Some Megachurches Closing for Christmas
Well. . . that’s because Christmas is on Sunday this year! While some pastors might think that giving a Sunday Christmas service is a blessing, others find that fielding hundreds of volunteers to put on their Sunday show for a smaller-than-normal ‘audience’ isn’t in their best interests. From an Associated Press story:
Cally Parkinson, a spokeswoman for Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois, said church leaders decided that organising Christmas Day services on a Sunday would not be the most effective use of staff and volunteer resources. The last time Christmas fell on a Sunday was 1994, and only a small number of people showed up to pray, she said.
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Among the other megachurches closing on Christmas Day are Southland Christian Church in Nicholasville, Kentucky, near Lexington, and Fellowship Church in Grapevine, Texas, outside of Dallas. North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Georgia, outside of Atlanta, said on its website that no services will be held on Christmas Day or New Year’s Day, which also falls on a Sunday. A spokesman for North Point did not respond to requests for comment.
Cindy Willison, a spokeswoman for the evangelical Southland Christian Church, said at least 500 volunteers are needed, along with staff, to run Sunday services for the estimated 8,000 people who usually attend. She said many of the volunteers appreciate the chance to spend Christmas with their families instead of working, although she said a few church members complained.