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Thread: 150,000 new U.S converts to Catholicism at Easter Vigil...how do Nazerenes compare

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    Senior Member Kami Tuenning's Avatar

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    150,000 new U.S converts to Catholicism at Easter Vigil...how do Nazerenes compare

    Sincerely curious as to how many new converts came into the U.S Nazarene church in 2012.
    http://catholicnewsherald.com/53-new...-as-a-catholic

    I feel that if the CotN churches in my metro region were to suddenly disappear, few would even notice. I would love to visit a vibrant CotN church someday. I have no doubt there are many
    Last edited by Kami Tuenning; April 25th, 2012 at 05:26 PM.

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    Re: 150,000 new U.S converts to Catholicism at Easter Vigil...how do Nazerenes compare

    Quote Originally Posted by Kami Tuenning View Post
    Just curious as to how many new converts came into the U.S Nazarene church in 2012. My husband finally left the Nazarene Church. The only baptisms in 2012 were the pastor's wife and stepdaughter. I would like to believe The CotN had a better track record nationwide.
    http://catholicnewsherald.com/53-new...-as-a-catholic
    Did your husband leave the CotN and convert to Catholicism or just leave the local church for another evangelical fellowship elsewhere. Your use of the word "finally" infers that you are happy or satisfied he "finally" decided to change. I don't know you or your husband or what your spiritual journey has been like so its hard to read what your post is reflecting. But to me it comes across rather negatively whether you meant it that way or not. It seems to me that you basing the vibrancy (or lack of thereof ) of the Entire Nazarene denomination on the experience you and your husband have had in a single Nazarene church.

    But you do ask a good question So what do the numbers reveal about the growth of the Nazarene Church domestically and internationally? And how do those numbers compare with 150,000 new Catholics as reported by the Herald (Catholic Herald) . Anyone Anyone ?
    "And as we pass the collection plate, please give as if the person next to you was watching."
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    Thanks Valisha Trammell Hall, Hans Deventer - "thanks" for this post

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    Senior Member Benjamin Burch's Avatar

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    Re: 150,000 new U.S converts to Catholicism at Easter Vigil...how do Nazerenes compare

    Quote Originally Posted by Kami Tuenning View Post
    Just curious as to how many new converts came into the U.S Nazarene church in 2012. My husband finally left the Nazarene Church. The only baptisms in 2012 were the pastor's wife and stepdaughter. I would like to believe The CotN had a better track record nationwide.
    http://catholicnewsherald.com/53-new...-as-a-catholic
    Might I suggest you reconsider this post, and come back rewording it? As one who in many ways shares a bit of perspective with you spiritually, theologically, and Liturgically, may I offer som insight?

    (1) The title seems very combative/competitive. - "We did amazing this year, how about you all?" It doesn't seem genuine, but "in your face" and competitive.

    (2) Including the fact that your husband "finally" left the CotN only enforces the way the title read, for two reasons:

    ---(a) it seems to suggest that the Nazarene Church really didn't "compare" and he found greener pastures in light of exactly this
    ---(b) the use of the word "finally" makes it seem like something overdue, as though the indictment of the CotN is long since accepted

    (3) Citing a church where only two baptisms took place seem to confirm the failure hinted at given (1) and (2). Secondly, this citation also seems to ignore the realities surrounding the local church in question.

    --- (a) Is the church in a small town where the population is already mostly churched?
    --- (b) Has the church been working with other churches in the community, as they should be?
    --- (c) If [b] is true, then did other churches in the community receive new converts and baptize them? If so, how many?
    --- (d) If [b] and [c] together are true, and provide a more substantial number, shouldn't this success be attributed also the the CotN church which was faithful to their role in the Body in this community?
    --- (e) Once this is considered, [b], [c], and [d] should also be viewed back through the perspective offered by [a]. Given the amount of possible converts, has the community done well, and by that count has the CotN been a faithful participant in God's redeeming work in this community?

    (4) Given how all of this reads so far, this statement, "I would like to believe the CotN had a better track record nationwide" seems less hopeful and more negative/unexpectant.


    I'm not saying you mean any of it to come across this way, Tami. I certainly hope you don't. With that being the case, maybe you'd consider rewording it, and maybe even offering a better title which articulates what you mean to communicate in a better way.

