Christmas will be different this year for churches, individuals, and families. While some traditions must be put on hold, new activities are telling and sharing the story of Jesus’ birth.
FIND A VIRTUAL CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE NEAR YOU. CLICK HERE!
Senior Content Editor
Jesus is coming, and a pandemic cannot stop him.
United Methodists across the state are observing Advent and marking the days until Christmas in new ways that are virus-safe.
Here are just a few examples …
- Howell UMC and Albion First UMC were among churches that distributed candles to homes of members and friends to be used during virtual worship on Sunday mornings during Advent.
- Battle Creek First UMC and the Wesley Foundation on the campus of Western Michigan University are collaborating with God’s Kitchen of Michigan to share free holiday dinners and toys through curbside pick-up and carry-out.
- Auburn UMC sponsored a Greater Santa Challenge to “collect more pounds of food than what Santa weighs.” Food was delivered to the church then sent on to the Auburn Community Food Pantry. They will offer a Christmas Eve Service on Facebook Live and Drive-in Church in the parking lot with glow sticks, singing, and the Nativity scene in the churchyard.
- Detroit Metropolitan UMC’s Christmas Workshop is going online this year. Persons are invited to show up on Zoom in their ugliest or most colorful holiday sweater. There will be a craft show-and-Tell, a scavenger hunt, games, and carols, all done virtually.
- Chelsea First UMC decorated an entry in the town’s Festival of Trees and Light Poles. A festive and fun way to witness.
- Christmas Kindness Donation Saturdays sponsored by Traverse City Central UMC offered a “low-risk, high-value” way to “make a difference in the lives of our treasured neighbors.” Drop off bins collected winter clothing, blankets, food, diapers, and pet food.
- Nardin Park UMC will livestream a Blue Christmas on Friday, Dec. 18 at 7 pm. Extraordinary Connection contributors will also be online Monday, Dec. 21 at 7 pm with Blue Christmas, a service of reflection, comfort, and hope for hearting hearts.
The Michigan Conference continues to add creative resources for free use by congregations around Michigan. Here are this week’s highlights, all available on the Advent Resource page.
Download a four-minute Christmas Eve Greeting from Bishop Bard and share it on Christmas Eve through your social media or as a part of your online Christmas Eve service.
The Michigan Conference is also pleased to offer “The A-B-Cs of Christmas.” This 15-minute children’s Christmas Eve worship service is ready to download for your turn-key use or add a local introduction and close. It may be shared on social media or as a part of your Christmas Eve online offerings. This service has liturgies, prayer, music, and more and features children from every district in our state.
A reminder, Spend Christmas at our house,” an online media campaign, runs Sunday, December 20th through December 24th on Facebook and Google Adword search. This state-wide social media campaign will guide those searching for Christmas Eve services to your local church. It’s essential to check that your online church service is correctly listed. The deadline for updates to the web page is Wednesday, December 16th. Please email changes to email@example.com. We hope you will boost this online campaign by sharing it on your local church Facebook pages and groups.
While many traditional observances of Advent are not possible this year to ensure wellbeing and health from coronavirus, The Michigan Conference is making the journey to Christmas in new and innovative ways.