Evaqngelical Churches will close on Christmas...

According to the Chicago Tribune, many Evangelical mega-churches are not planning to hold services on Christmas this year, despite that the holiday falls on a Sunday. According to the article, they want people to have a “personal” experience on that day - rather than filling the pews (and what… worshiping Jesus?) The article goes on to say that many Catholic Churches have added services to accomodate those who wish to worship on Christmas. So I’d like to invite all my Evangelical brothers & sisters who find themselves without a Church on Chirstmas… your local Catholic Church welcomes you to celebrate the birth of our Savior. It’s what we believe Christmas is all about.

chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-0512060228dec06,1,6644133.story?coll=chi-news-hed

Carol Marie, sadly this is not unusual. I once asked my roommate what she does for Christmas as far as attending services (I always go home to visit family, and so have never been here on Christmas), and she said her church (the denomination is Church of God) closes every Christmas. I think the topic came up because they have their annual Chrstmas play a week or 2 before Christmas, but no services to specifically commemorate Christmas. I asked why that was, and the response was basically Christmas Day is a time for family, not for church. I still don’t understand how Christmas is not the time for worship.

How sad. What better time for “family time” than attending church together and worshiping God? :confused:

That is so sad. Unfortunately, not just, “mega-churches” but many churches are becomming so seeker-sensitive that the Truth of the Gospel of Christ is becomming watered down with feel-good messages instead of the Truth. However sad, I don’t find it surprising.

2 things I want you to remember, (1) Christ never told people what they wanted to hear, He told them what they needed to hear… (2) Even Satan tried to use the Truth of the Word of God to tempt Jesus Christ in the wilderness… his problem, he tried to bring glory to himself. Think about that.

In Christ,
Scotchamoe

In the 16th Century, leaders of the Protestant Reformation seeking to cleanse Christianity of its pagan influences and return to its biblical foundations banned Christmas, which was created long after the New Testament. By the late 17th Century, the Yuletide celebration was virtually nonexistent both in England and its colonies overseas.

As if it had pagan influences. Are they going to close on Easter as well? Why not just close on Sunday, that is a Catholic “invention”. Why have church services at all, just another Catholic “invention”. :rolleyes:

How sad. My wife’s church is as conservative as a mainline congregation can get and they are having Christmas Eve at 5 and 11 pm and then since Christmas Day is a Sunday at 10 am instead of the usual 9 am and 11 am. Sunday School is cancelled that day as it is usually at ten. My wife will not attend any of the three services. Maybe she should move to Chicago and worship at the meagchurch. I have to fight every year that Mass is not optional for me and our oldest child.

She truly has the experience that Christmas is a family time and while the church offers services, she does not have the time. She says that 5 pm on the 24th interferes with dinner as does the 7 pm. 11 pm and Midnight are too late. On the 25th 7:30 am is too early and would mean the kids have to walk past the tree and not open gifts and 9, 11 and 12:30 take the kids away from the gifts as well. See she would say there really is no good time for church, maybe 3:30 pm on the 24th but neither of our churches does that.

In the past we have gone to the parish in her folks’ town on our way to their home. She complains so that last year we did not go on Christmas Eve but at 11 am on the 25th. I told her stop inviting your parents who we just saw last night for brunch at 11 pm. There is no time to enjoy the gifts and relax before we have to clean up and get ready for company. They came at 1 pm for lunch which made the menu easier and gave us tim to go to Mass at 11 am. It worked fine and we even got seats!!

To their credit my wife’s church has good people in it. One glowing example is a couple with 4 kids, they tithe, the husband is an elder and they are at church every Sunday and Wednesday. They send their kids to a Christian school. They will be attending the 5 pm on Christmas Eve and then again the next day for Sunday at 10 am. In addition they are very friendly and Christlike.

