Tuesday, January 27, 2015

New Stakes Created in Arizona, Utah, and the Philippines; Districts Discontinued in Afghanistan and Argentina

On January 11th, the Church organized a new stake in Arizona. The Mesa Arizona Eastmark Stake was organized from a division of the Mesa Arizona Desert Ridge Stake and the Mesa Arizona Boulder Creek Stake. The new stake includes the following seven wards: the Augusta Ranch 1st, Augusta Ranch 2nd, Bella Via, Eastridge, Hawes, Highland Ridge, and Mesquite Canyon Wards. There are now 98 stakes in Arizona.

On January 18th, the Church organized a new stake in Utah. The Herriman Utah Pioneer Stake was organized from a division of the Herriman Utah West Stake (renamed Herriman Utah Butterfield Canyon Stake). The new stake includes the following eight wards: the Pioneer 1st, Pioneer 2nd, Pioneer 3rd, Pioneer 4th, Pioneer 5th, Pioneer 6th, Pioneer 7th, and Pioneer 8th Wards. There are now 575 stakes and one district in Utah.

On December 14th, a new stake was organized in the Philippines. The Alicia Philippines Stake was organized from the Alicia Philippines District. The new stake includes the following six wards and two branches: the Alicia 1st, Alicia 3rd, Alicia 4th, Echague 1st, Echague 2nd, and Paddad Wards and the Angadanan and Jones Branches. There are now 93 stakes and 79 districts in the Philippines.

In late 2014, the Church discontinued the Kabul Afghanistan Military District. One of the two remaining branches (Bagram) was also discontinued. The Church currently operates only one military branch in Afghanistan in Kabul. The Kabul Afghanistan Military District was originally organized in 2008.

In late 2014, the Church discontinued the Ushuaia Argentina District and consolidated it with the Rio Grade Argentina District (renamed the Tierra del Fuego Argentina District). The Ushuaia Argentina District was originally organized in 2001. Missionaries indicate that the decision to consolidate the districts was to prepare the area for a stake. The realigned district now has seven branches. There are 73 stakes and 31 districts in Argentina.


Mike Johnson said...

Both Argentina districts are in the Argentina Comodoro Rivadavia Mission.

According to LDS Maps, where the consolidation has not yet shown up, we see the following units in each district. The Ushuaia district was the southernmost in Argentina.

Rio Grade Argentina District
Austral Branch
Chacra Branch
Rio Grande Branch

Ushuaia Argentina District
Andino Branch
Monte Olivia Branch
Puerto Williams Branch
Ushuaia Branch

Rick has updated this on LDSChurchTemples.com.

Hopefully, the new consolidated district will grow into a stake at the bottom of the world.

Brooks M. Wilson said...

The discontinued district brings a question to mind. Does anyone know how the downsizing of US military forces in Europe, particularly Germany and Italy, has impacted the number of church units in those counties?

TempleRick said...

A large meetinghouse proposed for the Brisbane region (Cornubia) is an indication of the continued growth there.

Mormon Church big enough to seat 1000 people with an 18m high steeple proposed for Logan suburb

Mike Johnson said...

Rick, thanks. Interesting article.

This would be, I think, in the Brisbane Logan Stake, which has five wards. A stake center, but a big one at that. My guess is the Brisbane Logan Stake doesn't average 1000 people in all their wards on a normal Sunday. 1000 people is a lot for an LDS chapel. Our stake center, with both cultural halls open, can seat maybe 700 for stake conference.

Of course, it might also serve as a regional conference center, but in that case 1000 seats seams small. I can't help wondering if this local councillor isn't exaggerating the impact because he doesn't understand what happens in LDS chapels.

It is interesting how the paper (blogger) contacted the Brisbane Temple 20 miles away to ask questions about this meeting house.

Josh said...

That makes 4 new stake centres either under construction or in the planning stage in the brisbane area: Logan, centenary, coomera and Sunshine Coast. Impressive growth for a secular, western country!

Joseph said...

Article on the Alaska Bush Branch


For Comparison Purposes official statistics for the Epscopal Church for 2009-2013
I first saw the link in this Article


Grant Emery said...

That 1000 people could easily include all of the classrooms, council rooms, and offices. I don't really know much about stake center capacities, but I'll throw that out there as an idea.

James Anderson said...

I've seen stake centers of about 22,000 square feet packed to the gills like that. And they had about that many present.

Mine is 27,000 square feet, and we've handled about that many, and that's one of the 'Heritage' buildings, the plan is not used now as it was replaced by an updated one.

The Church, however, is moving towards smaller buildings in areas where Internet services is reasonably available or where they can get it in in good order, so in some areas we may not see the largest size meetinghouse plans used again unless some circumstance develops wehre they need to build something of that size.

Eduardo Clinch said...

I served and later lived in Angol, Chile, where the Church built an especially large chapel back when it was only a district. You could say it was optimistically looking ahead to filling a large ediface, an act of faith in itself. Even though the branches that attended there barely filled the pews in '91, later when I was there in 2005 it was a stake and I saw it filled for general conference and funerals, and other special social activities like talent shows and dances.
I always remember that after the big Santiago quake of 1985, there were many people attending the following Sunday, there was not enough room to seat them all. And there were already thousands of members in the country, maybe 200,000 back then.Food for thought.

Mike Johnson said...

Church statement on the Rome Temple.


