28 Dec Christmas at Our Church: Camden, Mich.
Stephen Smith (senior pastor, left) and Ben Gladhill (associate pastor (right), Lake View Church, Camden, Mich.
December is an exciting time at Lake View Church (like most churches)! We rejoice in the many avenues of outreach and ministry God enables us to enjoy. One of our main outreach events is our annual Christmas musical. This was Lake View’s 22nd year, and we offered three presentations of “Hope Has Hands” on December 9, 10, and 11.
This dramatic musical was enhanced by the ongoing dramatic scenes featuring the conversation of Anna and Simeon sharing their part in the life of the Christ child. The 30-voice choir blended with soloists, children doing sign language, and interpretive drama to present the powerful message of hope that the birth of Christ affords to all.
Many of our various small groups and ministry groups were involved in outreach and sharing.
- 14 adults from one small group got together before leaving go Christmas carolling and prepared 15 plates of goodies and gifts to give to shut-ins, the elderly, and some who lost their spouses in the past year.
- Our ONE80 student ministries provided the worship service on Sunday, December 11, for about 100 residents at the Fairlawn Haven Residence in Archbold, Ohio. Teens provided music and a devotional, and took time to share with the residents and spread cheer!
- Another small group enjoyed a progressive Christmas dinner and then attended a musical presentation.
- Like many churches, we participated in the Operation Christmas Child outreach, sending 115 boxes this year.
- Our Wednesday night AWANA Club enjoyed celebrating the birth of Christ on Wednesday, December 14–Jingle For Jesus Night. The evening included gifts, candy, and carol singing, and the Christmas story was presented to 100 that evening.
Another annual event is the Christmas Eve Candlelight Service which is a tremendous outreach to our community and neighbors. The theme this year was “Immanuel – The Word Became Flesh.” This one-hour service intentionally included the congregation with numerous responsive readings, eight Christmas hymns, and numerous solos and instrumentals. The evening was completed with the packed-out sanctuary glowing with everyone’s candles being lit and the singing of Silent Night.
Pastor Steve Smith’s Christmas series this year was called “Christmas HOPE – Getting to Know the Christ of Christmas.” The series, from John 1:1-14, thoroughly explained the Incarnation and person of Jesus Christ. We were blessed by many responses to this series and we rejoice with Jody, one of our adult men, who accepted Christ on Christmas Sunday morning. During the closing song he came forward to publicly profess his newfound faith in Christ with joy and tears!