Economic matters often tied to church attendance

The congregation of Roca Eterna Iglesia in Grand Junction has seen membership flow — and ebb — with the Grand Valley’s economic fortunes.

Roca Eterna Iglesia, 1333 N. 23rd St., grew during the boom years, along with many other institutions and businesses, said Pastor Joe Guajardo.

“Then the economy hit and a lot of people stuck it out as long as they could, until eventually they had to make a decision,” Guajardo said.

Families who split for days or weeks at a time had to choose and the logical choice was to pick up and move to North Dakota, Weld County, or other energy hotspots, Guajardo said.

“The husband was gone six days a week, sometimes three weeks, paying rent in two places, it didn’t work well,” Guajardo said.

“Eventually the family moves on, as much as they didn’t want to, but they had to.”

Some spring-like tendrils of growth, however, seem to be returning, Guajardo said.

Last week, “I met someone who lives in Vernal (Utah) and comes to Grand Junction to work,” Guajardo said.

“It’s been stagnant for seven months, but now people are coming in, slowly but surely, checking things out.”


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