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Church Attendance Increased After 9/11 But Things Have Changed

10:13 PM, Sep 9, 2011   |    comments
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  • Church Attendance Increased After 9/11 Say Local Religious Leaders
  • Pastor Kyle Reese of Hendricks Avenue Baptist Church says 9/11 has lead to more interfaith dialogue
  • Monsignor Daniel Logan, Pastor of Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church in Ponte Vedra, says it's a pity revival did not last
  • People looked to a higher power for stability and answers in a time of fear and destabilization
  • Many Jacksonville churches display signs remembering 9/11 and plan to remember during services with prayer and messages.
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  • JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Church attendance may have increased after 9/11, local religious leaders say, but things have changed.

    People turned to prayer and a higher power right after 9/11 in hopes of finding solace, said Rev. Daniel Logan.

    "People were shocked," said the pastor of Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church in Ponte Vedra. "They were coming to God as they saw no other answer. It brought the faith community together, we saw we needed as much help from the good Lord as we could get."

    Pastor Kyle Reese of Hendricks Avenue Baptist Church agrees. "You saw when the world was destabilized, people began to grasp for what is stable, and religion and faith play a role in that."

    MORE: Sept. 11 section

    Many religious leaders agree that revival in faith has waned 10 years later.

    "It didn't last, it's a pity," said Logan. "We were a better country then than we are now, in terms of unity and concern for each other and in these economic times that is important. It's a pity it didn't stay that way, but it didn't."

    Religious leaders said one thing that has changed is interfaith dialogue. "I see faith leading many congregations and faith communities to reach out to those who are of different faith traditions, and sitting down and talking together," said Reese.

    Many churches in Jacksonville will give special attention and prayer to remembering the 9/11 anniversary this Sunday. "I am sure it will be a prayerful weekend nationwide and even worldwide," said Logan. 

    But leaders don't necessarily expect more church attendees on Sunday. "It remains to be seen," said Reese. "I am skeptical about that, but you never know, we'll be here ready."

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