Now that December is here, our thoughts turn toward the Christmas season. Decorations are going up around town, and while we haven’t seen snow stick to the ground yet, the chill in the air reminds us that Christmas and its celebrations are quickly approaching.

Part of getting ready for Christmas is participating in Advent worship services. In-person worship at RD Mize will be on Dec. 2 & 9 at 5:30pm. The theme this year is “The Songs of Advent.” Then on Wednesday, Dec. 16, the Advent service will occur at Wyatt at 5:30pm in conjunction with the TLS Christmas Program. If you are able to attend, we would love to see you at these services. If you are unable to attend, the Advent services will be live-streamed.

But what does the current pandemic mean for our Christmas celebrations? We do not entirely know. We know that some families will gather as in the past which often includes attending worship on Christmas Eve and/or Christmas Day. For others, we know they will make the difficult decision to pare down their celebrations and participate in worship via livestream. We are not advocating one or the other. Each family best knows its personal context, and we trust that you will use your God-given common sense to make the best decision for your circumstances.

This does leave us with a significant amount of uncertainty because we do not know how many people will want to attend in-person worship on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. If you choose to worship with us in-person, we will continue to follow Jackson County Health Department recommendations regarding masking, physical distancing, and room capacities. We ask that each family group maintains good physical distancing between other families during worship. Hopefully, we can accommodate everyone who wishes to worship in-person, but we ask for patience and understanding as we navigate these most unusual circumstances.

As a reminder, in-person worship will occur at the following times:

 Christmas Eve: 

At RD Mize—

  • 2:00pm
  • 4:00pm
  • 7:00pm
  • 10:00pm (Candlelight Service with Holy Communion)

At Wyatt Road—

  • 4:00pm (live-streamed)

 Christmas Day:

                10:00am at RD Mize (with Holy Communion)

 The schedule for Drive-Thru Communion for December is slightly altered. It will be offered on Dec. 6 from 11:30am-12:15pm. However, since the Children’s Christmas Program is during the Dec. 20 service at Wyatt, Drive-Thru Communion for that week will occur on Wed., Dec. 23, 6:30-7:00pm, at RD Mize. Those wishing to participate are asked to come to the north doors (sanctuary doors), park at the curb, and then enter church to receive the Sacrament. Staff will determine best ways to provide Drive-Thru Communion in January and update the congregation in a timely manner.

Thank you for your patience and understanding. It has been tricky finding the best balance between everyone’s expectations and concerns. We may not get everything right, but with your help, we can still have a wonderful and blessed Advent and Christmas season.

Under the mercy,

Pastor John