After noticing a significant drop in attendance during Easter time, one church in South Carolina is asking the local school district to consider changing the dates for spring break.
With fewer and fewer people in their pews during Holy Week services, pastors at the Oakland Baptist Church in Rock Hill are concerned over the spring break overlap with Easter.
“Why [do] the schools each year schedule spring break between Palm Sunday and Easter, right at the high time of the church year?” pastor Shelden Timmerman asked on WBTV.
“It seems to us that they’ve been following the religious calendar to determine where to set up the vacation time, and somehow we don’t think that’s quite right.”
Believing that schools specifically planned their breaks around Easter time, and not at a set time each year, the church sent a letter to the Rock Hill School District hoping for a change of dates in order to increase participation and attendance during what they deemed the most important time of the year.
“[If schools would] not schedule it at Easter time, but a time that happens every year and if Easter happens [to] hit on that, so be it, we can live with that,” Timmerman said on the newscast.
If the dates continue to revolve around Easter, said Timmerman, the church will learn to adjust.
“We’re not going to try to tell the school district how to do anything beyond expressing our concern,” he said, acknowledging that concerns about separation of church and state would possibly arise.
In an email to WBTV, school board chairman Bob Norwood stated that the board would be discussing the issue during the next work session agenda.
Nothing is being guaranteed as of yet, just a promise of discussion.
Some Rock Hill parents commented that family time was more important than “church” time, with many families going on vacation during spring break, thus missing Easter services.
They believed that despite the efforts of the church, the issue would not be resolved.
Oakland Baptist remains positive, however, and hopes to find a way to increase attendance and participation during Holy Week, even without the change of dates.