A Covid-era Christmas was always going to look different, and with new cases spiking across the state and nation like never before, many families, churches and organizations have looked to further pare down even the most modest of holiday observances.
But at Canby Foursquare Church, leaders just couldn’t stomach the idea of doing nothing during what’s meant to be one of the brightest and joy-filled times of the year.
“For us, it’s important to be a bright spot in the community,” Associate Pastor Mark Smith tells The Canby Current. “You know, we try to use technology meaningfully — and Covid-19 has expedited that. Our digital platform reaches all the surrounding areas.
“But if we don’t exist to really bless the community of Canby — in person and in meaningful ways — then why are we here?”
That said, the church has no plans to ignore statewide guidelines meant to curb the spread of the coronavirus during the winter season. Rather, they are contemplating a festive drive-thru event — with the core story of Christmas as its centerpiece.
The biblical story of the “Journey to Bethlehem” will be told in a series of 13 stations — including large classical paintings and sculpture — not unlike the drive-thru Easter display the church set up in April through the generosity of Ken and Peter Hostetler.
Smith says the event will also include “swag bags” for participants, arts and crafts that can be completed at home, a snow machine, a wave from Santa Claus and socially distanced-safe hot cocoa served up by Canby Fire District personnel.
The outside of Canby Foursquare will be lined with Christmas trees, all lit up for the season.
“It’s just an event to say, ‘Hey, we’re still here, we’re alive, we’re still celebrating Christmas — even though this year’s weird,'” Smith says. “We’re excited to see everybody and have a little fun. We just wanted to be a bright spot in 2020 for our community.”
Canby Foursquare Church’s Christmas Drive-Thru Experience will be from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Dec. 23. It will be followed by an online “Christmas in Our Homes” live stream starting at 7 p.m.