Dear Faithful People and friends of Christ the King Church:
The weather outside on Christmas day will not be frightful! Thanks be to God! As a result, we have one change which improves our planned in-person celebrations of Christ’s Nativity: our 11:00 a.m. Christmas Day Service of Holy Communion will be outdoors in the back parking lot off Greenbriar where there will be room for social distancing and no limit to the number of people who can safely attend. The weather prediction is “partly cloudy with temperatures in the mid-seventies.” Dress comfortably and please bring a chair for each person. This will be a full service of holy communion; we will sing favorite carols; and we will follow the same safety protocols about masks and social distancing that we did last winter and spring.
As I wrote yesterday, our goal is to balance our desire for full in-person and on-line worship with our care for the most vulnerable among us. This outdoor service offers us an additional way to maintain that balance. This service cannot be livestreamed.
We thus will celebrate Christ’s birth with three, indoor, in-person and live-streamed services on Christmas Eve: 4:00 p.m. in German and 6:00 and 10:00 p.m. in English with all the safety protocols I described in yesterday’s letter. At 11:00 a.m. on Christmas Day, the service will be in-person, outdoors, and not livestreamed.
We believe this schedule offers the most options for all, including those who worship with us virtually. We give thanks to God that here in this place we, like the shepherds, can gather “in the fields” and hear the angels (and one another) sing.”
We are also so very thankful for your patient and helpful responses as we have navigated the pandemic storm. We continue to thank God for the opportunity to gather safely and comfortably outdoors as well as in the nave.
This is (I hope) my last letter to you in 2021. God keep you and all those you love whole, well, and strong as we rejoice to be together in God’s presence in these days.
Peace and Joy — and Courage!
Amandus J. Derr
Interim Senior Pastor