A congregation of the United Church of Canada
December 1, 2021
I had an epiphany! Yes, I know, it’s just Advent and we have to still get through Christmas before we get to Epiphany – but I had one early! It was inspired by a conversation with some clergy colleagues, and the success of the Advent/Christmas Lighting gathering hosted by our Gardening Group. Last Sunday night they gathered with folks from the church and the neighbourhood and lit up the garden and the nativity scene. It looks lovely!
Can you guess where I’m going with this? Did you guess that we’re going to have our Christmas Eve “Family Service” outside in the garden this year? That’s right! I was a bit concerned about how families might feel about having lots of kids in the sanctuary on Christmas Eve, especially since vaccinations are just starting with kids in recent days. I worried that maybe many families might stay away to be cautious. But the garden nativity lighting night showed me that people could gather on a winter’s night outside and still enjoy themselves.
So that’s what we’re going to do! At 6:30 pm on Christmas Eve we’ll have our Family Service OUTSIDE in the garden at the front of the church. (Dress warm and cozy!) We’ll tell the story, we’ll sing some carols, and we’ll celebrate the coming of the light of the world. Yes, it will be pretty short. Yes, we’ll all still wear masks. But we’ll be able to gather in the safety of the outdoors, and it will be new and special and memorable. (Pray for good weather!)
Then, at 8:00 pm we’ll be INSIDE the church for our traditional Lessons and Carols service with communion and candles.
Boxing Day is a Sunday this year, which means it’s a church day. We’ll be pre-recording that service and launching it on YouTube on Boxing Day. There will NOT be an in-person gathering on December 26th.
Following that, I’ll be on holidays for the next week but we’ll be bringing in a guest preacher and having worship on January 2nd BOTH in-person AND livestreamed. (We’ll delay communion to Jan 9th.)
Those are our Christmas plans. I hope you will be able to join us – outside, inside, online, or in-person. It really is beginning to look a lot like Christmas!