Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Miller Eccles Study Group Presentation - April 11th and 12th, 2014

For those of you interested and living in southern California, David Stewart and I will be giving a presentation on LDS Church growth for the Miller Eccles Study Group during the weekend of April 11th and 12th. The presentation on April 11th will occur in Villa Park whereas the presentation on April 12th will occur in Flintridge. Click here for more information.


Brandon Plewe said...

Have fun guys! I spoke there this past weekend, and they are a great group. I put in a plug for you.

Matthias said...

A third family ward will be created this coming Sunday in Juneau, AK.

Mike Johnson said...

Great news from both California and Alaska.

I get a podcast almost every month of the Miller Eccles Group of Orange County. I recently received the podcast of the February presentation by Philip Barlow and am partly through listening to it. I very much look forward to listening to the March and April presentations when they are pushed to me.

Also, Matt and David, it is finally good to see your pictures.

Mike Johnson said...

I mapped out the Juneau Alaska Stake (well all the stakes in Alaska) about a year ago. Using the number of congregations and adherents from ARDA for the end of 2010 and matching with the units in the stake, I get the following.

Note, the Juneau Alaska Stake also has a branch in the Yukon Territory, Canada, not included in the ARDA data. ARDA data is by county--in Alaska's case by county equivalent as defined by the census bureau. The stake covers 10 county equivalents.

Juneau City and Borough
4 congregations, 1711 adherents

Stake Center south of Juneau
Juneau 2nd Ward
Juneau 3rd Ward
Juneau 1st Branch (YSA)

North of Juneau: Tongass Branch

Ketchikan Gateway Borough
1 congregation, 731 adherents
Ketchikan Ward

Sitka City and Borough
1 congregation, 344 adherents
Sitka Ward

Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area
1 congregation, 174 adherents
Craig Branch

Wrangell City and Borough
1 congregation, 110 adherents
Wrangell Branch

Petersburg Census Area
1 congregations, 110 adherents
Petersburg Branch

Haines Borough
1 congregations, 81 adherents
Haines Branch

Hoonah-Angoon Census Area
1 congregations, 78 adherents
Gustavus Branch

Skagway Municipality
1 congregations, 77 adherents
Skagway Branch

Yakutat City and Borough
1 congregations, 57 adherents
Yakutat Branch

This is the only example in the US, where an LDS stake and a Catholic diocese are close to being mirrors of each other. The Juneau Diocese has 11 parishes, 2 in Juneau City and Borough, with their cathedral south of Juneau not far from the LDS stake center and another north of Juneau not far from the Tongass branch, with the 2 parishes totaling 1900 adherents according to ARDA.

There is one parish in each of the other 9 "county equivalents" Sometimes the Catholic adherents are higher than the corresponding LDS unit and sometimes lower. I was surprised at the number of times I found on google maps that the respective church buildings within a block of each other.

The LDS congregations in Alaska totaled 3473 adherents, while the Catholic diocese totaled 4605. Wikipedia and other online sources mention 7000 or 11,000 in the diocese, but what the parishes reported for the end of 2010 came to 4605. In some of the county equivalents there are also missions mentioned in addition to the parishes, but missions are small congregations dependent on the parish.

Now, I suspect there is a lot of double counting going on, with individuals counted in both the LDS and the Catholic congregation. After all, I know several people in my ward, active members, who claim the local Catholic parish also has them on their records and I suspect it goes the other way as well.

The Church often states that a stake is the counterpart of a diocese. This is the closest example I have found in the US, at least in terms of comparing an LDS stake with a Catholic diocese.

Mike Johnson said...

The Eagle Mountain Utah Cedar Pass Stake was created on 16 March. There are 7 wards in the stake:

Cedar Pass 1st Ward
Cedar Pass 2nd Ward
Cedar Pass 10th Ward
Highlands 1st Ward
Kennekuk Ward
Sage Valley Ward
Willow Springs Ward

The Dupax del Sur Branch, Bambang Philippines District, Philippines Cauayan Mission, was created on 16 March. There are now 6 branches in the district:

Almaguer Branch
Aritao Branch
Bambang 1st Branch
Bambang 2nd Branch
Dupax del Norte Branch
Dupax del Sur Branch

The LAC Branch, San Pedro Cote d'Ivoire District, Cote d'Ivoire Abidjan Mission, was created on 16 March. There are now 4 branches in the district:

LAC Branch
San Pedro Branch
Seweke 1st Branch
Seweke 2nd Branch

San Pedro Cote d'Ivoire District is also new.

