(Above) Kendra Walker, from the First Congregational Church, wipes down pews with sanitary wipes in preparation for a Christmas Eve service.-Submtited photo.
by Michelle Watson
Many area churches have struggled throughout the pandemic. Restrictions and guidelines were put into place and many churches moved their services online. Despite the tough year, the churches are ready to celebrate the birth of Christ. Some of the churches are still meeting online, while others are meeting in person. However the churches choose to celebrate, one thing is certain, Jesus is still the reason for the season.
Following is a listing of what area churches have planned for this special time of year.
Clear Lake Evangelical Free Church
Clear Lake Evangelical Free Church will host a candlelight Christmas Eve worship gathering on Thursday, Dec. 24, at 5:30 p.m. The service will feature traditional carols and a special Christmas message from Pastor Chris McComic. All ages are warmly invited to this family-friendly service. The church will provide space for ample social distancing. Those who are attending are asked to consider wearing a mask while inside the church building. The service will also be live streamed at www.clearlakefree.org and on the church’s Facebook page.
Clear Lake Church of Christ
The Clear Lake Church of Christ will have a Christmas Eve service at 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 24. The service will go through the story of Jesus’ birth in the Bible and incorporate tradition Christmas Carols that fit with the story. Rows of chairs are spaced six feet apart.
Clear Lake Christian
The Clear Lake Christian Church will hold a Christmas Eve service at 7 p.m.
St. Patrick’s Catholic Church
St. Patrick’s Catholic Church will hold Mass at 4 and 8 p.m. on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24. The 4 p.m. service will be live streamed on the church’s website, www.stpatrickcommunity.com. Mass will be held on Christmas Day at 10 a.m.
First Congregational Church
First Congregational Church will hold a Christmas Eve service at 6 p.m. The service may also be viewed on Facebook at FirstCongregationalClearLake. Socially distanced with masks is recommended in the church sanctuary.
Zion Lutheran Church
This year, Zion Lutheran Church will be offering Christmas Eve Online live at 12 p.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m., 4 p.m., 5 p.m., and 6 p.m. on social media. The services can also be accessed on CL-Tel on Demand beginning at 12 p.m. or on Zion’s website. Christmas Eve boxes will be available in the church office on Wednesday, Dec. 23. Included in this box will be Communion elements, Christmas Eve invitations, candles for “Silent Night”, and a gift from Zion.
Galilean Lutheran Church
Galilean Lutheran Church is hosting Christmas Eve worship on Thursday, Dec. 24, at 6 p.m., in the parking lot. Bring your own lawn chairs or blankets and sit on the patio or stay in your car. There will be a live radio transmission to tune into on your car radios. Hot cocoa packets, candy canes and glow sticks will be handed out. All are welcome.
Agape Church will be presenting, “Hope Burning Bright,” a mini production with a four-part choir, soloists, dancers, flaggers and a nativity scene. The Dec. 24 servcie will begin at 5 p.m. A nursery will be provided. All are invited.
Harvest Bible Chapel
Harvest Bible Chapel will hold Christmas Eve services at 4 and 6 p.m., both in-person and live-streamed.
Clear Lake Baptist Church
Clear Lake Baptist Church will not have a usual Christmas schedule this year due to COVID-19. Worship services will be held outdoors on Sundays at 10:45 a.m.
Lutheran Church of Hope - Clear Lake
Lutheran Church of Hope - Clear Lake will hold a Christmas Eve Candlelight Service, “All Eyes on Jesus,” at the Lake Theatre, Clear Lake, at 4 p.m.
Community of Christ
Community of Christ will be participating with Lamoni-Heartland Mission Center group of congregations in a Zoom Christmas Eve Service. The service will have individuals from all of the Mission Center’s congregations. For the Zoom link information contact Jill Branstad at 641-390-2440.
Clear Lake United Methodist Church
Clear Lake United Methodist Church will hold a Christmas Eve worship service at 7 p.m. in the church parking lot.
Those attending are asked to bring a candle, glowstick or cell phone with the flashlight app for use during “Silent Night” at the end of the service. Masks are required, with everyone practicing safe distancing.
The service will also be available at 7 p.m. Christmas Eve on the church’s YouTube channel; search CLUMC United Methodist Church.