Our Drive-In Christmas Eve worship services featured a full parking lot at the 7:00 pm service and a three-quarters-full parking lot at 9:00 pm. We kept our cherished Christmas Eve traditions alive in in-person worship while others worshiped with us online at home via the traditional Christmas Eve worship service pre-recorded in our beautiful Sanctuary.
In all, nearly 1500 people experienced First Church Christmas Eve services as never before.
Here are a few highlights of our unique drive-in Christmas Eve worship experience:
- Car horns honked in high-spirited “Amen!”
- Our unmistakable tone of celebration, catharsis, and love permeated the air.
- Lights in our towers inspired reverence and underscored awe.
- Innovative use of the façade of the Justin kept alive our tradition of using light and shadow to tell the Nativity story.
- Clergy held high the candles of peace, hope, love, joy, and the light of Christ in a “living Advent wreath.”
- Candles rose from car windows as we sang Silent Night.
- First-time guests, drawn to the idea of safe, in-person Christmas Eve worship experienced the love of our faith community.
- Families inside cars took communion, sang favorite carols, and decorated cookies — together.
- Dogs joined their families for Christmas Eve worship (perhaps a new tradition?)
- People driving by saw conspicuous worship—First Church alive and worshipping on Christmas Eve.
It’s your ministry giving that made this kind of flexible and innovative ministry possible amidst the challenges of 2020, and from where we’re sitting now, 2021 promises to be a watershed moment in our church as we Love God, Serve People, and Transform Lives in both new and traditional ways.