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VOLUME 1 • ISSUE 6   |   Release date: November 15, 2003

In This Issue
Second Coming Thwarted
Denominational Unity
Christians Believe Anything on Internet
"Holidays" Blamed for Low Attendance
Bow Hunting Analogies Increase
Top 10 Worst-Ever Life Verses
Survey Results
November Church Sign of the Month

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"Holidays" Blamed for Low Church Attendance
Congregation Sick of Excuses
Nash Mulaney
Pastor Nash Mulaney
blames holidays

ORANGE, CA – With the holiday season upon us, many churchgoers have their minds on family gatherings and the Advent, but members of Calvary Chapel East Hills – a church plant that meets on the campus of Santiago Canyon College – is preparing for a barrage of excuses. Pastor Nash Mulaney has earned himself a reputation for pointing the finger at various holidays as the reason for the church's languishing attendance numbers.

"I'm just dreading the next few weeks, because I know if we have any dip (in attendance) it's gonna be 'keep in mind that this is the holiday season' or 'thanks for being here even during the holiday season' coming from the pulpit," said CCEH member Jane Devins. "If we were getting comments on Flag Day, I can't imagine what we'll hear around Christmas."

In fact, it was a comment from Mulaney on Sunday, June 15th - the day after Flag Day - that really got members of the congregation grumbling.

"He actually stood up there and said, 'Let's remember to pray for our many regular attenders who are traveling this Flag Day weekend.' I had to bite my tongue to keep from laughing out loud. We had 75 people there that day. We normally run about 80," said Rick Jackson, the president of CCEH's youth group. Jackson has received many a chuckle from fellow teens by imitating Mulaney's comments during youth group meetings on Thursday nights.

Many church members have spoken to Mulaney privately about his holiday scapegoating, but he stands by his statements.

Calvary Chapel East Hills
Some birch trees in front of Calvary Chapel East Hills

"I can see where they're coming from. I used to think the same thing before I became a pastor," Mulaney said. "But you don't realize how true it is until you get up there in the pulpit. These holidays really do have an effect on attendance, and I feel that I need to point that out. I don't want people thinking we have low attendance because I'm a bad pastor."

CCEH members currently have no plans to take any formal action against Mulaney at this time, but there's no doubt that his comments are starting to cause more damage than the occasional eye roll.

"I've actually thought about skipping church during the holidays to avoid hearing his excuses," said Devins. "But then I figured that my absence would just encourage him to make even more comments, so I guess you can't win."

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