Dear Christ Church,
The year of our Lord 2020 has been full of firsts. We have another: holiday services during a pandemic! Here’s what you need to know for making your plans to celebrate the coming of our Savior and Lord Jesus this year:
Online-only @4pm Christmas Eve: This will be a delightful online-only service involving various parishioners, children, a reading of the gospel story of Jesus’ birth, and a briefer homily. You may tune in right at 4pm, but it will also be available to view with your friends or family for the rest of the night, at your convenience.
On-site Sanctuary Worship @5pm & 7pm Christmas Eve: These services will be at 112 Medina St. and require registration, distancing, and masks just like a Sunday morning. We are decorating the sanctuary, planning special music, and preparing to “feast” on beauty during the Feast of the Incarnation, at the end of this year of “famine.” As always, we will conclude with candlelit singing of Silent Night.
On-site Overflow Worship @5pm & 7pm Christmas Eve: Once the sanctuary is full, we will seat people in the courtyard with speakers for audio participation in the service with printed liturgy guides to join in singing, prayer, and worship. Overflow worshippers will also be able to enter the sanctuary for Communion. I imagine the sounds of worship overflowing into the streets and neighborhood and then, at the end, the light of many hand-held candles in the courtyard shining into the night and upon our neighbors.
Epiphany, January 6th: Christ Church and our three sister parishes in the Diocese of Churches for the Sake of Others will have a joint online evening worship service to celebrate Epiphany. This day in the church calendar concludes the twelve days of Christmas, commemorating the presentation of Jesus to the three wise men who followed the star, each of them Gentiles, and therefore the fulfill of God’s promise to redeem all nations. There is a missional emphasis on Christ as the Light that pierces the darkness, Light of the nations and hope of the world. Service time TBD. Mark your calendar!
We will have our regularly scheduled 10am services on Sunday Dec. 27th and Jan. 3rd.
Lastly, please join me in expressing gratitude for Kirsty Jackson as she leaves our staff at the end of this month. She came on as an administrator over three years ago and has walked through major developments and growth with us, from the building renovation and move-in to the crisis that my own family and the Christ Church family went through with Christine’s accident, to growth in numbers, budget, staff, and complexity over those years. Thank you, Kirsty, for your kind and faithful presence!
P.S. Be on the lookout in your mailbox for a Christmastide Devotional Guide, a joint production of the four C4SO parishes, to unite us in joy as the people of God for the 12 days of Christmas.