The Taitung 3rd Branch, Hua Lien Taiwan District, Taiwan Taipei Mission, was created on 16 March. There are now 6 branches in the district:

Hua Lien 1st Branch
Hua Lien 2nd Branch
Taitung 1st Branch
Taitung 2nd Branch
Taitung 3rd Branch
Yu Li Branch

Mike Johnson said...

The San Tan Valley Arizona Stake is showing up as pending. It was probably created on 16 March. There are 6 wards currently showing up in the stake:

Bella Vista Ward
Copper Basin Ward
Desert Hills Ward
Florence 1st Ward
Florence 2nd Ward
Johnson Ranch Ward

Mike Johnson said...

The Panasang Pohnpei Stake is also showing up as pending. Stake president was called on 16 March 2014. All 8 units are still listed as branches.

Ryan Searcy said...

Excellent news on a new ward in Juneau. I watch for new wards and branches in Alaska and Southern California (CA-Ventura Mission) closely. This will probably necessitate a new chapel in Juneau since the stake center already has 2 wards and a YSA branch meeting there. Not to mention the Tongass Branch.

John said...

You have to consider that Tongass Branch is basically a "by phone" branch, covering the whole peninsula for those who are too far from any one meetinghouse, and as such would cover parts of several census areas. (Anchorage Bush Branch does this on a larger scale.)

John said...

I meant panhandle.

TempleRick said...

Fascinating. Someone contacted me the other day looking for the Church in Prudhoe Bay-Deadhorse, Alaska. I found it was part of the North Slope Branch, which is headquartered in Barrow—a 40-minute flight from Prudhoe Bay-Deadhorse. I wondered how a branch that covers such a vast area (the northern third of Alaska) with so few roads could function. Face Time anyone?

Ryan Searcy said...

The Tongass Branch covers all areas of the Juneau Stake not in a ward or branch. There are just over 2000 people inside its boundaries.

The North Slope Branch covers all of the North Slope Borough. Considering the Dalton Highway (connecting Prudhoe Bay to Fairbanks) is gravel, it is probably faster to fly to Barrow.

It looks like the Ketchikan Ward has enough to split also, and the Craig Branch has enough to become a ward (not sure how active the congregations are)

Mike Johnson said...

Thanks John and Ryan for your insight. I looked on google maps for the Tongass branch building and could not find it at the address given. The phone in branch answers a lot of questions.

Mike Johnson said...

The Allen Town Branch, Kissy Sierra Leone District, Sierra Leone Freetown Mission, was created on 10 February. There are now 6 branches in the district:

Allen Town Branch
Kissy 1st Branch
Kissy 2nd Branch
Thunderhill Branch
Wellington 1st Branch
Wellington 2nd Branch

The Meagui 2nd and Soubre branches, Cote d'Ivoire Abidjan Mission, were created on 16 March. There are now 12 independent branches in the mission:

Aboisso Branch
Adzope Branch
Babre Branch
Cote d'Ivoire Abidjan Mission Branch
Divo Branch
Garahio Branch
Konankro Branch
Meagui 1st Branch
Meagui 2nd Branch
Ouragahio Branch
Plateau Branch
Soubre Branch
San Pedro Cote d'Ivoire District
Yamoussoukro Cote d'Ivoire District

Fogo is still showing as a district.

Note, the stake in the Caroline Islands is the Panasang Pohnpei Stake. The term "Caroline Islands" is a group of islands covering all four of the states in the Federated States of Micronesia, as well as the independent Republic of Palau. It is not a political entity. Pohnpei is the name of the State which contains the new stake.

Ryan Searcy said...

The Tongass Branch meets (I guess) at the Branch President's House in Juneau

Mike Johnson said...

The other branch in Alaska I had trouble finding is the Tamarack Branch in the Fairbanks Alaska Stake.

