Some churches remain open despite winter weather

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – Despite the snow, which made Sunday morning difficult for many church-goers, some churches held services for those who were willing and able to make it there safely.

More than 125 churches called off services Sunday because of the snowy roads, while others stayed open.

Armed with faith, coats and a snow blower, the staff at Emmanuel Baptist at 100th Street and Metcalf in Overland Park, Kan., cleared the parking lot and sidewalks of snow Sunday morning, readying their church for worship despite bone chilling cold, harsh winds and blowing snow.

“We want to be together. To think God loves us and has a miracle for us makes it a priority and worth it on a rough day,” said Pastor Lou Fortier of Emmanuel Baptist Church.

Those who did hit the slick roads relied on prayer to get there in one piece.

“We're really concerned primarily about safety, and our church members are pretty smart so they're going to know whether it's good to go out or not,” said Pastor Fortier.

Although there were not nearly as many people as usual for a Sunday morning service, those who did brave the elements were grateful some churches were open.

“There were times I thought, maybe I should've stayed at home,” said Mary Burns, a member of Emmanuel Baptist Church.

But Burns said she has never misses church, not even on days with weather like Sunday’s.  She helps to run the cafe, along with church member Lacee Kovanda, who came to church with her two daughters.

“Church is an important part of our life, we come to church to worship God and be with others who do the same,” said Kovanda.

Churches depend on offerings to stay open, so cancelling services can be a major financial sacrifice.

“I think we should be open if we can. For those who do come, we’ll have a small congregation, I'm sure, then we need to be here,” said Pastor Fortier.

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