NORFOLK, Va. – Many families are finding the meaning of the Christmas holiday by going to services on Christmas Eve.
At Freemason Street Baptist Church in Norfolk, the hour-long service not only included prayer and song, but also homemade cookies and apple cider.
COVID-19, however, was still top of mind for many of the members at the centuries-old church but they tell News 3 they felt the need to celebrate the birth of Jesus in person.
Pastor Bob said they’re taking precautions to keep people safe by spacing people out and using every other pew.
Even with the new omicron variant quickly spreading, people wanted to come to church because they said it holds a different meaning when the congregation comes together. Members say Christmas is also about spreading joy and bringing light during a time of darkness.
Jack Ferguson, who’s been going to this church for 72 years said people at the congregation are so hopeful this Christmas and new year.
“Christmas in person is always important – the personal touch,” Ferguson said. “Jesus was a person. He came to earth in human form. Yes, we have COVID. Yes, we use some common sense – social distancing, vaccines, masks and those types of things. As long as you do that, I think it’s important that we get out to recognize the true meaning of the season.”
Pastor Bob’s wife Angie Guffey said she’s grateful for her family, who’s driving in from New York, and is hopeful for change in 2022.
“I am looking forward to people being fed and happy and feeling a sense of peace and also hope,” she said. “Hope that the pandemic will end, and we’ll be able to live lives similar to what we had before, maybe even better.”