What numbers are we talking about?

As Indiana Yearly Meeting moves toward a formal division, our focus needs to be on the new group which is emerging, not on apportioning blame for the problems of the past.

Just how big is this new group, and what kind of things can we do together? From informal conversations and postings, it looks as if there will initially about be 10 or a dozen meetings in the new group.

Please note that joining or not joining the group is a decision of monthly meetings for business. The discussion here, or elsewhere on the net, does not take the place of the decisions which are made by individual monthly meetings. Please do not be offended if your meeting’s name appears here (or does not appear).

Meeting Members Worship

(Members + Attendance)/2

Dublin 10 22 16
First Friends Richmond 118 91 104
Friends of the Light 48 30 39
Muncie Memorial 103 67 85
New Castle First Friends 101 82 91
Raysville 28 20 24
Salem 14 24 19
West Elkton 22 18 20
West Richmond 91 65 78
Williamsburg 23 15 19
TOTAL 558 434 517

It looks as if the new group might start out with roughly 558 members. That’s a lot of good Quakers! All of us live and worship within 60-90 minutes of each other – a compact group.

Perhaps more important, our meetings have a very high ratio of membership to actual attendance at worship. If you compare our membership with our average attendance at worship, it varies from one meeting to another but it’s pretty strong – in some cases, there are actually more people worshiping on Sunday than there are members of the meeting!

Nationwide, most Protestant churches figure they’re doing pretty well if 1/3 of their members turn up on an average Sunday. Overall, it averages out to 77% – more than twice the national average. In my thinking, that kind of loyalty and interest far outweighs our numbers.

And as we look toward the future, let’s be looking for ways we can grow. Perhaps the conflicts and tensions which have been grinding away at Indiana Friends’ energy and enthusiasm for years can be laid aside, and we can find new avenues for growth.


1 Response to “What numbers are we talking about?”

  1. 1 Palma Richardson December 13, 2012 at 9:12 am

    Friends of the Light are certainly more than 60 to 90 minutes from any of you!!

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All of the posts on this blog are my own personal opinion. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the members and attenders of the meeting where I belong or any organization of Friends. For more information, click on the "About Me" tab above.



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