Closed for Christmas, even churches

Speculations have surfaced that some churches are combating the nominal C&E (Christmas & Easter) Christians by keeping their doors closed on Christmas this year, to goad these nominal Christians to either attend more regularly or don’t come at all.

I had first picked up on this breaking story via the CT Weblog, as it made its circuit over mainstream news media (with lots of help from the AP wire), and then yesterday landing on the front page of the New York Times: When Christmas Falls on Sunday, Megachurches Take the Day Off (cf. more at Google News search). According to Andy Stanley of North Point Community Church in greater Atlanta, his church had been closed on the Sunday after Christmas since it started, but it seems only this year that it has generated buzz [cf. a most lengthy commentary by InternetMonk; and lengthy comment thread at GetReligion].

I’ll not track down all the articles and blogs buzzing about this. We all love snow days, students and teachers alike. Just as we have school closings for snow here in the metro DC area, here’s the unofficial list of church closings on Christmas:

Church Closings for December 25th, 2005 (no links, b/c they’re closed after 100s of celebrations)

Willow Creek Community Church (South Barrington, IL)
Southland Christian Church (Nicholasville, KY)
Crossroads Christian Church (Lexington, KY)
Fellowship Church (Grapevine, TX)
Watermark Community Church (Dallas, TX)
Redemption World Outreach Center (Greenville, SC)
Seacoast Church (Charleston, SC and other locations)
North Point Community Church (Alpharetta, GA)
First Baptist Church (Atlanta, GA)
Mars Hill Bible Church (Grandville, MI)
Grace Fellowship Church (Timonium, MD)
Church of the Redeemer (Gaithersburg, MD) (changed)
Northview Christian Life Church (Carmel, IN)
Grace Community Church (Noblesville, IN)
Calvary Chapel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) (changed)
Christ Fellowship (Palm Beach Gardens, FL)
Flamingo Road Church (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
Christ the Rock Community Church (Cooper City, FL)
RockHarbor (Costa Mesa, CA)
Harbor Christian Center (Gig Harbor, WA)
Northland, A Church Distributed (Longwood, FL)
Kensington Community Church (Troy, MI)
Calvary Christian Center (Louisville, KY)
Ambassador Bible Church (Centreville, VA)
All Souls Church, Unitarian (Washington, DC)
Lord of Life Church (Indiana, PA)
Skyline Presbyterian Church (Tacoma, WA) (changed)
Bridgeway Community Church (Columbia, MD)
Grace Community Church (Columbia, MD)
History Church (Oak Hill, VA)
National Community Church (Washington, DC)
Reston Bible Church (Reston, VA)
Mosaic Manhattan (New York City, NY)
The River Church (Poughkeepsie, NY)
Journey’s Crossing (Gaithersburg, MD)
Discovery Christian Church (Pittsburgh, PA)
Watermarke Church (Canton, GA)
Liquid (Austin, TX)
St. Paul’s Collegiate Church at Storrs (Storrs, CT)
NewSpring Church (Anderson, SC)
LifeChurch (locations in OK and AZ)
Neighborhood Church (Redding, CA)
Center Point Church (North Richland Hills, TX)
Ethnos (San Diego, CA)
Revolution Church (Long Beach, CA)
Mariners’ Church (Annapolis, MD)

I love going to all kinds of churches. Our family tradition for Christmas and Easter is not to stay home, but to attend as many churches as possible. So for people in the church-forsaken places like Chicagoland, Dallas, and Atlanta, here are some churches open for Christmas [recommend a church for thousands who are without – add a comment below]:

New Community Covenant Church (Chicago, IL)
Grace Outreach Center (Plano, TX)
Prestonwood Baptist Church (Plano, TX)
Park Cities Presbyterian Church (Dallas, TX)
Lifepoint Community Church (Greenville, SC)
Mount Paran Church of God (Atlanta, GA)
Crossroads Church of Atlanta
Perimeter Church (Atlanta, GA)
Resurrection Life Church (Grandville, MI)
Gaithersburg Community Church (Gaithersburg, MD)
McLean Bible Church (McLean, VA)
Providence Baptist Church (Raleigh, NC)
Young Nak English Ministry (Los Angeles, CA)
Cedar Ridge Community Church (Spencerville, MD)
Barstow Free Methodist Church (Barstow, CA)
Faith Community Church (West Covina, CA) listings (for Louisville; Chicago)
Barrington Houses of Worship
my index of online church directories and search engines

* Note: neither listing above is disapproval nor endorsement – simply public information; also listen to NPR’s All Things Considered piece on this [aired on 12/14/05]

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