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Walking into Christmas

Churches offer welcome for Advent

At noon on Wednesday, the Rev. A.J. Stack was hearing compliments about the Christmas wreaths with their mauve bows and the gold swags adorning the nave of Christ Episcopal Church.

Each Wednesday the church opens its doors from 11 a.m-1p.m. for anyone to come in to take in the quietude of the surroundings.

“I can’t take any credit. I wasn’t here,” Stack said.

But Stack, the new assistant at the church, will be there for his first church walk on Saturday evening organized by the Lawrence County Historical Society.

For more years than the society’s members can say, there has been a church walk on the first Saturday in December. There, eight downtown churches welcome visitors to hear about their history and the story of Christmas starting with the prophecy of Isaiah.

“We are going to talk about the season of Advent, about waiting patiently in a season of hurried spending and busyness instead of the spiritual practice of sitting on your hands,” Stack said. “Advent invites us to slow down and take a breather and wait on God instead of doing it ourselves. It invites us to let God work.”

Another newcomer to the church walk will be the Rev. Caleb LaFond of First United Methodist Church. LaFond took over the reins of the church following the retirement of the Rev. Wayne Young.

“We will do it a bit similar to Wayne,” LaFond said. “He did a super brief history and our choir will be present. We will do an Advent prayer that really reflects back on the season and what our call is as followers of Jesus.”

The walk starts at 5 p.m. at First Baptist Church on Fifth Street. Next comes Christ Church, First United, First Presbyterian, St. Paul Lutheran, St. Lawrence Catholic, Gateway Baptist and Quinn Chapel. Then the historical society will host a reception at the museum.

“I think this is a great idea from the standpoint of reminding the community where we have been and currently are,” LaFond said.