As we flip yet another page on our calendars to reveal the month of December, I admit my heart is heavy to think of all the stuff that happens in this month that won’t happen this year. At least, not in the same way. Having a young child clumsily wield the lighted acolyte torch to light the advent wreath at worship is always entertaining, but that won’t happen this year. Standing out in the cold with yappy, happy dogs for our annual Live Nativity is always memorable, but that won’t happen this year. Passing the candle flame from person to person throughout a filled sanctuary as we sing “Silent Night” is always moving, but that won’t happen this year.
This December may come with significant grief as we mourn the things that we have been robbed of due to the pandemic. So, let’s just take a moment to acknowledge that…
Okay. Now, let’s think about how we can reinvent these things! Lighting the advent wreath in worship will still happen this year. But it will require YOU to have a few candles out at the place where you join me in online worship. Or dig out those no-flame wreaths that the children at CtK made a few years ago, and put one of the stick flames in that tube to mark off the weeks. It’s not the same, but it’ll connect all of us together this year!
We had hoped to still do the Live Nativity in person this year, but current restrictions have led us to abandon that hope and plan to do it online instead. So, thanks to Mandy Gardner and our awesome CtK Youth, we will still have an amazing Live Nativity to watch during worship on Sunday, December 20! We’ve been working on putting it together for some time already, and it’s amazing. You’re gonna’ want to see it. Again, it’s not the same, but it’ll connect all of us together this year!
Candle lighting at Christmas Eve worship… well, there’s no good way to recreate that. Christmas Eve will just feel off for many of us this year without the opportunity to be together in person. But we’re doing our best to create a phenomenal online Christmas Eve worship service that you and your family can watch at home. Our musicians have been hard at work creating the music and visuals for this service already, and I’m excited to watch it all come together. Again, it’s not the same, but it’ll connect all of us together this year.
One more event in December is also still happening this year, albeit differently: Holiday Hoopla! This annual event brings together people of all ages to build “gingerbread” (actually graham cracker) “houses” (rarely do people build houses). The event will still take place this year, but this year you can participate from the comfort of your own home! RSVP is required so that we know how much candy building supplies we need to purchase. We will make pre-measured kits for participants to pick up at the church the week of December 6. Then, connect with others on Zoom on Sunday, December 13 starting at 2:30pm for the building competition! It’s not the same, but it’ll connect all of us together this year!
Thank you to all of you at CtK for your flexibility and patience these last many months. And, although this year will be different, I hope that you will join me in celebrating Advent and Christmas in reimagined ways.