In the March 2006 issue of The Reporter, the official periodical of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, asks "Where Are All the Children". What follows are some states dug up by a friend of mine, the Rev. Sem. Scott Adle, at CHI and the letter I sent to the Reporter's editor.
Adults Confirmed and Baptised--32,000
In your March issue Dr. Judith Christian asks where all the children are. A brief look at statistics available at CHI can tell you: they were never born.
In 2004 the LCMS had 2.46 million baptized members. Likewise in 1961 the LCMS had 2.46 million members. But in 1961 our people were reproducing above the replacement fertility rate: we had 82,248 infant baptisms that year. In 2004, with the same number of overall membership we had declined 60% to just 32,851 infant baptisms.
In short, our church body has been complicit in its own demise by not emphasizing God's plan for procreation in marriage. We're contracepting ourselves out of business. All the evangelism programs in the world can't make up for that: ask the Shakers if you don't believe me.
Pr. H. R. Curtis
Trinity Lutheran Church, Worden, IL
Zion Lutheran Church, Carpenter, IL