Megachurches closed for Christmas - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Megachurches closed for Christmas

December 22, 2005

Albany- The Sherwood Baptist Church atrium is all decorated for Christmas, but church leaders say they don't want anyone to forget the reason for the season.

"Christmas is a wonderful time for families, and we are certainly pro-family, but also we celebrate our Christian faith, because God's son Jesus Christ came into the world, and it's because of Him that we have our faith. So, to say that we're going to put family time in front of is a little bit controversial," says Associate Pastor Alex Kendrick.

But that's exactly what some churches are doing. There are megachurches in Illinois, Texas and even in metro Atlanta that have cancelled Sunday service. However most aren't closing their doors, but rather adjusting their schedules. Sherwood has opted to hold one mid-morning service instead of two on Christmas day.

"As a church Sherwood has chosen to celebrate the morning of and to worship the very reason that we assemble, Jesus Christ coming into the world. It's sad to some degree to hear about churches that are not assembling at all on Christmas day when Jesus Christ is the reason for our Christian faith. We understand too that they may say that's family time, and again we support family, but not at the expense of worshipping the Lord."

Though attendance may not be as high on Christmas Sunday, Kendrick says his church isn't going to let that stand in the way of celebrating the birth of Christ on what has been set aside as the Lord's day.

Sherwood will hold one combined service at 11 AM Christmas Sunday and next weekend on New Year's Day. The last time the holiday fell on a Sunday was in 1994.

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