We are taking Christmas Eve outside, just like the Holy Family! Instead of our traditional Christmas Eve Candlelight service or gathering over Zoom, we are going to do what we can to gather in person, the safest way we can, outside. A Live Nativity for the whole church family and community will be our Christmas Eve gathering. It will be open in the Downtown Park in Hopkins from 5 to 7pm. It is a come-and-go as you can event. Come and remember the original holy family and the first Christmas with our Live Nativity including a holy family, flitting angels, and live animals. Christmas music will fill the air and every 15 min we will be doing readings of the Gospel Christmas stories. To close, at 6:45pm we will light candles and sing Silent Night together. We want to be as safe as we can be, so please wear masks and social distance.
Since the last Ad Board meeting where we decided we hoped to get back inside for Advent, we have received a couple of new pieces of guidance from state leadership. Governor Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health released a new wave of restrictions on public gathering spaces and new recommendations. Alongside those new guidelines, our Bishop also released a statement giving guidance to the United Methodist churches of Michigan on what we should do for the Advent and Christmas season. ...(continue reading for full update) Taking the Bishop and Governor's recommendations seriously, the Ad Boards of Hopkins and South Monterey have come to the tough decision to remain virtual through the end of December. This means that Advent through Christmas will be held on Zoom. This is disappointing for all of us. I know how much we would all love to be back to normal inside worshiping like we are used to. Zoom worship is not the same and does not spark the same joy and comfort, but we are working to bring some joy, cheer, and advent feelings to you at home and during our Zoom services. We will try some new things and find Christ's peace in new and important ways during this year of ongoing upheaval.
The Ad Board has decided that we will return to worship inside. We hope for this to stick for the whole Fall season, but it is subject to change if the virus conditions change. Starting October 4th we will return to our usual Fall schedule and split to the two services at the separate buildings, 9:30am at South Monterey and 11am at Hopkins.