Local Churches having Chrsitmas Services
December 21, 2022
Christmas Day is fast approaching and the various churches in the community are preparing to celebrate the birth of Jesus. The holiday lands on a Sunday this year, which raises questions as to whether or not local congregations will be holding Sunday services. I visited with the pastors in Big Sandy and here’s what I learned.
Pastor Rich Jesperson, of Grace Lutheran Church did a great job of summarizing this season of worship and our invitations to the community to join us in celebrating the birth of Christ. “There are two major festivals of the Christian year that begs for attendance. One is Easter and the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead and giving new life to all who believe. The other is Christmas and the celebration of his birth, the invasion of the living God into this tired and tragic world. Much of the public is by now quite accustomed to being invited by a church to join in worship, so much so that many people are sort of numbed to the invitation and fail to understand the true nature of it. They tend to hear the invitation as an invitation by a church to a church and are hesitant to take that step into an organization. Please allow me to dispel that hesitancy. First, the invitation is not really by a church or a pastor at all, but by the Lord himself. The Lord Jesus is reaching out to YOU through the voices of others to tap you on the shoulder or move your heart to come. Second, this invitation is never really to an organization, but to a relationship. When the Lord invites us, “Come!”, he invites us into an experience of his saving presence and power. There is no more urgent nor personal invitation. The living God want you to know Jesus! So this Christmas season, ‘Come! Come as you are, without excuses, without pretense, with all your need. Just come! I will welcome you!’ - God”
Rich did so well explaining what was on my heart this season as I prepared messages for advent in our series: “How to Host a King.” We spend so much time one all the trappings of the season, that we often wind up tired, overwhelmed, broke, and broken up by the time it ends. We’ve been looking at how to prepare our hearts, lives, and families for celebrating the birth of the King of Creation. Big Sandy Church of God will be holding a Candlelight Christmas Eve Service at 5:30 PM. The service will be streamed on Facebook Live. Just visit the Big Sandy Church of God Facebook page to watch it or any of the services during the season. A Sunday morning service will not be held in person but will be posted on Facebook live and YouTube. You can also listen to the sermons on patchingcracks.sermon.net or the Big Sandy Church of God podcast on Apple Podcasts. For more information, call Erik at 406-399-3803.
Saint Margaret Mary’s Church will be holding Christmas Eve Mass at 5 PM on Christmas Eve in Big Sandy, 7 PM at Box Elder, and 9 PM at Rocky Boy. Christmas Morning Mass will only be held at Rocky Boy at 10 AM. I spoke with Sister Kathleen who explained that the Christmas Eve service will have special songs before the children bring the baby Jesus forward and place him in the manger. They also have candles lit and various songs like “Oh Holy Night” and “Away in a Manger.” The Christmas Eve Service is one of two times every year when the church lights the candles in the fancy candelabra up front. She explained that it is always a well attended service.
Grace Lutheran Church and friends will gather on Christmas Eve for a candlelight service at 5:30 PM. They meet in the building just to the north of the bank. Just look for the banner over the door.
Kristie Rutledge, from Christ Lutheran Church explained that “Christ Lutheran Church will hold Christmas Eve Services at 5:30. It is a beautiful candlelight service with special music, traditional hymns and wonderful fellowship.” There is no Sunday School or Service on Sunday the 25th.
Pastor Sue King, who is pastoring the United Methodist Congregation along with the UMC congregations in Chester and Havre (Van Orsdel UMC), said “We at Big Sandy United Methodist Church are holding a Christmas Eve Service with Candlelight, Carols and Re-telling of Christ’s Birth. The service is Saturday, Dec 24 at 2pm.” They will serve refreshments afterward. “There will not be church services at Big Sandy on Sunday, December 25th, Christmas Day, but only at 11am at Van Orsdel UMC, 410 5th Avenue in Havre.” This season, Pastor King has focused on “God’s Signs of Christmas,” which she described as “reflecting on signs in our lives that Christ is still Emmanuel (God with us). The ordinary daily tasks take on greater meaning when we realize that God’s plan continues today, including us all as Christ’s people. Every day, we are charged with living out and sharing the Christmas message of God’s unconditional love revealed in Jesus Christ. This love not only redeems us, but transforms us, and will transform our world to bring Peace on Earth.”
For more information on any of the services offered by the churches in Big Sandy, please contact their pastors. All of the congregations in Big Sandy would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and invite you to join us in worshipping Christ this season.