological but when it comes to matters mathematical we are of one mind.

The percentage increase...particularly when dealing with small numbers...illustrates the economic principle of "decreasing marginal utility". Going from 3 to 4 congregations is 33% growth. But the next mission start (from 4 to 5) will be only 25% growth and the next but 20%.

An excursus:

The northeastern US is in the grip of a several day Arctic blast. Yesterday the high only reached a couple of tenths of a degree above freezing. So my woodstove has been burning non-stop.

A few years ago I realized that keeping a cast iron kettle on the stove would capture some of the latent heat which would otherwise go up the chimney, since every pound of water that evaporates releases 1000 BTUs. (Remember, 8 pounds to a gallon).

The second kettle--added later that season--doubled the BTU output. It was a 100% increase.

The third kettle--added the next season--boosted the BTU output but only by 50%.

Five years ago--just before a severe ice storm--I added a fourth kettle. It increased the output by 33%.

There is no room for any additional kettles. That said, tonight--with the outside temperature in the low 20's--the BTU output has been such that the house HVAC system has only run once since mid-afternoon. And during that same time more than 16,000 BTUs have been released through the hissing kettles.

"Once a mathematics minor always a mathematics minor."