As you’re reading this, it is almost Christmas Eve, one of the biggest days of the year in the worship life of this and pretty much any other church! As you have heard already, we are once again having three Candlelight Christmas Eve services: an Intergenerational Service at 4 p.m., a Traditional Service at
7 p.m. with Lessons and Carols and a Christmas homily, and a Candlelight Communion service at 11 p.m. I hope to see you at one of those services, either in person or on the Facebook livestream!


Some of you have asked about whether COVID protocols will be changing in light of the surge in the Omicron variant of the virus in the last week or so. Our Task Force carefully considered the various data, factors, and current CDC recommendations, along with what our peer churches are doing for Christmas Eve.

After weighing all of that, the Task Force determined that our current protocols are sufficient. As a reminder, that means a mask covering your nose and mouth at all times inside the building, and maintaining at least three feet of distance between your household and anyone else’s while you are seated in worship.

For those who are comfortable shaking hands and such, that remains permissible; the scientific research indicates that the chances of passing the virus by surface contact are exceedingly low. However, those who remain uncomfortable with such contact are more than welcome to indicate that simply by placing a hand over your heart during the Peace, etc. My guess is that about 40% of our Sunday morning congregation falls into the latter camp, so you will certainly not be alone!

Finally, I want to remind you that, on the Christian calendar, Christmas begins on Christmas Day rather than ends there! This year, we will have two Sundays in the Christmas season: December 26 and January 2. Worship on December 26 will be a Combined service in the Sanctuary at 10 a.m., so please note the change in the normal schedule that day.

And finally, we will be observing Epiphany, the visitation of the Magi to Jesus on January 9. This year, we will be doing so with a special new activity: Star Words. You will hear more about this in early January, but it is a practice in many churches to observe Epiphany, which of course corresponds roughly with the start of a new secular calendar year, and is a way to go through the year with thoughtfulness and intentionality in your faith.

So, I am excited about a wonderful new Christmas season, and one that allows us the option once again to come together in person! I look forward to being in worship with you on Christmas Eve, and wish all of you a merry and blessed Christmas.

Grace and Peace,