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Each year as we approach our Annual Meeting I take a census of our church. I begin with last year’s church directory, which was published in December. I count every name in it, including the children. I tabulate who has gone and why. Then I take our new directory, which is still being finalized, and figure out who is new in the last eleven months or so. Here is what I’ve found.

There were 300 names in last year’s directory. Today 60 of those people are no longer at VCL—20%. That is typical of most years. Of those 60 people most moved away. About 58% of those who left were Trinity students and their families. As I went through all those names I was moved by how much we miss so many of these people, and what great contributions they made to our church. I was also reminded what a privilege we have to put our fingerprints on so many people who in turn will influences the places they go to minister next. On the other hand, there are about 80 people in our church today who were not here last year at this time, a net increase of 7%. About 65 are children and youth.

There are about 160 households in our forthcoming 2012 directory. About 40% of those are singles (close to 70 people), from students to senior adults. Our attendance (which is not always a reflection of the size of our church family given how often our people are gone) averaged about 195 adults and children through 2010, and a little over 210 people this year. (While we have talked about going to two services, these numbers bear out our conclusion that we do not need to take that step yet.)

Here are some other wonderful aspects of our church’s spiritual census through October:

White Roses: These people came to Christ this year: Belle Ingersoll, Gareth Hughes, Lillian Mauriello, Andrew Miller, Jenessa Stanonik, Debbi, Michael Harmon, and Alec Holzman.

Baptisms: Lauren Wunderlich, Victoria Hartel, Emma Hedges, Chatham Hedges, Megan Davis, Drew Younger, Hope Hartel, Anit Leons, and Zachary Rumley.

Births: As of Nov. 1, we have celebrated the births this year of Samuel Lewis Pohl, Simon Park, Sammie H. Cho, Noah Jonathan Scarborough, Caleb Mark Davis, and Wyatt Payton Connor.

Members: As of Nov. 20, we have welcomed 20 new members: Brandon and Ashley Whited Boulais, Jan and Bob Coy, Jacqueline Schlosser, Daniel Sjogren, Judy Tao, Krista Sweetser, John and Steph Ingersoll, Bob and Judy DeBaets, Andrew and Sarah Seaman, David and Joanna Hoag, Joseph and Amy Hartel, Barbara (Babs) Myers and Heidi Ramer.

We had one wedding in our congregation on May 21: Brandon and Ashley Boulais. We have had no funerals this year.