Bells will ring, voices sing; community Christmas Eve event planned for Sleepy Eye

Deb Moldaschel
The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch

Gina Nienhaus and Marcia Jo Marti of Faith United Methodist Church in Sleepy Eye are excited to invite the entire community to participate in a special Christmas Eve event, “A Light Shines in the Darkness.”

Sleepy Eye Christmas Eve event

This is planned as an outside gathering on Christmas Eve. Sponsors — Faith UMC, Sleepy Eye and Oakwood UMC, New Ulm are broadcasting a Christmas Eve program at 5 p.m. on KNUJ 860 and SAM 107.3 FM.  

Marti said it will be a simple program containing passages of the Christmas story, traditional carols and some newer artist recordings. 

“We hope that in this time of social distancing, people can still hear the story and sing together in a celebration of the real Christmas Story,” said Marti. 

Nienhaus envisions people gathering near churches, “standing (at a social distance) with other community members as we hold an all-community Christmas event with carols, candles, and music to celebrate the true story of Christmas.”

With the program on the radio, everyone can participate — in their car, near a church, in their yard, or in their house. Nienhaus said anyone who would like to join the group at Faith UMC is welcome.

Marti said free song books and candles are available at Schutz Family Foods or Randy’s Family Drug and Gift in Sleepy Eye; and at Cashwise or HyVee in New Ulm.  

“During this time of isolation, come together to celebrate Christmas,” said Nienhaus. “During a few of the songs we will ask you to light your candles, or turn on flashlights or cell phone lights, and come together — all of us — to shine light into the darkness. This year has been full of darkness in so many ways in people's lives, let’s end this year by shining as much light as we can on a day that a Light, the birth of Jesus, changed the world.