Numerous churches canceled Palm Sunday services today as nearly a foot of heavy snow knocked out power, closed roads and turned the first official week of spring in Kansas City into a winter wonderland.
"It looks like Narnia out here," said John Scanlon, one of countless Kansas Citans who spent part of their Sunday shoveling their driveway. Scanlon said he would have worshiped at one of the nearby Catholic churches if the weather had been better.
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"Yeah,but not today," he said. "I'll have to do some double praying on Easter. And you know what I will be praying for? No more snow."
Although hundreds of area churches canceled worship because of the weather, some held services despite the snow.
The Rev. Jim Gordon, pastor of Pine Ridge Presbyterian in the Northland, rose at 5 a.m. to shovel.
"I was a pastor in rural Iowa before I came here in 1994," he said. "They had a tradition if the weather was really bad that they would cancel because we had a lot of people in the country who were driving in. But if you cancel once, then the next time it snows and you don't cancel, the question is will people think it's safe to get out? When I came here we adopted a policy that we just will not cancel church unless nobody can get to the building.
"The other part of it is we have a lot of visitors. We have a calling system that can get the message out to members (if we cancel services), but there's no way to tell the visitors."
Typical attendance at Pine Ridge Presbyterian on a regular Palm Sunday is about 425 people," Gordon said. About 130 people showed up today.
The church has someone to plow its parking lot, and a crew of volunteers to shovel the walkways, starting at 6 a.m.
"It's amazing to me how many people make it here on a snowy day," Gordon said.