[quote=carol marie]According to the Chicago Tribune, many Evangelical mega-churches are not planning to hold services on Christmas this year, despite that the holiday falls on a Sunday. According to the article, they want people to have a “personal” experience on that day - rather than filling the pews (and what… worshiping Jesus?) The article goes on to say that many Catholic Churches have added services to accomodate those who wish to worship on Christmas. So I’d like to invite all my Evangelical brothers & sisters who find themselves without a Church on Chirstmas… your local Catholic Church welcomes you to celebrate the birth of our Savior. It’s what we believe Christmas is all about.

chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-0512060228dec06,1,6644133.story?coll=chi-news-hed
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Thanks for the kind invitation. I suspect my own home (traditionalist Anglican) parish will not hold services that day–we’re very tiny, and the absence of even a few would make the service very small indeed. I’m working that whole weekend but will attend some sort of service somewhere. I don’t know if the ECUSA parish downtown will hold services but I don’t go to '79 prayerbook services, especially not services presided over by females or gays, so that won’t do.

On the other hand, my ‘local’ Roman Catholic parish is named 'St. Kevin’s’, which always gives me a chuckle on the rare occasions I pass by it. I don’t know why this amuses me so, and I’m sure the local Catholics don’t give it a second thought. But to me, it’s sort of like having a church named “Bob”. No disrespect intended, just making an observation.

This thread reminds me why I am soooo glad to be an “EX”-protestant. What better place to be then in a Church worshiping Jesus Christ on His birthday.

Protestants are right in one way but they just can’t see it for all the scales on their eys. This is a time for family, the Holy family! It’s a time for Jesus, Blessed Mary and St. Joseph. To remeber the gifts all three of them gave us.
Soon, they may "re"form worship right out of their churches?

[quote=carol marie]According to the Chicago Tribune, many Evangelical mega-churches are not planning to hold services on Christmas this year, despite that the holiday falls on a Sunday. According to the article, they want people to have a “personal” experience on that day - rather than filling the pews (and what… worshiping Jesus?) The article goes on to say that many Catholic Churches have added services to accomodate those who wish to worship on Christmas. So I’d like to invite all my Evangelical brothers & sisters who find themselves without a Church on Chirstmas… your local Catholic Church welcomes you to celebrate the birth of our Savior. It’s what we believe Christmas is all about.

chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-0512060228dec06,1,6644133.story?coll=chi-news-hed
[/quote]

Haha, thank you CarolMarie!

I will be trying to make it to a service on Christmas Eve or around there. I grew up not having Christmas services. It’s kind of weird now that I think about it, but the emphasis was always on personal family time at home during holidays rather than on attending church services.

Peace…

[quote=juno24]Carol Marie, sadly this is not unusual. I once asked my roommate what she does for Christmas as far as attending services (I always go home to visit family, and so have never been here on Christmas), and she said her church (the denomination is Church of God) closes every Christmas. I think the topic came up because they have their annual Chrstmas play a week or 2 before Christmas, but no services to specifically commemorate Christmas. I asked why that was, and the response was basically Christmas Day is a time for family, not for church. I still don’t understand how Christmas is not the time for worship.
[/quote]

This is the most flabbergasting thing I’ve ever read. I can’t even believe it to be true unless I drove by one of those places (I can’t even begin to call it a church) and saw the snow not shoveled and the lot empty. I’m sitting here dumbfounded. I don’t know whether to cry for my separated brethren or cry out in despair and disgust.

This is another sad part of the Evangelical movement–now they take out Christmas worship as well with an invented “personal” time. Christmas has always been more about community than being individualistic. Now it seems Christmas will become a “personal” thing as well. I won’t be surprised if next year they’ll do the same thing to Easter…

This is sad. But aren’t we all part of God’s family and shouldn’t we spend time with that family also? :confused: Christmas is to celebrate Jesus’s coming so that we could become part of His family as brothers and sisters in Christ. Sadly, the world is also against Christmas and its meaning and this ends up reflected in how people perceive and celebrate Christmas. Pray that people come to understand that Jesus came for us in the form of a helpless baby to save us and bring us into His family. :thumbsup:

I imagine this is at least in part due to the fact that protestant churches have pastors who are generally married with children. They wopuld probably rather be home than worrying about services. One more reason why having priests who dedicate their lives to service is a wonderful thing.

