Churches prepare for Christmas Day on Sunday
Christmas Day falls on a Sunday this year, and most metro-area church leaders said their houses of worship will offer church services, though some activities may be streamlined.
“We won’t have Sunday school, but we will have worship,” said the Rev. Mark McAdow, senior pastor of First United Methodist Church of Oklahoma City.
“I think it’s a great day to worship the Lord on His celebrated birthday. I don’t think you can get any better than that.”
Nearly nine out of 10 Protestant senior pastors said their churches plan to hold services on Christmas Day, according to a recent survey from Nashville-based LifeWay Research, the research arm of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Leaders with the research group said that some megachurches may cancel worship when Christmas falls on a Sunday as they have in the past.
However, they said most churches see Christmastime as an important outreach opportunity to the community at large so worship on Sunday will continue as usual.
“Christmas is one of the busiest times of the year especially at churches, with many churches having extra Christmas Eve services and special programs,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research. “If Christmas falls on Monday through Saturday, churches might be closed on Dec. 25 — but almost never on a Sunday.”
To view the full survey report, go to LifeWayResearch.com.
Offering multiple holiday services
The metro-area churches that have chosen not to host worship services on Christmas Day are instead offering a slate of Christmas services in advance of the actual holiday.
These services begin this week, continuing on to Christmas Eve.
Leaders at multi-site Edmond-based Life.Church, unarguably the largest of the churches to forego Christmas Day services, said they are encouraging church members to spend Christmas Day with family.
“Ever since Life.Church started more than 20 years ago, we’ve had a long-standing tradition of celebrating Christmas as a church with services all throughout the week leading up to and including Christmas Eve. On Christmas Day, we want our whole church to be able to celebrate at home with their families. It’s the tradition we’ve observed throughout our history as a church,” said Bobby Gruenewald, Life.Church’s innovation pastor.
He said the church is offering 186 services across…