    Again, I don't think you mean it this way. However, if I am hearing it this way.... of all people on NN... I can guarantee you others will too, and maybe you can do a better job!

    I certainly hope that the CotN has in fact seen a fruitful year in 2012, and I pray that it will continue to see a fruitful year. I hope this is all of our hopes and prayers.
    - Ben

    Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death! And to those in the tombs, bestowing life!
    Χριστὸς ἀνέστη ἐκ νεκρῶν, θανάτῳ θάνατον πατήσας! καὶ τοῖς ἐν τοῖς μνήμασι, ζωὴν χαρισάμενος!

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    Senior Member Benjamin Burch's Avatar

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    Re: 150,000 new U.S converts to Catholicism at Easter Vigil...how do Nazerenes compare

    There also seems to be a couple of disconnects here which are significant.

    First, the ecclesiologies at work are entirely different. Mr. Keady is an example in the piece, but he is a convert from another Christian sect into Catholicism. How many of those 150,000 are "converts"* from another Christian sect?

    The Church of the Nazarene would not be baptizing Baptists and Presbyterians who chose to start attending the Church of the Nazarene in 2012. With this being as it is, it is nearly impossible to have an accurate comparison of numbers.

    Secondly, the Catholic Church only receives new converts three or four times a year if I am correct, right? (That is what we do in the Episcopal Church). As an Evangelical denomination generally and revivalist denomination specifically, the CotN is far more likely to "convert" folks throughout the year, without such a large emphasis on the Easter Sunday as the time to do so. As such, Baptisms will likely be held more often, and more spaced out throughout the year.

    This would lead to an unequal comparison between the two on Easter Sunday which doesn't necessarily reflect on the relative success or lack thereof of the CotN's evangelistic efforts in converting people to Christ in the United States.


    * (I agree with His All Holiness Archbishop Bartholomew I of Constantinople that "conversion" is a poor term because conversion is to Christ, not to the Catholic or Orthodox Churches. Instead, this is an embrace of "Truth", not a new conversion)
    - Ben

    Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death! And to those in the tombs, bestowing life!
    Χριστὸς ἀνέστη ἐκ νεκρῶν, θανάτῳ θάνατον πατήσας! καὶ τοῖς ἐν τοῖς μνήμασι, ζωὴν χαρισάμενος!
    Thanks Todd Erickson, John Kennedy, Susan Unger, Jim Chabot - "thanks" for this post

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    Senior Member Benjamin Burch's Avatar

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    Re: 150,000 new U.S converts to Catholicism at Easter Vigil...how do Nazerenes compare

    Quote Originally Posted by Benjamin Burch View Post
    Might I suggest you reconsider this post, and come back rewording it? As one who in many ways shares a bit of perspective with you spiritually, theologically, and Liturgically, may I offer som insight?

    (1) The title seems very combative/competitive. - "We did amazing this year, how about you all?" It doesn't seem genuine, but "in your face" and competitive.

    (2) Including the fact that your husband "finally" left the CotN only enforces the way the title read, for two reasons:

    ---(a) it seems to suggest that the Nazarene Church really didn't "compare" and he found greener pastures in light of exactly this
    ---(b) the use of the word "finally" makes it seem like something overdue, as though the indictment of the CotN is long since accepted

    (3) Citing a church where only two baptisms took place seem to confirm the failure hinted at given (1) and (2). Secondly, this citation also seems to ignore the realities surrounding the local church in question.

    --- (a) Is the church in a small town where the population is already mostly churched?
    --- (b) Has the church been working with other churches in the community, as they should be?
    --- (c) If [b] is true, then did other churches in the community receive new converts and baptize them? If so, how many?
    --- (d) If [b] and [c] together are true, and provide a more substantial number, shouldn't this success be attributed also the the CotN church which was faithful to their role in the Body in this community?
    --- (e) Once this is considered, [b], [c], and [d] should also be viewed back through the perspective offered by [a]. Given the amount of possible converts, has the community done well, and by that count has the CotN been a faithful participant in God's redeeming work in this community?

    (4) Given how all of this reads so far, this statement, "I would like to believe the CotN had a better track record nationwide" seems less hopeful and more negative/unexpectant.


