CEDAR CREEK LAKE–The favorite event at Cedar Creek Lake United Methodist Church is the annual Community Christmas Dinner open to the public. Normally, dinner is served, carols are sung and gifts are given by Santa to the children, making for a memorable evening every year.
But this year, COVID-19 restrictions on indoor group activities required the church to cancel the traditional dinner. Fortunately, the church members rose to the occasion and come up with an ingenious alternative.
The church invited families to come in their cars to the church parking lot Dec. 5. They drove along a semicircular route in the parking lot, stopping at four stations in our parking lot. The first station was a live Nativity scene staged by members of our Youth Group with Aryn and Cole Shaver serving as Mary and Baby Jesus.
The next three stations included a place for grown-ups to pick gifts, followed by a stop to pick up a bag of food for making a Christmas dinner and lastly a stop for children to pick from a selection of gifts. Throughout, families would stay in their cars and social distancing could be maintained. This solution allowed the church volunteers to bless members of the community, while keeping everyone safe.
The weather was perfect. God blessed us with a sunny and pleasant afternoon. Over 90 cars with a total of 292 adults and children passed through the parking lot. Visitors had a fun time, which was a true blessing for the volunteers.
On top of it all, the event ended with just four bags of food remaining, meaning that we never had to turn anyone away because we had run out. As a result, four additional families had food delivered to their homes by Shawn Renae Bryan.
A big thank you to Diane Evans, who coordinated this effort. Many thanks to all those who donated materially to the event, to those who volunteered, and to all those who prayed that we could do this. See, prayer works!