People Turning to Church in Tough Economic Times

By: Jessica Zartler Email
By: Jessica Zartler Email

People aren't just looking for new jobs to deal with financial angst, they're turning to a higher power. Local churches of all faiths say they're seeing a big increase in attendance at their services.

Many different religious groups say more people are coming in and looking for answers as they struggle to make ends meet.

They say even though the tight economy may be putting a crunch on people's budgets, they are still reaching deep in their pockets to give to the collection plate and to their neighbors.

Canyon View Vineyard Pastor J.P. Mertens says when times are tough he turns to scriptures in the bible and he says more people are doing just that--attendance is up about 20 percent.

"It has been a blessing to help give people hope," Mertens told 11 News on Wednesday.

He says the pews have been packed on Sundays and even though people are pinching pennies, they're still putting those pennies in the offering plate to help their neighbors.

"When a family is hurting or struggling financially in some way other families are coming to their aid and helping them during this tough time," said Mertens.

In the LDS community, Stake President Kelly Summers says he's seeing more and more need in the community.

"We have a Bishop Steward House that gives out food that comes from Denver and Salt Lake and needs are up significantly," Summers told 11 News on Wednesday.

And not just for food, Summers says people's souls are in need too.

"People return to the need they feel for spirituality when things tough. People are humbled," said Summers.

At the Bethel Assembly of God Church, attendance is up ten percent. Pastor Dave Huslig thinks people who have turned to faith are finding something they didn't have before.

"I think people are refreshed and encouraged. They've told me that they appreciate it and they've made them kind of leave the service feeling like there's hope on the horizon," Huslig said on Wednesday.

And pastors say they pray the hope and giving spirit they're seeing won't just be around for tough times.

Canyon View Vineyard Church says its seen church members letting other church members stay at their homes if they've lost their place to live, bringing in food and giving people rides if there car breaks down.

Bethel Assembly of God Church on Orchard Avenue has a food pantry on Wednesday nights.

The LDS church is holding seminars for the community on how to trim down your budget and is also handing out food.

For more information on outreach programs, church contact information is below.

Canyon View Vineyard Church
736 24 1/2 Rd
Grand Junction, CO 81505
(970) 242-7970

Church of Jesus Christ of LDS
2542 G Rd, Grand Junction
(970) 242-0024

Bethel Assembly of God
2945 Orchard Ave
Grand Junction
(970) 243-8247


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