No address is given for the branch location. The branch president lives in Fairbanks. His two counselors live in Nenana in Denali. The branch clerk lives in Anderson in the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area.

I now wonder if this branch is also a phone in branch. I had wondered if the branch had a number of groups that it administered. But, phone in perhaps fits the scenario better.

The Opinion said...

Here is a review of the church in the Philipines by the Area Presidency. http://lds.org.ph/bc/content/Philippines/Dateline%20Philippines/2014/Dateline%20February%202014%20English.pdf
A lot of work to do until it is where it needs to be.

Iris and Craig said...

@The Opinion-thanks for that link. Interesting stuff.

Ryan Searcy said...

The Tamarack Branch is in Nenana and covers Nenana, Anderson, and other small towns. They are meeting in a building in the middle of town and do not have their own chapel. There are just under 800 people in the branch boundaries.

Ryan Searcy said...

On LDS maps, the location is 2nd & A St in Nenana.

Deivisas said...

LDS Church News is reporting that there are now some 4.5 million members in South America while the Mormon Newsroom is reporting 3.6 million members there at the end of 2012:

South America
Total Church Membership | 3,651,658
Missions | 75
Congregations | 5,606
Temples | 15
Family History Centers | 828
Worldwide Statistics
Total Church Membership | 15,000,000
Missions | 405
Missionaries | 80,000
Missionary Training Centers | 15
Temples | 142
Congregations | 29,014
Universities & Colleges | 4
Seminary Students Enrollment | 391,680
Institute Student Enrollment | 352,488
Family History Centers | 4,689
Countries with Family History Centers | 128
Countries Receiving Humanitarian Aid (Since 1985) | 179
Welfare Services Missionaries (Incl. Humanitarian Service Missionaries) | 10,138
Published Languages | 177

The ongoing fulfillment of Elder Melvin J. Ballard’s prophecy remains one of the miracles of the restored Church. Today there are some 4.5 million members living in South America. Fourteen temples operate on all ends of the continent — from Caracas to Buenos Aires — and several more are being built.

Not sure if this is due to a difference in the ruler, or an actual record breaking surge in growth.

Michael Worley said...

As an absolute nobody, let me guess:

2013 was a transition year, and 2014 will be a stronger evidence of the surge.

James Anderson said...

2013 was the year of the missionary.

2014 is going to be the year of family history. There's a lot happening, here's just some of what is going on.

Indexing: Goal is to index 100 million primarily US obituaries, every name index including survivors, other important perons, and even the minister who ran the service. Get more indexers involved as well.

Filming: Increase the number of camera crews from 250 to 500. We've never gone really above 260-270 in the last 30 years or so.

Family Tree: 1/4 of the people being added to Family Tree are being input by those who are not members, it's open to everyone now. All users are now being encouraged to start working down from Ancestors, especially those members who think it is all 'done' (a typical comment from those on the Wasatch Front), and estimates are that each person if they were to have 10 generations go out and include all ancetors, and each ancestor on that 10 generations were to have an average of four children, that would be from 8 to 16 million descendants. Practically, though, it's going to end up at around half a million per user. Two tools have been developed to do this, puzzilla,org and a 'search records' to the right of your ancestor on the person page in Family Tree for him or her, and it will help with descendancy research as well as proving vital information.

And it's only beginning from what I hear.

James Anderson said...

Some of the other things that are happening, and this one is very big and was talked about at RootsTech, a massive genealogy conference sponsored by FamilySearch, and it's going to be very significant.

Beginning in as early as mid-April, we are all as members going to receuve in-home access to four major family history websites. They are Ancestry, FindMyPast, MyHeritage, and the New England Historical and Genealogical Society sites, we will likely log in using our LDS Accounts. The NEHGS agreement came only a few weeks ago, so it will lag behind the others, although the first three will come rather quickly in succession

This will give members access to about four times the amount of data that is just on FamilySearch alone. In turn, indexed data from FamilySearch will show up on the other sites,

An independent third-party company, BillionGraves, at billiongraves.com , is working with FamilySearch, Ancestry, and MyHeritage, sharing the index of records users of the BilloinGraves smartphone app use to shoot photos of headstones at any cemetery or graveyard. Right now it's all primarily US centered but MyHeritage is rallying their community to do the same for any other part of the world.

