Southwest Florida churches to amend Christmas services during pandemic

The pandemic has changed so many things in our lives, including the ways we worship. But churches in Southwest Florida are doing all they can to make sure that Christmas service is still available but as safe as possible.

This Christmas, Grace Church in Cape Coral wants you to know that the moments of peace you experience at church can also be achieved at home.

Jorge Acevedo is the lead pastor at Grace Church. “I asked people to register for each of the services and we quickly filled up.”

Those who can’t attend the celebration in person are welcome to join online. Acevedo says they also allow for “walk-ins.”

“We even register what we call walk-ins. We know some people will walk in, we know some people won’t show up,” he said.

Many pastors are asking that you don’t come to service on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day if you are feeling sick. And if you do come in person, make sure to wear a mask.

Rickey Anderson Sr. is the pastor at Followers of Christ Fellowship Ministries. “My aim is to make sure, that as a pastor, I don’t want to put them in harm’s way.”

Since most churches sanitize between services and they also ask that you don’t linger around. Anderson’s messages are on Zoom and that’s where he wants his congregation to connect afterward.

“Even though we’re not in church, some of the seniors, you look at the way they dress, their hair and everything, they’re dressed up just like they’re going to church,” Anderson said.

First United Methodist Church in Charlotte County is holding its services outdoors, which will include a live nativity scene and petting zoo. Jordan Flick is the director of the kid’s ministry at First United Methodist Church.

I think kids are also very much craving connection and love being outside and all that, so I am excited to see Christmas through the kids’ eyes,” said Flick.

Most churches have some sort of social distancing measures in place to make sure people don’t pack the pews. Go to your church’s website beforehand to see if they have specific rules about Christmas Eve or Christmas Day service procedures.

Reporter:Anika Henanger
Writer:Drew Hill
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