Some local churches will hold a virtual service on Christmas Eve

Published: Dec. 23, 2020 at 4:55 PM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Covid-19 has impacted holiday traditions, and even though things will be different, some local churches are finding new ways to celebrate.

“We’re worshiping online, and so we’ve got a couple of different times. Folks can join us at 4 or 7 o’clock Christmas Eve night. Both on Facebook and on our website. And it’s just a really great way to still have community, be able to interact with each other,” says the teaching pastor at Canyon Lake United Methodist Church, Brett Roes.

As to why it’s so important to go virtual this year.

“We’re really trying hard to care for the needs of our church family. We have lost two of our members to COVID. And we don’t want to lose anymore, so we’re really trying to protect the health and well being of our church family,” says the lead pastor at Canyon Lake Methodist Church, DeAnn Eidem.

Canyon Lake United Methodist Church is also offering something new, a Christmas Eve drive-thru.

“We have several stations. We have an opportunity to greet people, so we’re excited to see people face to face that we haven’t seen for months. And then we’re giving people Christmas kits, so they have special things to do at home for Christmas. We have a live nativity,” says Eidem.

Rapid City First United Methodist Church will also hold a virtual service on Christmas Eve.

“We have taped our service. We have incorporated elements of that to keep the tradition. But we will not have any people in our sanctuary,” says the lead pastor at Rapid City First United Methodist Church, Barry Whipkey.

Typically on Christmas Eve, Whipkey says they would have seven or eight hundred people filling the pews.

“We just feel that we have many frontline healthcare workers within our congregation. We respect them, we love them, and we want them to be safe,” says Whipkey.

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