As Christmas approaches, churches across Garden City are kicking up preparations for their annual Christmas Eve services. Meanwhile, even though there was a little snow Tuesday, the weather forecast predicts a pretty low chance for a white Christmas.
According to the National Weather Service in Dodge City, Garden City is likely to have one of the warmest Christmases in recent years. Snow isn’t expected until Friday and Saturday, Jeff Johnson, who works for the National Weather Service in Dodge City said.
“Temperatures at Christmas will be in the 50s and maybe 60s,” Johnson said. “It will be dry Friday, and there may be some snow late Friday.”
The expected accumulation over the weekend will amount to about an inch, Johnson said.
Travel conditions are expected to begin clearing late Tuesday, the meteorologist said. He said winds were predicted to stay pretty strong especially during the night but they should die down by this morning for Christmas Eve.
Regardless of what the weather does, area pastors said they hope today will be one of reflection and peace for Garden City and surrounding areas.
Many churches are planning special services for the occasion.
Dr. Jon Sapp, interim Pastor at First Southern Baptist Church, at 2708 N. Third St., said his church is planning Christmas Eve services this evening at 4 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., and will be celebrating the birth of Christ along with the children’s program.
“We want to wish our city community a very merry Christmas during this holiday season,” he said and went on to wish hope and peace and joy for the community. “As we live together, the season’s wish will be to make the most for every person in the Garden City area.”
Sapp lives in Topeka and, though he is just getting to know Garden City and the church, believes the people of Garden City have been thankful for the recent rain and the weather and are hoping there will be even better weather next year.
Pastor Scott Rosen of Bible Christian Church, 1501 E. Mary St., said this will be his family’s first Christmas in Garden City.
“We’ve been here seven months and are privileged to pastor at a fantastic church,” he said. “We love this city, especially its diversity of cultures. Unfortunately, we’ve also noticed the struggle for our cultures to truly come together in a meaningful way.”
Rosen said he has “been around the religion block a few times” so he knows that bringing up Jesus as a solution to society’s differences is “a controversial statement.” Nevertheless he said Garden City residents should consider the statement of the angel of the Lord to the shepherds in Bethlehem on the first Christmas Day.
Quoting from the Bible, Rosen said: “But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.’ — Luke 2:10-11.”
“The news here is good news,” Rosen said. “I think we can all agree that this life is imperfect and so are we. The fact that God would have good news for us instead of bad is really amazing, don’t you think?”
The preacher said Bible Christian Church will be holding services today at 4 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. for Christmas Eve.
First United Methodist Church, at the Corner of Main and Kansas, today with A Family Christmas at 5 p.m. and Carols, candlelight and Communion at 8 p.m.;
Trinity Lutheran Church, 1010 Fleming St., at 6:30 p.m. today with a Family Worship Service with Holy Communion and at 9 p.m. with a Candlelight Service with Holy Communion;
Church of the Brethren, 505 N. Eighth St., with a candlelight service at 7 p.m. today;
Community Congregational Church United Church of Christ, 710 N. Third St., with a service at 11 p.m. tonight;
Cornerstone Church, 2901 N. Eighth St., will hold Christmas Eve services at 4:30 and 6 p.m. today nd The Hill youth group at 7 p.m.;
First Baptist Church, 1007 N. 11th St., will have candlelight services at 7 p.m. today;
Garden City Church of the Nazarene, 2720 Campus Drive, with fellowship meal at 6 p.m., adult Bible study at 7 p.m. in the sanctuary and children’s Bible study/activities and youth group meetings, and Christmas Eve services at 8 p.m.;
Garden Valley Retirement Village, 1505 E. Spruce St., Christmas Eve services at 6 p.m., featuring music by Fielding Hands, Francine McAdamas, pianist, and Gwyneth Frack, organist;
Ingalls Community Bible Church, 212 N. Main St., Ingalls, will have an evening prayer meeting today. Call 620-335-5305 for the time;
Pierceville Federated Church, 203 E. Avenue A, has planned a Christmas Eve candlelight communion service at 6 p.m.;
St. James Lutheran Church, ELCA, 1608 Belmont Place, will have candles, carols and communion at 7 p.m. today and a Christmas Day service at 10 a.m. Thursday;
The Presbyterian Church, 1719 Texas St., Christmas Eve services at 7 p.m.;
St. Thomas Episcopal Church will hold services for Christmas Eve this evening starting at 5 p.m.;
First Christian Church, 306 N. Seventh St., has a candlelight service at 7 p.m. today;
St. Dominic Parish will hold mass at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. today, 10:30 a.m. on Christmas Day, 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 31 and at 10:30 a.m. on Jan. 1.