CHICAGO (AP) -- The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America announced a drop of 26,042 baptized members to 5,099,877 as of Dec. 31, partly due to ''roll cleaning'' and the disbanding of 37 congregations.
Since 1991, membership in the fifth-largest U.S. Protestant denomination has declined by 150,706.
The church said that, because expected income from bequests and investments is dropping, national program spending in the current fiscal year that began Feb. 1 will be reduced by $2.4 million.
Agencies will also be asked to propose cuts for next year and consider leaving staff vacancies unfilled.
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Evangelical Lutheran Church in America: http://www.elca.org
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