    I'm not saying you mean any of it to come across this way, Tami. I certainly hope you don't. With that being the case, maybe you'd consider rewording it, and maybe even offering a better title which articulates what you mean to communicate in a better way.

    Again, I don't think you mean it this way. However, if I am hearing it this way.... of all people on NN... I can guarantee you others will too, and maybe you can do a better job!

    I certainly hope that the CotN has in fact seen a fruitful year in 2012, and I pray that it will continue to see a fruitful year. I hope this is all of our hopes and prayers.
    To summarize this....

    It seems like you just got a massive raise at work and you came over to a friend's house and said "I just got a raise to $100k at my job!! How much are you making right now? My other friend, Fred, who works in your office is only making $20k. So, in light of this, Jimmy finally decided to quit your company and join mine! Btw, how much are you making again? I sure hope you're making more than $20k!"

    As I said in the previous post, I certainly hope you don't mean to be doing/saying this!
    - Ben

    Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death! And to those in the tombs, bestowing life!
    Χριστὸς ἀνέστη ἐκ νεκρῶν, θανάτῳ θάνατον πατήσας! καὶ τοῖς ἐν τοῖς μνήμασι, ζωὴν χαρισάμενος!
    Thanks Kami Tuenning, Valisha Trammell Hall - "thanks" for this post

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    Senior Member Hans Deventer's Avatar

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    Re: 150,000 new U.S converts to Catholicism at Easter Vigil...how do Nazerenes compare

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Moseley View Post
    It seems to me that you basing the vibrancy (or lack of thereof ) of the Entire Nazarene denomination on the experience you and your husband have had in a single Nazarene church.
    Exactly.
    Love the sinner, hate the sin? Love the sinner and hate your own sin! - Tony Campolo

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    Senior Member Eric Frey's Avatar

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    Re: 150,000 new U.S converts to Catholicism at Easter Vigil...how do Nazerenes compare

    Quote Originally Posted by Kami Tuenning View Post
    Just curious as to how many new converts came into the U.S Nazarene church in 2012. My husband finally left the Nazarene Church. The only baptisms in 2012 were the pastor's wife and stepdaughter. I would like to believe The CotN had a better track record nationwide.
    http://catholicnewsherald.com/53-new...-as-a-catholic
    I baptized 7 at Easter Vigil this year.

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    Senior Member Eric Frey's Avatar

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    Re: 150,000 new U.S converts to Catholicism at Easter Vigil...how do Nazerenes compare

    Quote Originally Posted by Benjamin Burch View Post
    First, the ecclesiologies at work are entirely different. Mr. Keady is an example in the piece, but he is a convert from another Christian sect into Catholicism. How many of those 150,000 are "converts"* from another Christian sect?

    The Church of the Nazarene would not be baptizing Baptists and Presbyterians who chose to start attending the Church of the Nazarene in 2012. With this being as it is, it is nearly impossible to have an accurate comparison of numbers.
    The Catholic Church would be not as different than the CotN than it seems you are making it. RC do not rebaptize. If one was properly baptized (with water and "in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit") one would go through the catechesis and then be confirmed, but not baptized. Likewise a Nazarene church SHOULD not rebaptize either, but simply do membership for one who was baptized properly in another denomination.

    And when pastors report their memberships, they report both "by conversion" and "by transfer." Interestingly, "transfer" only applies to those coming from other Nazarene churches. Anyone else is considered "conversion" --- or maybe the exact word is "profession of faith." Maybe one of you working on your APR can clarify...
    Thanks Benjamin Burch - "thanks" for this post

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    Senior Member Michael Flowers's Avatar

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    Re: 150,000 new U.S converts to Catholicism at Easter Vigil...how do Nazerenes compare

    Perhaps an equally important question as for vibrancy is: How many people left the Church of the Nazarene and the Roman Catholic Church this year? 150,000 converts is impressive, but not if 200,000 people left (I don't know what the numbers would be, I'm just throwing out the 200k as an example).

