What is you church doing for christmas services?

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I love hearing about Christmas services. So please share what your church is doing or did (depending when you read this) Don't forget to mention choir selections. Thanks and Merry Christmas.

-- Anonymous, December 21, 2002


Sis. Denise, This is not so much about our Christmas service, per se, but what we have done during the Christmas Season.

We (St. Paul, Columbus - Dr. Michael R. Bean, Sr, pastor) sponsored for the first time what was called "The Miracle on Long St.) and what a "miracle it turned out to be! [It's worthy to note here that our church is on Long Street.)

For 3 Saturdays, Dec 7, 14, and 21, our drama dept presented a living nativity on the church lawn. Long Street is very busy street and our church is right by an entrance to I-71. Two performances were given each evening. The participants did not have to learn any lines as the narrator provided the key to what the actors portrayed. The scenes were done with live animals - two goats, a donkey, and a camel -- a young camel (1 1/2 years old), but still a camel!

But the real "miracle" was in other things that were happening. Throughout the evening, complimentary soup and sandwiches were served in the undercroft. The food was donated by area restuarants and others. Many people came or were brought from area shelters and halfway houses (we're a downtown church and in a poor area of the city). The first evening we were also, for the first time part of the "Tour of Downtown Churches" sponsored by Columbus Landmarks Foundation', and they chose to start the tour at St. Paul, which meant that everyone gathered at St. Paul before breaking up into smaller groups to go on foot to five other churches in the area. It was really interesting to see the oldest black congregation in the city filled with 300-400 white folks...and a smattering of black folks. We had a high school choir provide music both outside and inside during the tour program. Landmarks has already said they want to start off at St. Paul again next year. Although Landmarks office is only about a block from St. Paul, it has taken us about 8 or so years to get on the tour...primarily through the efforts of ONE of our members who kept showing up in their office saying WE SHOULD BE ON THE TOUR; no other black congregations have been included.

On the last weekend, an outside organization used our church's annex for a clothing giveaway and many who came for clothes also stayed for the living nativity as well as for fellowship around the table while eating soup and sandwiches.

In addition, each week, there was also a book giveaway (in all honesty, many we couldn't even give away; children's books were especially in demand) and additional breads and other foods for giveaway.

This has been truly a marvelous season of outreach and truly, "A Miracle on Long Street". The message of Christ and his coming was shown both dramatically and vicariously. Most we will probably never see again, yet they all have been a part of the miracle!

Sorry to have been so long, but I was and am still excited about our new and meaningful outreach into the community.

-- Anonymous, December 23, 2002

L.W your post was not long at all. You were giving a praise report! Wow It sounds fantastic. And what a wonderful way to witness for Christ, Your report is exactly what I was hoping to hear. Our church provided the entertainment for 300 families from Montans State University's family christmas party. We were thrilled because during the summer our church did story telling in partnership with the food bank to reach native american children who were not being fed. My daughter and I are story tellers and it was the children who wanted us to tell stories at the Christmas party. Many of the native american children are half african american and they were happy to learn about the A.M.E church. Our missionary society puts on a community wide christmas card workshop. This is our second year. Children and families come to the library to make cards for the police, firefighter and sheriff departments. They are our local heroes. The cards were gorgeous and this past friday there was an assembly for the officers at one of our elementary schools and all the officers showed up. It was wonderful. L.W thank you for sharing how special our A.M.E churches are. For we are truly one of the denominations that do outreach in the community. Merry Christmas and God bless. By the way did you participate in the nativity scene?

-- Anonymous, December 23, 2002

No, I was not a participant IN the production, but I did do some video taping during one of the dramas and during the program part of the Tour of Churches. I also took a few still photos during the drama.

-- Anonymous, December 24, 2002

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