Sunday, May 22, 2011

Eight New YSA Stakes Organized in Utah; Three Stakes Discontinued in Utah and One Stake Discontinued in California

Eight new YSA stakes in Utah

The LDS Church organized eight new YSA stakes on May 1st in the Salt Lake area in an effort to simplify organizational administration for young single adults in the region.  New stakes are headquartered in Bountiful, Draper, Layton, Murray, Sandy, Syracuse, Taylorsville, and West Jordan.  Many of the congregations which now pertain to these stakes were assigned to ordinary "family" stakes in the region and as many as three dozen wards and branches were consolidated.  At present, none of the eight new stakes have any YSA branches as a result of the reorganization and restructuring of congregations.  The number of YSA wards in the eight new stakes varies from as few as seven to as many as twelve. 

Three stakes discontinued in Utah

Three stakes were discontinued in Utah.  Originally organized in 1981, the Blanding Utah West Stake included only four wards and three branches and was consolidated with the Blanding Utah Stake (organized in 1978), which had five wards and two branches.  There are now nine wards and five branches in the Blanding Utah Stake.

Organized in 1978, the Salt Lake Mount Olympus North Stake had five wards and was discontinued and consolidated with the Salt Lake Mount Olympus Stake which also had five wards.  There were six wards in the Salt Lake Mount Olympus Stake until the YSA ward was placed under a YSA stake recently.  The number of LDS congregations in both stakes was unchanged from as early as 2004.  There are now ten wards in the Salt Lake Mount Olympus Stake. 

Organized in 1965, the Taylorsville Utah West Stake had five wards and was discontinued and consolidated with the Taylorsville Utah North Central and the Taylorsville Utah South Stakes.  There were six wards in the former Taylorsville Utah West Stake between 2004 and 2007 until one ward was discontinued in 2007.  The recent creation of the Taylorsville Utah YSA Stake removed a YSA ward part of the stake, resulting in the Taylorsville Utah West Stake possessing only four wards.   

Despite the LDS Church in Utah operating 555 stakes and experiencing significant population shifts from Salt Lake City to other areas, only eight stakes were discontinued in the past decade whereas approximately 80 were created.  Stakes discontinued in the past decade include the Kearns Utah North [2002], Salt Lake Eagle Gate [2003], Ogden Utah Canyon View [2004], Ogden Utah Mount Ogden [2004], Salt Lake University 4th [2004], Blanding Utah West [2011], Salt Lake Mount Olympus North [2011], and Taylorsville Utah West [2011].  Congregational growth has been stagnant in the Salt Lake stakes and in many surrounding communities and few wards and branches have been organized or discontinued.  Only a handful of additional stakes appear likely to consolidate in the coming years in Salt Lake unless additional congregations are consolidated.  Although there has been no announced plans, prospects appear high for the establishment of Spanish-speaking stakes in the area.  The organization of Spanish-speaking stakes would likely prompt additional stake consolidations as Spanish units are reorganized in new stakes.

Stake discontinued in California

Organized in 1992 and recently consisting of nine wards, the Escondido California South Stake was discontinued and consolidated with the Escondido California Stake which had only five wards.  The realigned Escondido California Stake now has 13 wards; a large number for stake and which would generally prompt its division.  Additional congregations may be consolidated in the near future because of the large number of units in the stake.  California has experienced the largest number of LDS stake closures over the past two decades of any state (15) primarily due to many active members moving to other areas of the stake or outside of the state and convert retention and member activity challenges. 


Alex said...

I hope they don't make the Spanish units into their own stakes. In south Florida, where it's harder for Latinos to learn English than here, we still saw that having a Spanish stake and an English stake led to a lot of segregation based on culture, which really hurt the area. They ended up getting rid of both Spanish stakes in Miami-Dade County, the last one because the English stake was suffering so much.

Stephen Barton said...

Matt, I live in the Mount Olympus stake and three wards were discontinued. there are now 7 wards in the mt. olympus stake.

Matt said...

Thanks for the clarification. Currently the stake and ward websites list ten stakes; I'm sure that this will be updated within the next few days.

Craig said...

Although unit numbers carried over from prior YSA and University wards, ALL nine of the YSA stakes and wards in Salt Lake Valley are new. Besides Draper, Sandy, Murray, Taylorsville, and West Jordan mentioned in the article, the other four new YSA stakes are Riverton, Salt Lake Bonnneville, Salt Lake Holladay, and Salt Lake Pioneer. They assumed unit numbers previosly assigned to Salt Lake University single and married stakes.

In the past, young single adults could be members of YSA wards, single student university wards, or traditional wards. Many had no calling and no bishop that knew them.

All those units were discontinued during the last week of April.

As of last week there were 54 YSA stakes in Utah and Idaho.

Craig said...

I've heard that Ogden, Utah was the pilot location for YSA stakes. In April 2010, the two Ogden Utah University (Single Student) Stakes became Ogden Utah 1st and 2nd stakes.

Three of the new YSA stakes in Matt's post are in Davis County--Bountiful, Layton, and Syracuse Utah Lake View YSA stakes. Lake View stake includes wards in southern Weber County such as Roy and South Weber YSA wards. It also includes two YSA wards up Weber Canyon in Morgan County--Weber River and Morgan YSA wards.

There are eight in Cache Valley--Logan Utah YSA 1st to 6th; Providence UT YSA, and Smithfield UT YSA stakes replaced six Logan Univerity single student stakes and YSA wards in Cache Valley. Smithfield stake include ward such as Preston YSA ward across the border in Idaho.

I wonder if there are enought young single adults in Box Elder County to form a Brigham City YSA stake?

Brandon Plewe said...

Don't forget Utah County. There is a new Lehi YSA Stake and a converted Springville YSA Stake(see below). Springville covers the entire south valley, but Lehi only covers the Northwest Valley, leaving about 11 wards for a future YSA stake in Pleasant Grove or something.

In Provo & Orem:
- 3 Orem College SS stakes became 3 Orem YSA stakes.
- 17 BYU singles stakes became 17 Provo YSA stakes.
- 5 BYU married stakes became 3 Married Student stakes, Provo YSA 18th Stake, and Springville YSA stake.

It appears that in Salt Lake and ProvOrem, married students living off campus have been encouraged to attend regular wards, so the new "Married Student" stakes are only for large complexes (where they are needed geographically anyway). Not being a married student, this seems like a good move to me.

The only question I have left about this is, why no Spanish YSA wards on the Wasatch Front? There are Tongan YSA wards.

Matthias said...

I find the Blanding, UT consolidation interesting. They both had seven units, which is not ridiculously small for a stake. It makes me reflect on the following question:

What impact does increasing longevity have on the optimal size of a congregation or stake? My current ward is bursting at the seams, and could probably stand to be divided BUT our youth and primary programs are pretty much ideal size. A couple of generations ago, there wouldn't have been nearly as many elderly people around, so a ward with 250+ at sacrament meeting would be expected to have an unmanageable number of primary kids and youth. That isn't necessarily so nowadays.

Do you have thoughts on this, Matt?

Ricardo Prins said...

A new stake will be created in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June. Soon i'll provide more info about it.

Tom said...

A new stake has been created in the Democratic republic of the Congo. The 8th in the country.

A number of branches were created into wards and the stake created.

The Chatelain's said...

Lagos Nigeria South stake was created as well on 5/15/2011

TempleRick said...

I've heard the Church no longer favors the creation of foreign-language stakes in the United States. Studies concluded that stakes were stronger when the foreign-language units and English-speaking units were organized under the same stake.