I have an idea.

If your Church is not crowded during one of the Christmas Masses (I know some of the Christmas Day Masses at my previous parish were less crowded), invite one of our evangelical brethern who was shut out from celebrating at their church.

PF

Sad but not surprising. If they’re really that sensitive to “family time” then I wonder - are they also going to close the mega-churches on SuperBowl Sunday? :smiley:

P.S. - GO CHARGERS!!!

[quote=carol marie]According to the Chicago Tribune, many Evangelical mega-churches are not planning to hold services on Christmas this year, despite that the holiday falls on a Sunday. According to the article, they want people to have a “personal” experience on that day - rather than filling the pews (and what… worshiping Jesus?) The article goes on to say that many Catholic Churches have added services to accomodate those who wish to worship on Christmas. So I’d like to invite all my Evangelical brothers & sisters who find themselves without a Church on Chirstmas… your local Catholic Church welcomes you to celebrate the birth of our Savior. It’s what we believe Christmas is all about.

chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-0512060228dec06,1,6644133.story?coll=chi-news-hed
[/quote]

I find the reasoning seriously, seriously flawed - and I can’t imagine Christmas with BOTH midnight Mass at the Cathedral of your diocese or archdiocese (even if you’re rushed and it’s standing room only!) and an early Mass at your parish. Lord knows my family never suffered any disunity by celebrating “Christ’s Mass” at church nor remembering the reason for the celebration at home as a family - even when loved ones were scattered far there were still phone calls to make and the time spent at Mass NEVER deterred from the more ‘pagan’ aspects of a Christmas tree, gifts, etc.

I agree that family is important - 365 days a year - and I also think that we have PLENTY of ‘holidays’ (as opposed to “Holy Days”) such as birthdays, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving, etc., to spend time - and copious amounts of money should we wish - with family/

Suddenly I’m reminded of Linus telling Charlie Brown just what Christmas is “about” - my Lord, that aired 40 years ago when I was 28 and I bawled like a baby. Still do. This is the ‘icing on the cake’ foe me - these ‘churches’ exist only to meet the temporal ‘needs’ of the members - and only if those needs can be met with convenience. Yes, let’s not go to church - put that effort into a nicely packaged DVD along with the toasty fire channel so that we’ll remember that Christmas isn’t about God born of a virgin but only about how close holidays can bring our families.

Sickening. Absolutely disgusting.

[quote=Robert in SD]Sad but not surprising. If they’re really that sensitive to “family time” then I wonder - are they also going to close the mega-churches on SuperBowl Sunday? :smiley:

P.S. - GO CHARGERS!!!
[/quote]

So many have those ‘jumbo-trons’ installed already that I’m sure a few do carry the SuperBowl (with a better attendance than a Christmas Sunday…).

I have several Protestant friends of various denominations who attend their own churches very rarely, but make it a habit always to attend midnight Mass on Christmas at a Catholic church (several of these liked our former Cathedral parish). For at least one of these people, that Mass has been the wedge that opened the door to lead her home. Hope it works that way for the others as well.

Ditto! :clapping: :bounce: :dancing:

On a more serious note, as a cradle Catholic, it is rather odd to me that evangelical churches and other non-Catholic churches do not have services on Christmas Day. Maybe it’s an American thing (I’m Filipino by decent).

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.

“If we weren’t having services at all, I would probably tend to feel that we were too accommodating to the secular viewpoint, but we’re having multiple services on Saturday and an additional service Friday night,” Willison said.

“We believe that you worship every day of the week, not just on a weekend, and you don’t have to be in a church building to worship.”

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