One of the first places photographed was in part a war cemetery in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. What is interesting is there were both British Commonwealth and German war dead from World War I buried in there.

If you read this from another country, you can go and photograph cemeteries within reach of your location, and upload them from the app. Your device needs GPS and a camera, and you;re set (registration is free and simple).

Joseph said...

About 2/3 of the presentations from the Church Hystory Symposium Are up on the RSC you tube chanel. They are indexed at the symposium agenda page. http://rsc.byu.edu/symposia/churchhistory/2014

Matt said...

Is there a facebook event page for your Orange County (Villa Park) Presentations? There might be local SoCal members who would like to attend.

Matt said...

BTW, Logan 18th Ward a "Midsingles" Ward (31-45) split to form Logan SA 1st Ward and Logan SA 2nd Ward. The new Logan SA 2nd Ward starts this Sunday.

Recently, it has been announced, they have identified over 10,000 Midsingles (singles 31-45) in Utah County, and will create several new Midsingles Wards in Utah County starting in June.

Matthias said...


The new chapel in Juneau is already near completion.

Ryan Searcy said...

Matthias, do you have an address (I have all of Alaska mapped out)?

I wonder if the new ward would be called Juneau 1st or Juneau 4th (since the Juneau 1st (YSA) Branch was renamed to Juneau YSA Branch)

Matthias said...


I don't have an address; it's on the stretch of Glacier Hwy between the Mendenhall Valley and Auke Lake.

I've seen it mentioned on here that the stake center is "south of Juneau." That's not correct. It's in the Lemon Creek area of Juneau south of the Mendenhall Valley, but north of downtown Juneau and Douglas Island, all of which is part of Juneau, which is pretty spread out in various nodes due to minimal building space between the mountains and the water. You probably need to zoom out more to see it all.

Mike Johnson said...

The Joinville Brazil South Stake was created on 16 March. There are 5 wards and 1 branch in the stake:

Fátima Ward
Itaum Ward
Itinga Ward
Jaraguá do Sul Ward
Vila Nova Ward
São Francisco do Sul Branch

The Camiling 6th Branch, Camiling Philippines East District, Philippines Angeles Mission, was created on 16 March. There are now 5 branches in the district:

Camiling 2nd Branch
Camiling 3rd Branch
Camiling 5th Branch
Camiling 6th Branch
Pindangan Branch

Mike Johnson said...

Matthias, thanks for the correction. I shouldn't have tried to post based on memory without checking it out again.

Mike Johnson said...

>>>"it's on the stretch of Glacier Hwy between the Mendenhall Valley and Auke Lake."

Thanks. That stretch of highway is inside the Juneau 2nd Ward. Well my though of the Tongass branch being close to the Catholic St. Paul the Apostle Church was shot down by the nature of that branch. But, even if the new chapel is at the far end of the highway near Auke Lake, it would only be 2.2 miles from the Catholic church. So, the idea of each having a meetinghouse north of the airport (which I now realize what I had thought about when I mapped it out--north and south of the airport) looks to be on track.

I wonder, how is internet service in Alaska. Instead of calling in, what about video teleconferencing via skype or something. Chances are, I am asking way too much.

Mike Johnson said...

According to http://juneauempire.com/neighbors/2013-05-05/church-jesus-christ-latter-day-saints-breaks-ground-second-building#.Uyzq67xdBmQ

the Church broke ground on the new Juneau meetinghouse on 27 April 2013. It states it is on the west of the highway just south of Wilma Avenue.

Brandon Plewe said...

Wait, SA wards are back? Wasn't it only 7-8 years ago that the Church eliminated all of them? When I was speaking at Miller Eccles last week (by the way, @Matt, it is millereccles.org and I believe attendance is open but they do ask for a $10 donation to pay for the speakers travel), we had a good discussion of the cyclical history of specialized units in the Church, and the difficulty the Church can't seem to shake of how to integrate members in different situations (language, ethnicity, marital status).

Ed Clinch said...