    Also, the numbers reported are from Easter 2011, not 2012 (I wonder how many of those 150,000 are still active). Also, I have to wonder how many of those people are their Sunday after Sunday (anyone know what the attendance of the Charlotte Diocese is? the one that brought in almost 1000 converts).
    Thanks Susan Unger, Bill Morrison - "thanks" for this post

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    Senior Member David Pettigrew's Avatar

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    Re: 150,000 new U.S converts to Catholicism at Easter Vigil...how do Nazerenes compare

    Praise the Lord for 150,000 baptisms, whenever and by whoever.

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    Re: 150,000 new U.S converts to Catholicism at Easter Vigil...how do Nazerenes compare

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Frey View Post
    And when pastors report their memberships, they report both "by conversion" and "by transfer." Interestingly, "transfer" only applies to those coming from other Nazarene churches. Anyone else is considered "conversion" --- or maybe the exact word is "profession of faith." Maybe one of you working on your APR can clarify...
    The APR now asks for "Number received from other denominations" under Members Received (line 8). The other options are "Received by profession of faith" and "Received by transfer from other Nazarene churches".

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    Senior Member Bill Morrison's Avatar

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    Re: 150,000 new U.S converts to Catholicism at Easter Vigil...how do Nazerenes compare

    Quote Originally Posted by Kami Tuenning View Post
    Just curious as to how many new converts came into the U.S Nazarene church in 2012. My husband finally left the Nazarene Church. The only baptisms in 2012 were the pastor's wife and stepdaughter. I would like to believe The CotN had a better track record nationwide.
    http://catholicnewsherald.com/53-new...-as-a-catholic
    Tami:
    I imagine that whatever you (and your husband) have been going through recently in regards to your relationship to the COTN has been stressful, challenging, and perhaps even faith-bending. I have a very intelligent brother who after 40 years as a Nazarene converted to Catholicism. Each of us needs to find the place we can best and most joyously serve our Lord. I would just pray that none of us would do something like this just because of discouragement or for wrong reasons, of which many are probably possible.

    BILL

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    Senior Member Kami Tuenning's Avatar

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    Re: 150,000 new U.S converts to Catholicism at Easter Vigil...how do Nazerenes compare

    Quote Originally Posted by Benjamin Burch View Post
    Might I suggest you reconsider this post, and come back rewording it? As one who in many ways shares a bit of perspective with you spiritually, theologically, and Liturgically, may I offer som insight?

    (1) The title seems very combative/competitive. - "We did amazing this year, how about you all?" It doesn't seem genuine, but "in your face" and competitive.


    I agree, I need to reword the thread. Didn't intend to sound negative. I was just wanting some statistics. To answer a few questions:

    (a) The church is in an inner city urban metro area with a population of about 800,000 people. The church is in the heart of an area where immigrants, and newly released inmates reside. It also is a few blocks from schools and many, many , many "unchurched" working class families/groups.
    (b) The church has cut off all ties with other churches in the community. It operates in an isolated bubble.
    (c) Our community has many vibrant churches, both mainline and independent that has and continues to have continued growth. My husband's new church, a mainline inner city church is in use every day of the week doing ministry with the homeless people who wander in daily, to the school children and teens in the area. My husband's ministry also leads weekly Overcomers groups in the jails and leads a monthly Circles of Support event which buses in the inmates along with being open to all who are struggling with issues. His ministry is supported by the Local Methodist, Congergational, Brethren, Lutheran, Baptist and Christian churches among others in the community. They all network together to carry out its work. Our former Nazarene church cut off funding to this ministry nearly two years ago.
    (e) It is our sincere (not haughty or spiteful) estimation, that the Nazarene denomination could leave our community and essentially it would go unnoticed. From the time we came to the Nazarene church, we immediately sensed a state of "confusion of identity". Don't get me wrong-we were drawn to the Nazarene theology in its authentic form-we simply couldn't find evidence of it in practice in our community.

    It was some what confusing that a pastor's wife (2nd wife) had been a Nazarene most of her life and her grown daughter had been raised Nazarene and neither had been baptized. It made you wonder if he needed to supply some numbers to appear growth was occurring? It was odd.

