Winter weather impacts Christmas Eve church services

Winter weather impacts Christmas Eve church services
Published: Dec. 24, 2022 at 10:23 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - This week’s winter storm forced church leaders to make the decision on whether to hold Christmas Eve services in person.

First Lutheran Church in Cedar Rapids held not one, but 5-in-person Christmas Eve services. If someone from their 2000-member congregation could make it in person, they had a live stream they could watch.

“We have a high-quality broadcast we can deliver so people can safely watch from home if they can’t come in person,” said Pastor Craig Brown.

Some congregations didn’t have the option to meet in person. Springs of Life canceled its Christmas Eve service, which is typically held on the 23rd. This year, it was a recorded service.

“It doesn’t replace meeting in person,” said Pastor Chad Garrison. “We think it’s better than having nothing at all.”

Garrison said safety was the biggest reason for the tough decision to cancel in-person services as roads weren’t safe to travel Friday.

“We were looking at the conditions and safety, but also looking out for the team and leadership that help put this on,” he said.

The storm changed the way Christmas Eve services looked this year, but not the message the day holds.

“It was a small price to pay to keep people safe,” said Garrison.

“There really is no wrong answer,” said Brown. “We’re going to be here if you can make it in person, if not, you can watch the stream.”