Maybe my memory doesn't serve correctly but I thought I saw someone post a small list of still extant Single Adult wards/branches. Maybe only 7/8.
It is really interesting to see the comments about the makeup of Alaska. As the only state I have never visited, it is definitely part of my imagination but it becomes more real through understanding where the people are. I have an old high school friend (I think near Anchorage) that I encouraged to go to church, but so far to no avail. He came once to my LDS ward house in Indiana.
Maybe someone else will find him? Last name "Church", appropriately enough.

Mike Johnson said...

There are 14 Single Adult Wards. They are in California, northern and southern Utah, and 3 east of the Mississippi.

This past summer, they were defined as being for those age 31-45. Note, the Potomac Ward in Virginia has been around for quite a while and until recently advertised on a web page that they were for those 31-55. But, recently changed that to 31-45, much to the chagrin of a newly divorced friend of mine.

East Bay Ward (Single Adult), Oakland California Stake; also covers the Danville Californiaand Walnut Creek California stakes

Heritage Park Ward (Single Adult), Irvine California Stake; also covers the Newport Beach California and Orange California stakes

Pacific Beach Ward (Single Adult), San Diego California North Stake; also covers the Carlsbad California, Del Mar California, El Cajon California, Escondido California, and San Diego California stakes

Glendale 9th Branch (Single Adult), La Crescenta California Stake; also covers the North Hollywood California and the Pasadena California stakes

Monument Park 19th Ward (Single Adult), Salt Lake Monument Park Stake

Oak Hills 8th Ward (Single Adult), Provo Utah Oak Hills Stake; also covers the Orem Utah Canyon View Stake

Parleys 7th Ward (Single Adult), Salt Lake Parleys Stake

Union Fort 9th Branch (Single Adult), Midvale Utah Union Fort Stake

Sunset 12th Ward (Single Adult), St George Utah Sunset Stake; also covers the Enterprise Utah, Ivins Utah, Santa Clara Utah Heights, Santa Clara Utah, St George Utah Green Valley, St George Utah Green Valley, St George Utah North, St George Utah Red Cliffs, and St George Utah Snow Canyon stakes

Washington Parkway Ward (Single Adult), Washington Utah East Stake; also covers the Hurricane Utah, Hurricane Utah West, La Verkin Utah, St George Utah Washington Fields, Washington Utah Buena Vista, and Washington Utah Stake

Bloomington Hills 7th Ward (Single Adult), St George Utah Bloomington Hills Stake; also covers the Bloomington Utah, St George Utah Boulder Ridge, St George Utah East, St George Utah Little Valley, St George Utah Morningside, and St George Utah Pine View stakes

Potomac Ward (Single Adult), Mount Vernon Virginia Stake

Charles River Ward (Single Adult), Cambridge Massachusetts Stake; also covers the Boston Massachusetts Stake

Lake Ontario Ward (Single Adult), Brampton Ontario Stake; also covers the Barrie Ontario, Hamilton Ontario, Kitchener Ontario, Oshawa Ontario, Toronto Ontario stakes

Matt said...

In addition to traditional Midsingles Wards for singles only 31-45, there are also Midsingles Magnet Wards too, where all Midsingles (and kids) in the same stake, can attend the same existing family ward together (with the rest of the families that live in the actual ward boundaries). See the Midsingles Blog for the list of all Midsingles Wards.. http://midsingles.wordpress.com/midsingles-wards-list

James Anderson said...

That Parley's 7th Ward is a monster.

I've been in the building practicing for a big interfaith music concert featuring some interesting black gospel music, and it's in a huge meetinghouse on 9th East just past the Walgreens north of 21st South. It's so large it has an upper level with a very large chapel, and a lower chapel as well, not just your average Primary room.

The unit reportedly has 700 members at present based on what I have heard while in there.

There will be an article in the Deseret News on 23 March about the event that I was rehearsing for there, it will be next week, we practice at the actual event venue this next week.

Mike Johnson said...

I listed the 14 wards and branches with "(Single Adult)" in the name.

Reading Matt's comment about the Logan SA wards, I searched on all units listed as "Single Adult" and found 16, including 13 of the above and the following:

Cedar City SA Ward, Cedar City Utah West Stake; also covers the Cedar City Utah Canyon View, Cedar City Utah Cross Hollow, Cedar City Utah North, Cedar City Utah, Enoch Utah, Enoch Utah West, and Parowan Utah stakes.

