Note: The following is based on a sermon given February 24, 2008, at Capilano United Church, North Vancouver, BC; the day of the congregation's Annual Meeting.
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Every year for the past 40 years, the United Church of Canada has reported membership declines of 1 or 2% per year. Taken one year at a time, a change of 1 or 2% is not a crisis. But 40 years of year after year declines become a long emergency. (See Footnote 1.)
75% of Members Leave Last Year! (Just Imagine)
Imagine what we would be talking about today at our meeting if - instead of reporting a loss by death of two faithful members this past year, bringing our total membership to 60 - we were reporting 40 years of change in a single year - a decline from 245 in 1965 to the present 60! That would be an immediate emergency.