With the world seemingly turned upside down during 2020, a local church is learning to adapt to the new normal when it comes to holding its annual candlelight services.
As for adapting, a drive by Wesley Heights United Methodist Church at 2101 E. Lincoln St. will alert drivers at a glance that something is different this year.
“We decided that since the world seems to be upside down this year that we would put up an upside down Christmas tree this year,” said Church Outreach Coordinator Judy Carter of the unusual display. “But, despite things being upside down, we are still on the road to Bethlehem and will celebrate the birth of our savior this Christmas.”
However, given the spike in COVID-19 cases around the country, Carter said a normal candlelight service indoors would not be medically responsible during the pandemic. So, the church will adapt.
“We plan to hold our candlelight service outdoors,” she said, noting that weather conditions may impact what kind of candlelight gets lit. “We would like to do a regular candlelight service, but if it’s windy or rainy we may have to use our cellphones and flashlights as our candles. If we are fortunate to get to do a candle lighting event we will all need to wear masks and stay socially distant even though it’s outside.”
Regardless, Carter said the star will be placed on the top, or in this case, the bottom of the Christmas tree as it is lit. The Rev. Shebbie Shields will be giving the message, and there will be singing, all at a social distance, as those attending can remain in their cars during the service.
The public is invited to attend the event Christmas Eve at 5 p.m. and may also come by any time and hang an ornament on the tree.