Logan SA 1st Ward, Logan Utah South Stake; also covers the Benson Utah, Franklin Idaho, Hyde Park Utah, Logan Utah Cache, Logan Utah Cache West, Logan Utah Central, Logan Utah East, North Logan Utah Green Canyon, North Logan Utah, Preston Idaho North, Preston Idaho South, Richmond Utah, Smithfield Utah North, Smithfield Utah South, and Smithfield Utah stakes.

Logan SA 2nd Ward, Logan Utah South Stake; also covers the Hyrum Utah North, Hyrum Utah, Logan Utah Mount Logan, Logan Utah, Mendon Utah, Providence Utah South, Providence Utah, River Heights Utah, and Wellsville Utah stakes.

Note, the Single Adult Ward in Ontario, Canada did not show up under this search.

John Pack Lambert said...

I am not sure "family ward" is a good name for such units. There are many singles, especially over 30, in such units. I think "non-language specific geographical ward" is a better term.

John Pack Lambert said...

Juneau is also one of the smallest dioceses in the US. I actually discorage people from doing the Stake/diocese equivalency stat. There are Catholic parishes that have higher memberships than most stakes.

For example, the Detroit Archdiocese per ARDA has 907,000 Catholics. The area corresponds to almost 3 stakes. However, looking at the ARDA data, I have a strong sense that the alignment of wards to county lines is not close enough to make the data very useful.

John Pack Lambert said...

The counties of the Detroit Archdiocese have 13,194 Latter-day Saints per ARDA, but knowing how wards are actually set up, I would guess that at overall 500 or a little more Latter-day Saints who lived in the 6 counties involved were in wards based in other counties.

John Pack Lambert said...

On my mission in Las Vegas I was in 3 areas where when I got there 4 wards (well one case 3 wards and the Spanish branch, which is now a ward, but I digress) were meeting in the same building. 2 cases they got a new building, and in the third wards got moved around partially as a result of eliminating a lot of inner city wards. So having4 wards in one building is doable.

John Pack Lambert said...

Possibly the two figures for South America above may be so different because one includes Central America and Mexico, while the other does not.

Mike Johnson said...

James, as I am sure you know, the building at 2005 S, 9th East is the Granite Stake Tabernacle. As I understand it, the subsequently added a second chapel in the complex to accommodate a ward.

Mike Johnson said...

John, a lot of good points. Thanks for posting.

Juneau is the smallest Catholic diocese in the US. There is an eastern rite equivalent about the same size, but all other Latin rite dioceses are larger, most substantially larger.

There isn't a good comparison between the organization of the LDS and Catholic churches (or for that matter other major denominations). We tend to do things a lot differently.

But, a stake isn't like a Catholic deanery either which Wikipedia uses to compare LDS stakes. A deanery is 10 or so parishes, with one of the pastors being the dean. Every Catholic I have talked with didn't know what a deanery is--it is not a level of church organization that seems very meaningful to Catholics. An LDS stake typically has about as many positions to fill as a typical ward--more than 100. Most members with some activity know what a stake is and interact with stake leaders. We had ward conference today and thus a lot of stake leaders meeting with us.

Joseph said...

I think the reason diocese is often used to explain the ward stake relationship is not side but structure. In both cases there are geographically located congregations under the eclisiastical authority of a higher level priest who can preside/officiate at services but mostly administers the larger area.

Joseph said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Pack Lambert said...

Actually, there are Catholic units, I think called deaneries, that are subunits of dioceses that are more like stakes in size.

Also, stakes do a lot more things directly than dioceses. There are not diocese conferences like we have stake conferences.

Someone here once suggested that in some ways a stake is like a mega-church. This is a problematic analogy in many ways, but stakes are much more a unit where people can feel connected across the whole thing than are dioceses.

Looking over more ARDA data, Summit county Utah (the main city there is Park City) has one Catholic congregation with over 5,000 members. This is roughly the size of many stakes.

John Pack Lambert said...

One think I have noticed from looking at ARDA is that there are a lot fewer places where the LDS church has extremely small congregations than other churches.