"In recent months, progress on the Rome Italy Temple slowed due to contractor difficulties not related to this project," the statement said. "Those challenges have been addressed and work will soon resume at a normal pace. No dates have been announced for completion. We are grateful that our members have extended their faith and prayers and sought heaven's help in seeing this important project through to completion."

Mike Johnson said...

Grant, 1000 could mean the capacity of all the rooms. Except the councilor stated that 1000 was for worship and 1500 could be accommodated throughout the building. That said, there is likely a misunderstanding going on, where the 1000 for the entire building became 1000 for worship only. Actually, the idea makes a lot of sense.

Mike Johnson said...

Joseph, thanks for the article on the Anchorage Bush Branch. That is very interesting. 36 families, 200 members calling in to Anchorage. I wonder when they will be able to move to Skype or FaceTime.

Matt said...

Some areas in California due to zoning issues, need to build "Double Chapel" Stake Centers where 6 to 8 Wards meet on Sunday.

j said...

I served in Ushuaia and Rio Grande in 1999. At that time they were both part of a Tierra del Fuego district, as well.

John Pack Lambert said...

I know in the 1990s two servicemens stakes in Germany were discontinued, another was merged with the local German district, and the two that remained largely survived due to having large numbers of Nigerian and Ghanaian immigrants/temporary workers as members.

John Pack Lambert said...

I believe we have gotten over 1,000 people into stake conference in my stake center in the chapel, over-flow and cultural hall combined. However our stake center was built in the 1950s on a grand and unique design, although it apparently is somewhat similar to the Oahu Tabernacle.

We have gone to doing a stake conference broadcast to some chapels. It has increased attendance, although I know one person who went because she forgot it was not normal Church, and would not have gone if she had remembered.

While we did fill up pretty much all the seats in the stake center, the bigger problem always was getting enough parking.

I may be wrong on how big the stake center is.

It always seems that people did not utilize the pews to their maximum capacity.

Brooks M. Wilson said...

Thank you John for providing information about the impact of US troop withdrawal on the number of units in Germany. From Matt's database on congregations, I note that the number of stakes has decreased by two since 1987 and the number of districts has increased by two. From the information you provided, I assume that the districts are probably composed of foreign workers.

The task of taking the gospel to the world is daunting. Germany's total fertility rate fell below replacement in 1971 making it harder to find young native Germans to teach, a key demographic group of missionaries.

Missionaries, being missionaries, teach foreign workers. You mentioned Nigerians and Ghanians(?). The official language of those countries is English. Do the missionaries teach in German, English or an African language?

miro said...

@Brook M. Wilson

Concerning the the downssizing of US military forces in Gemany.

There used to be 4 servicemen stakes and now there is one. Addiionaly there is a Military Ward in the Nurnberg and Stutgart stake. So in total 7 Wards and one branch. Nearly all of the members attending this ward a military personal and there families.

The Frankfurt and Munich stake have each an International ward manly composed of american's working abroud and other migrant workers.

The districts are manly composed of german natives. Wheras ward's in the biger cities like Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and Frankfurt have more and more foreign workers. Therea are some active afican members, but I would estimate them at around 200-300. There are more south american members.

Missionaries manly teach africans and that often in english. Most converts are foreigner's.

The district where often split of from stakes to reduce travel time and grothw was not fast enough to split of a stake.

So back to the servicman stakes. After 1990 a lot of them where withdrawn and see this in the statisics. Membership decreased form 39000 to 34000 and is now ca. 25 years later back up to 39000. A lot of wards where closed and others integrated into german stakes. There were propaly more than 20 servicemen wards where now are just 7. I know of 3 serviemen wards that where closed in the last 12 years, but one was also split last year. Propably to keep the number of wards in the Kaiserslauetern Military stake on 5.

I myself are not from germany, but from Switzerland, but i have been to a few differnt german wards and met a lot of at ysa conventions. Also 1 ward and 4 branches of my stake are in germany.

Pascal said...

I agree with Miro. I`m from Germany and served my Mission in Switzerland so I`m a little familiar with the Church in the area. Turns out that foreigners (particularly Africans) reside almost exclusively in the bigger cities where there are large wards, often several of them.

The three districts in Germany are "out in the boonies." Their main reason for existance is that the lack of population and cities in their respective areas has contributed to congregations never being able to reach ward size. All German districts are located in areas of severe demographic decline. For example, some of the branches in the Erfurt and Neubrandenburg Districts have existed for a long time, in some cases for almost a century. Some were quite thriving between the World Wars and especially later under communist rule, but now they rely on full-time Missionaries to function because everyone who could afford it financially has moved away (Nordhausen is such a branch that had 40 to 50 active members during its peak time in the 1980s but now has around 5, and no Priesthood holders).
Additionally, the areas of German districts are uniformly native German and so tend to be the people that the Missionaries are teaching.
The two exceptions in eastern Germany are Erfurt and Jena, with Erfurt being around ward-sized and quite diverse and the Jena Branch being comprised of almost only YSAs from other parts of Germany who are attending Jena`s reknown university. Some have called it Germany`s only YSA branch. However, while attending there is a lot of fun and the Missionaries have no trouble whatsoever finding people around campus who are interested in the Gospel and often get baptized, they will usually move elsewhere for employment after gradutation because the economic prospects of central Germany are not the best, so to say.

For all of the southern half of Germany, official statistics indicate around a 50:50 native-foreign baptism rate. However, in the rare cases of full families getting baptized, it tends to be native German families.