Beacon of hope

Published 8:49 am Friday, December 30, 2011

The beautiful new church buildings springing up around Western Tidewater are inspiring.

High Street United Methodist Church this month moved into modern, spacious new facilities on Camp Parkway just in time for Christmas worship. St. Paul Holiness Church in Sedley will worship for the first time this weekend in a new sanctuary built atop the ashes of a July 2009 fire that destroyed the church’s former structure. And then there’s Kingdom Life Ministries, which now has its very own church to call home on Delaware Road after nearly six years of borrowing space for services.

It’s good to see area churches prospering.

Certainly, the construction activity has been a welcome boost for that sector of the economy, which has struggled because of limited activity in the housing market in recent years.

More important, these new houses of worship contradict what statistics suggest is a steady decline in church attendance and membership. If Christianity were dying, as some naysayers contend, churches wouldn’t be investing in new, larger facilities. Locally at least, church attendance appears to be strong.

The new churches are also timely, visible reminders — for those who attend, as well as those who simply drive by on their way elsewhere — of the reason for this season of celebrating Jesus’ birth.

We commend each congregation on their steps of faith and wish them well in the years ahead as they spread the word of Christ’s love for mankind.