Thursday, May 29, 2008

Changes in Congregations

  • Highlands Ranch Colorado and Littleton Colorado Stakes: two YSA branches combined into one YSA ward
  • BYU-Idaho 8th Stake: 89th (Student Married) Ward created
  • Lehi Utah Jordan River Stake: one ward created from branch (YSA)
  • Lehi Utah South Stake: one ward dissolved
  • South Jordan Utah Daybreak Stake: Daybreak 13th Ward created
  • Tremonton Utah South Stake: Fairview (Spanish) Branch created

Change in wards: +3

Change in branches: -2

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Stakes and Districts in Canada

The yellow squares are stakes, and the green squares are districts. The majority of Canadians in the Church live in Alberta, which has sometimes been nicknamed "Mormon Canada" even though Church members make up less than 3% of the population there. Vancouver and Toronto are other cities which have several stakes within the metropolitan area, but the provinces in which these cities are located (British Columbia and Ontario) have between 0.66% and 0.36% of the population belonging to the Church. Only one in 778 Canadians belong to the Church in Quebec, making this province the least "Mormon" in all of the more populous Canadian provinces. The state with the lowest percentage of Church members in the United States is Rhode Island, with around one in 300 people belonging to the Church. There are also seven temples in Canada, one of which is under construction in British Columbia.

President Hinckley in General Conference a couple years ago expressed concern for the lack of baptisms in Canada. Both Canada and the United States have lately seen declines in the number of converts and hopefully this trend can be reversed. It is a myth that the more secular a country becomes, the less the Church grows. Australia enjoyed over 5% annual growth in 2006 and created a new stake last year as well. There are many opportunities for the Church to work with immigrants in Canada, which can help build up the Church not only in Canada but also in immigrants' countries of origin.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Another New Stake in Texas

In the past couple weeks, another stake was created in Texas. The Kyle Texas Stake was created from stakes in Austin and San Antonio. There are now 52 stakes in Texas. The new stake has seven wards and two branches.

Changes in Congregations

  • American Falls Idaho Stake: one ward dissolved
  • Rupert Idaho Stake: one branch dissolved
  • Duluth Minnesota Stake: Twin Ports Ward created
  • Knoxville Tennessee Stake: Pigeon Forge (Spanish) Branch created
  • Lewisville Texas Stake: two branches dissolved (one Spanish speaking, one Young Single Adult; combined with units in Carrollton Texas Stake)
  • Richmond Virginia Stake: one ward created from branch
  • Bellevue Washington South Stake: one ward dissolved
  • Kennewick Washington East Stake: one ward dissolved
  • Othello Washington Stake: Warden 2nd (Spanish) Branch created

New wards created: -1

New branches created: -2

Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Church in Alabama

Church growth has been steady in this Southern state, most of which occurs around Huntsville. It is likely a stake in Madison will be created in the next year or two, considering the stake has 13 wards and is planning on creating new congregations in this city (which already has three). The rest of the state has seen little growth in the past five years.
Again, the green squares are branches and the yellow squares are wards.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Decline in California Membership and Congregations

For the past three or four years, the number of members and congregations in California has declined. Membership was over 770,000 back at the end 0f 2003 and as of the end of 2006 about 750,000. Members are moving away from California to other parts of the country and not being replaced by others moving in. The population of California increases every year, so this is a phenomenon the Church is experiencing in California as opposed to the entire population. The total number of wards was 1,200 for California at the end of 2003 along with 146 branches. At the end of 2006, there were 1,206 wards and 176 branches. So while the number of members declined 20,000, the number of units actually increased!

However, many congregations have been combined in the past year. In the past couple months alone, 10 wards (large congregations) have been closed. Around four or so new wards were created in the same amount of time. Last year, three stakes in California were dissolved. The two areas where most of the members are moving away from are Riverside and Sacramento. The 17 missions in California continue to baptize converts. It can make things seem unsettling though to see membership decline every year for the past three years with this many missionaries in the state. As for why so many members are moving away from the state, I am not sure. It could be from crime, cost of living, or any number of factors.

Lastly, I wanted to say that this is not the first time this happened in California. The same decline in membership and congregations occurred in the 90s when around seven stakes were dissolved. Membership rebounded in the late 90s, along with congregations and new stakes were organized.

New Stakes in Nevada and Texas

In the past couple weeks, a new stake has been created in the Las Vegas area. The Henderson Nevada Eldorado stake was organized from a couple of the stakes in Henderson. This stake has seven wards in it I believe. Also, last Sunday several of the stakes in the Dallas area were realigned and the Frisco Texas Stake was created. The new stake has nine wards in it. This is the second stake created in Texas this year, and the second in the Dallas area in the past year.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Congregation Changes in the United States

  • Elk Grove California Stake: one ward dissolved
  • Granada Hills California Stake: one ward dissolved
  • Jurupa California Stake: three wards dissolved, one branch created
  • Sacramento California: two wards dissolved
  • Athens Georgia Stake: Madison Branch created

New Wards created: -7

New Branches created: +2

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Changes in Congregations in the US

  • Anchorage Alaska Chugach Stake: Artic Valley Ward created
  • Gilbert Arizona Stake: one ward dissolved
  • Phoenix Arizona West Maricopa Stake: one ward created
  • Tucson Arizona East Stake: one ward created
  • Columbia Missouri Stake: one ward created from branch
  • Platte City Missouri Stake: Parkville Ward created
  • Arlington Texas Stake: one ward created
  • McAllen Texas Stake: one branch dissolved in Pharr
  • Santaquin Utah North Stake: one branch created (either YSA or Spanish speaking)
  • Saratoga Springs Utah Stake: Saratoga Springs 8th (YSA) Ward Created
  • Laramie Wyoming Stake: one ward dissolved (Student Single)

New wards created: +6

New branches created: -1