Methodist giving dropped as membership declined

But number of churchgoers up
U.S. membership in the United Methodist Church fell to 7.77 million in 2008—its biggest one-year percentage drop (1.01 percent) since 1974.

Giving was down as well in that first year of the recession as the largest mainline denomination received only 89 percent, or $126.3 million, of what was budgeted for domestic and foreign missions. Average worship attendance was down 1.83 percent for that year, officials told the United Methodist News Service.

Though figures are not yet tallied for 2009, “church leaders are reporting that ministry happened on tighter budgets,” said Moses Kumar, top executive of the United Methodist General Council on Finance and Administration.


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