Christmas Day 2021 — the day Christians celebrate the anniversary of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth.

   With the COVID-19 pandemic reaching the two-year mark, families around the world have been adjusting their get-togethers, church service traditions, gift giving and more. Most churches have been open for in-person gatherings with restrictions.

   The Times reached out to a few local churches to hear what their leaders are striving for this Christmas.

   Rev. Dawn Russell of the Linden Presbyterian Church said they will be gathering drive-in style at their 7 p.m. Christmas Eve service.

  “This somewhat quirky venue has been a blessing to those among us who are taking a more cautious approach to gathering for worship,” she said. “Listening to the service on the car radio, our choir will be heard from inside the sanctuary and our pastor will share the message of God’s love and promise in view of those gathered for worship.”

   Russell added that the highlight of Linden Presbyterian Church’s service is the candlelight liturgy when those gathering exit their vehicles, weather permitting, to spread the light of Christ into the world as they sing Silent Night.

   “We welcome all to join us in worship,” she said.

   Their candlelight service at 11:30 p.m. will be inside. Masks are required.

   The Rock Church is holding a community-wide, come-as-you-are service Christmas Eve. It will be held at The Rock, 11400 Linden Rd., Linden, at 5 p.m. and will last one hour. 

   Pastor Wes Morris said, “The focus will be exclusively on the hope and power that is found in the simple Gospel of Jesus.

   “The music, Scripture and message will all be reminding people that no matter what burden they carry or regret they may have, Jesus offers loving mercy and new life to all who will trust Him by faith.

    “I would encourage anybody, from any walk of life regardless of whether or not they believe in God to come out on Christmas Eve with an open and honest heart.”

   The Rock Church is not requiring anything specific, however, the church encourages all in attendance to observe any necessary health protocols they deem best. “We will just be glad they came,” Morris said. 

   For those who may be uncomfortable or are unable to attend in person, The Rock Church will be airing the service live on WNEM Channel 5 as well as all of the typical social media platforms. WNEM will also re-air the service at noon Christmas Day. Anyone with questions or needing special accommodations in order to attend, please reach out by calling (810) 629-2444 or emailing nthompson@rockfenton.com.

   St. John the Evangelist Church of Fenton is holding a Christmas Vigil on Friday, Dec. 24 from 4 to 6 p.m. They will then hold a Christmas Day service, Saturday, Dec. 25 at midnight and then again at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.

   The First Presbyterian Church of Fenton is holding a Christmas Eve service, a Virtual Family Worship, at 7 p.m. A Carol Celebration Outdoors will be at 11:30 p.m.

   The Tyrone Covenant Presbyterian Church will be holding a Christmas Eve Candlelight Communion Service at 4 p.m.

   The Fenton United Methodist Church will host several Christmas Eve services, beginning with a casual service in the Family Life Center at 5 p.m. At 7 p.m. and 11 p.m., the church will hold a traditional style services in the sanctuary.

   The Tyrone Community Presbyterian Church will hold a Christmas Eve Service at 3:30 p.m. and at 6 p.m.

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