I can see the plus to geographically large wards which give people the fellowship of the saints. Almost the entire US is covered by stakes, and there are wards stretching even into very rural areas in the eastern US.

Still, part of me wonders if it might be time for more branches to be created to better outreach nsome areas. This seems to be beginning in Tennessee, and maybe a few other places. It s a tough balance, but I think there is room for growth.

Matthias said...

Just by way of update, a new ward was created in Juneau yesterday, the Auke Bay Ward. The Juneau 3rd Ward was renamed Mt. Juneau Ward, and the Juneau 2nd Ward was renamed the Nugget Falls Ward. The Juneau 1st Branch was renamed the Juneau YSA Branch.

I think I've got all that right.

Mike Johnson said...

John, I already addressed deaneries yesterday.

To be more precise, it depends on the diocese, meaning that Catholic bishops have two options under canon law with which organize the parishes in their diocese. Officially, these options are vicariates episcopal and vicariates forane. The later, when used, are often called deaneries.

The vicariate episcopal, is a full time priest (or auxiliary bishop) responsible for a subset of the parishes. The vicariate forane (or deanery) is the pastor of one of the parishes, who spends a small part of his time coordinating with the other parishes. Historical the term "dean" meant the leader of ten.

My bishop is the chairman of the stake bishops welfare council and as such acts in a manner somewhat similar to that of a dean or vicar forane in the Catholic hierarchy when that level is implemented. If a stake only had the chairman of the stake bishops welfare council as the only calling at the stake level, than I would agree that a deanery would be like a stake. And to the extent that a deanery has give or take 10 parishes, sizewise it is equivalent.

There are dioceses like Juneau and several others that don't use either of these levels. There are dioceses that use vicariates forane only and dioceses that use vicariate episcopal only. Some very large archdioceses use both levels, with the archdiocese dividing itself into vicariates episcopal, which in turn are divided into deaneries.

Each level is still one individual and activities don't typically occur at either level. Most Catholics know their parish and their diocese and I have had strange looks when I have mentioned deaneries to them.

In some ways, stakes function somewhat like "large churches" or even "megachurches" giving us the opportunity to experience being in "medium-sized" or "small church" at the same time we experience life similar to a small megachurch or a very large church.

A majority of megachurches (2000 or more average attendance each weekend in worship services) are multi-site to accommodate all their members.

James Anderson said...

An average stake with a size of 2500 members can expect to only have just over 1000 at stake conference.

Not sure how YSA stakes stack up but I went to a Saturday night session just last weekend that filled the chapel, the overflow, and maybe at most 2/3 of the cultural hall, was the building just southwest of the Frontrunner station in Orem, maybe 500 or so in attendance.

Mike Johnson said...

Currently, stakes require 3000 members to be organized, up recently from 2500. That is in the United States and Canada. In the United States, the average membership per stake is about 4200. (December 2012 membership in the US from the LDS statistics page, divided by 1513 stakes in the US per CDOL. The average is probably higher because there were less than 1500 stakes for the timeframe of the membership data).

YSA stakes don't have the membership requirement and usually have fewer members than non-YSA stakes. But, YSA stakes need at least five wards like other stakes.

YSA wards require 125 active members and 15 active full-tithe-paying MP holders to form. YSA branches in stakes require 50 active members and 4-6 active full-tithe-paying MP holders.

We had about 1650 in our stake a little over a week ago in the Sunday session of Stake Conference and about 600 in the Saturday night session.

The 13 wards and 2 branches total about 2400 in Sacrament Meeting on a typical Sunday. The disparity between Sacrament Meeting attendance and stake conference attendance has the stake presidency concerned. I think it has to do with several factors, namely (1) a lot less room, considering 5 buildings have two wards and a 6th has three it, (2) we use 4 of 7 buildings for conference, (3) some have to travel further to get to another building, and (4) there have been audio visual issues broadcasting to other buildings.

John Pack Lambert said...

I don't know what the numbers are, but I do know that when my stake moved from just having stake conference at the stake center to also web-casting it to 4 additional buildings, attendance increased significantly at stake conference. We were pretty close to filling up the stake center just with the 4 wards and YSA branch assigned to go there. There were 6 wards and a branch at other locations.