This is a message I had really hoped not to be sending. As many of you know, over this past week I and others in leadership here have been prayerfully watching the developments with the latest variant of Covid and trying to discern whether we are wise to be gathering for two in-person services on Christmas Eve. Today, as we look ahead to the end of this week, and to what course this variant seems to be taking in other places, we have decided to do what we hope is the right thing for you all, for the families and friends you may be gathering with over this holiday season, and for our communities. In an effort to do our bit in slowing the rapid transmission of this variant and the complications that could bring to this holiday season, we will not be gathering for in-person services on Christmas Eve again this year. We are hoping that this will help to keep you and your loved ones well so that you can be together. Of course we will have our online service up and ready to go on the church website and our YouTube channel on December 24th and it will remain there throughout the season.
As you may know we have a tradition at St. Stephen’s of directing all of the offering from our Christmas Eve services to a local charitable organization. This year we planned to forward all monies given at the services to Forward House to support the work they do in our community offering community and programs for people facing mental health and addiction recovery challenges. We encourage you to make any offering you planned to give at our services to Forward House directly through this link to their website:
If you find yourself longing for a Christmas worship service, we will have an online service available to all for Sunday, December 26th when we will celebrate the first Sunday of the Christmas season. And we still plan on gathering both online and in-person on Sunday, January 2nd at 10 am to celebrate the Second Sunday in the church’s Christmas season. Yes, in the church, we celebrate for a couple of weeks after the big day and we would absolutely love to have you join us for any of those services.
With our prayers that you may experience anew the blessings of Christmas this season.
Rev. Dianne Collery