Christmas services

December 16, 2020

Dear members and friends of Our Saviour,

This is a difficult announcement to make, as it will be the first time in 20 years of ministry that I have needed to make it. Last night the worship team made a recommendation to Council that Christmas Eve services should be presented digitally this year. This recommendation has passed the Council this morning. It has been a stressful decision and it wasn’t an easy one to make.

The factors which went into the decision were the rising Covid numbers in Croton and the surrounding areas, the size of our physical worship space and the number of people we could safely seat, a letter from the Bishop requesting congregations refrain from having in person services, and a concern for our members health and safety. Again it was not easy, but it was unanimously accepted. I am heartbroken over it, as I know how much these services mean to our members and friends. Christmas Eve is my favorite service of the year, so it is a big loss to me as well.

With that, here is how Christmas Eve will look this year. We have created a pre-recorded service which will premiere on Facebook and YouTube at 3:00 p.m. We made it early, for families to use any time they would want to gather for worship. It has a number of our members reading parts of the service and has all of the Christmas hymns you would want to hear.

A separate live service will begin at 7:00 p.m. This will look like a typical Sunday morning service, in that Phil will play our music and I will lead the liturgy. This will be presented on Zoom and Facebook first and then later uploaded to YouTube. This gives a chance for friends and family to see one another and worship together.

On Christmas Day, we will present a special pageant by our youth. It will premiere at 9:00 a.m. on Christmas Day on Facebook and YouTube. This may be subject to change, and I will notify the congregation if this video isn’t finished in time. The teachers have been hard at work with our youth and it has been fun to watch the play come together.

The Sunday after Christmas, we will not have a regular worship, but will point everyone toward our Synod’s special service for the day. Details will be forthcoming. The service will be presented on Facebook and YouTube.

Thank you for being so patient with us during this time. This is not the ideal, but I am grateful that technology allows us to still connect with one another through this ordeal. I still have hope that this will be the only Christmas we will have to do this, as vaccinations have begun this week. Thank you for your continued love for this congregation.

Yours in Christ,
Pastor Justin Johnson