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September 24, 2013



Thank you for this. I think I'll be sharing it around. I would add one other major reason for the numerical decline, especially in Lutheran churches: The flow of northern European immigration, which fed what would otherwise have been dying North American Lutheran churches through the 60s, 70s, and 80s, pretty much dried up by 1970. Now those immigrants have grown very old and are dying, and (for all the reasons you stated) their children and grandchildren aren't participating. Here in Toronto (as may be true in other large cities), we had a reprieve of about a decade because of Lutheran immigrants from Guyana. I'm always so thankful that they didn't come to Toronto and start an ethnically distinct Guyanese Lutheran Church (unlike many German, Estonian, Swiss, Danish, Finnish, Latvian, Lithuanian, and Chinese Lutherans before them), but instead went out and worshipped in their local Lutheran church and today form the organizational and financial backbone of many of them.

John Petty

Thanks for the visit, Brian, and thanks for your comments. We were discussing this at our recent theological conference, which is what prompted this post. I was going to respond during the Q&A, but thought what I had to say was probably too windy for a Q&A.

von Gunten

Another thoughtful, insightful post!
I'm back on the front range
And I've been talking
To Jim Gonia about an idea
I have which meets
Spiritual but not Religious.

von Gunten

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