Where did all the people go?

Just noted the recent tallies on voting for 08-b and seeing how badly it was passed this past weekend by the Presbytery of the Cascades. The vote wasn't a surprise; the presbytery is blue across the votes. What did catch my eye was the number of those voting.

I couldn't help but wonder why a loss of 210 voters over 11 years. We have had a number of deaths among retired ministers but have also gained more than a few who want to come to the Pacific Northwest.

Maybe people are just tired of the fight. Some are just too busy being a pastor to their members. Saturday afternoon I ran into one member of Presbytery who didn't attend the meeting at an event for one of his members because being with his member was more important. Sadly, I might assume that some figure if they don't go they're not to blame for what happens.

With a presbytery of some 65,000 square miles the place where the vote is held might be an issue as well. The largest turnouts for meetings take place in the Portland area, which is where most of the people are. This last vote was in Salem, only 45 miles from Portland and the worse turnout yet. Hold one out in Klamath Falls or Brookings, way down south and the attendance falls off a whole bunch.

I don't have any great insight or lessons but just sort of surprised and interested what others thought about such a decline.



  1. As I mentioned on my blog about 60 churches out of 159 or so in Plodding Presbytery didn't send anyone. My speculation was that they are tied of the fight, didn't care one way or the other, or have just left the congregation in place.


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