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Gallatin Valley churches look at different options for Christmas services this year

Posted at 6:42 PM, Dec 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-03 20:42:17-05

BOZEMAN — It’s no secret more people attend church services on Easter and Christmas. Well with Christmas coming up, and in a bit of an unusual year, churches have to start preparing now more than before.

“We finish the service singing Silent Night all holding candles that are lit in a circle around the sanctuary, shoulder to shoulder so we’re taking into account the fact that we can’t do that this year and so how do we plan differently to make sure that we’re observing social distancing and staying as safe as we can,” said Jason Vowker, the lead pastor at First Baptist Church.

You’ve heard the phrase the more the merrier, and this year a lot of churches are offering more Christmas service options to keep Gallatin County merrier or healthier so to say.

“Christmas Eve, we’ll have a three o’clock online Zoom service. The other thing we’re planning, it’s a little dependent on weather, is a drive-in parking lot service. We have an FM transmitter that we can transmit into people’s cars,” explained Stephen Schmidt the pastor at Hope Lutheran Church

“The current plans right now are to have a Christmas Eve service at 3, 5, and 7 o’clock. We’re going to do online signups for that. We’ll also be streaming that service, so people can view that online and worship online. And then on Christmas Day, we have a 10 am service. We are limiting the amount of seating so that’s why we do the online signup sheet,” said Sam Grayl, the pastor at First Lutheran Church.

And some churches are still deciding based on their congregation’s needs.

“We’re meeting as a leadership team tonight to decide that. We’re trying to gather as much information as we can then make a decision that keeps us safe,” Vowker said.

The key thing to remember this year when deciding what to do this year seems to be one, plan ahead and two, look at all your different options.