The Eucharist Project: 3. A Daunting Task
If we are going to seek the unification of the churches of auburn around the eucharist we should figure out what the landscape of churches looks like in Auburn. So here are some basic stats on that.
This is a spreadsheet I put together with as many churches as I could find with their denomination and website. If the church is listed in red than its listed on church finder websites but nowhere else. If its in purple they may have a Facebook or some other links online but no website.
Based upon what I found there are 24 Denominations and a total of 34 churches in the city of Auburn.
13,960* - This is the current population of Auburn Ca.
2,147* - This is how many of that population indicated they affiliate with Catholicism. (This tends to be a higher number than usual due to people with a catholic tradition calling themselves catholic but without any ties to a church. This is a phenomenon in every tradition but seems to afflict the catholic church more than others due to their extended reach and much larger history)
630* - This is how many people are affiliated with the mormon church. (Most will not consider this a "christian" church based upon their belief system)
1,288* - This is how many people consider themselves christian but not catholic or mormon.
Since there are only two catholic churches in auburn and I didn't include Mormon churches that leaves 1,288 people split between 32 churches and 23 denominations. That is about 40 people per a church.
I've been to a a couple churches in auburn with hundreds of people so this is not an equal distribution and probably not an extremely accurate representation of the Christian population. I would call this a conservative estimate. And even with that conservative estimate this is a daunting task. How did we go from a few unified apostolic churches who held unity in high priority to a small town on the west coast divided into 32 churches across 23 denominations that for the most part don't talk to each other. This is a story for another time but I think we can safely assume that something has gone wrong.
From this point forward we will be focusing on each denomination separately and discussing their understanding of the eucharist and how they practice it as well as why they do what they do.
* Information pulled from - http://www.bestplaces.net/religion/city/california/auburn