    I sincerely apologize for the negative tone. My husband has no intentions of converting to Catholicism and neither do any of my own grown children. The "finally" emphasis was stated because he had remained on for several years after being stripped of his duties, title and income because he believed things could change. Unfortunately it never did. His new church where he serves as youth pastor along with directing a para - church ministry, has embraced us warmly, although it is far from perfect-it is vibrantly and actively involved with the families that live in a very impoverished neighborhood. I have been given space for my dance ministry-they are forward thinking folks!
    Last edited by Kevin Rector; April 25th, 2012 at 09:56 PM. Reason: fix broken quote

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    Senior Member Kami Tuenning's Avatar

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    Re: 150,000 new U.S converts to Catholicism at Easter Vigil...how do Nazerenes compare

    Quote Originally Posted by David Pettigrew View Post
    Praise the Lord for 150,000 baptisms, whenever and by whoever.
    amen!

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    Senior Member Benjamin Burch's Avatar

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    Re: 150,000 new U.S converts to Catholicism at Easter Vigil...how do Nazerenes compare

    Quote Originally Posted by Kami Tuenning View Post
    I agree, I need to reword the thread. Didn't intend to sound negative. I was just wanting some statistics. To answer a few questions:
    (a) The church is in an inner center urban metro area with a population of about 800,000 people. The church is in the heart of an area where immigrants, and newly released inmates reside. It also is a few blocks from schools and many, many , many "unchurched" working class families/groups.
    (b) The church has cut off all ties with other churches in the community. It operates in an isolated bubble.
    (c) Our community has many vibrant churches, both mainline and independent that has and continues to have continued growth. My husband's new church, a mainline inner city church is in use every day of the week doing ministry with the homeless people who wander in daily, to the school children and teens in the area. My husband's ministry also leads weekly Overcomers groups in the jails and leads a monthly Circles of Support event which buses in the inmates along with being open to all who are struggling with issues. His ministry is supported by the Local Methodist, Congergational, Brethren, Lutheran, Baptist and Christian churches among others in the community. They all network together to carry out its work. Our former Nazarene church cut off funding to this ministry nearly two years ago.
    (e) It is our sincere (not haughty or spiteful) estimation, that the Nazarene denomination could leave our community and essentially it would go unnoticed. From the time we came to the Nazarene church, we immediately sensed a state of "confusion of identity". Don't get me wrong-we were drawn to the Nazarene theology in its authentic form-we simply couldn't find evidence of it in practice in our community.

    It was some what confusing that a pastor's wife (2nd wife) had been a Nazarene most of her life and her grown daughter had been raised Nazarene and neither had been baptized. It made you wonder if he needed to supply some numbers to appear growth was occurring? It was odd.

    I sincerely apologize for the negative tone. My husband has no intentions of converting to Catholicism and neither do any of my own grown children. The "finally" emphasis was stated because he had remained on for several years after being stripped of his duties, title and income because he believed things could change. Unfortunately it never did. His new church where he serves as youth pastor along with director a para - church ministry, has embraced us warmly, although it is far from perfect-it is vibrantly and actively involved with the families lives that live in a very impoverished neighborhood. I even have been given space for my dance ministry-they are forward thinking folks!
    Thank you, Tami. I find this post much more helpful.
    - Ben

    Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death! And to those in the tombs, bestowing life!
    Χριστὸς ἀνέστη ἐκ νεκρῶν, θανάτῳ θάνατον πατήσας! καὶ τοῖς ἐν τοῖς μνήμασι, ζωὴν χαρισάμενος!

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    Senior Member Kami Tuenning's Avatar

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    Re: 150,000 new U.S converts to Catholicism at Easter Vigil...how do Nazerenes compare

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Morrison View Post
    Tami:
    I imagine that whatever you (and your husband) have been going through recently in regards to your relationship to the COTN has been stressful, challenging, and perhaps even faith-bending. I have a very intelligent brother who after 40 years as a Nazarene converted to Catholicism. Each of us needs to find the place we can best and most joyously serve our Lord. I would just pray that none of us would do something like this just because of discouragement or for wrong reasons, of which many are probably possible.

    BILL
    My journey to Rome started in 1999! My husband gave up a local license in the Nazarene church to go where he is at now. He will have to go through this denominations requirements be an "official" clergy member. That was one thing that kept him on at the CotN. He believed he was called there to make a difference, but as a dear friend and local Methodist pastor told him, "Your gifts are being wasted". Power not only corrupts, but destroys.
    Thanks Bill Morrison - "thanks" for this post

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