Bishop John Schol and the Extended Cabinet recorded a full Christmas worship service, offering it online to EPAUMC churches for suggested use on Dec. 26.
The 54-minute long, English-language version of the worship service can be viewed on the conference’s YouTube page, along with Spanish and Korean-Language versions. All versions are also available for downloading from the The recorded Christmas worship service being offered to EPAUMC churches by Bishop John Schol and the Extended Cabinet, for suggested use on Dec. 26, is now available online in English-, Spanish-, and Korean-language versions. The worship service can be viewed on the conference’s YouTube page, and is also available for downloading and sharing from NEWSpirit Communications’ Dropbox account.
While all three versions are intercultural, the Spanish and Korean language versions feature additional Latino and Korean worship participants, respectively. Their liturgies are spoken and songs are sung in their languages, and Bishop Schol’s sermon is translated with subtitles.
The complete worship service begins and ends with Christmas music performed by two different bell choirs. It is the Cabinet’s gift to churches to offer pastors and worship leaders a brief respite from busy Advent and Christmas activities—in other words, a Sunday off.
The worship service, titled “Clothed in Love,” features a sermon by Bishop Schol, based on Colossians 3:12-17, in which he especially emphasizes the virtues of gentleness and patience, among others. Extended Cabinet members contribute an opening greeting, prayers, scripture reading, offering stewardship message and benediction.
Two lay members—a grandmother and grandchild—from Wharton-Wesley UMC in Philadelphia read a Call to Worship together, though separately on Zoom. Solo and ensemble musicians from all four districts around the conference perform a rich variety of sacred, Christmas music.
One lively song, “Niño Lindo,” popular in Latino churches but also included in the United Methodist Hymnal (#222), is performed solo by the Rev. Irving Cotto but also shown sung by Latino Commission members at their recent, annual Christmas celebration. Another highlight of the service is a 2-minute video titled “Clothed in Love,” that depicts scenes of active, caring ministries in churches and communities around the conference with narration and the theme scripture woven throughout.
The Cabinet did a similar good deed in March, providing pastors and worship leaders with a recorded post-Easter worship service to use for respite from busy Lenten and Holy Week activities. In December 2020, Cabinet clergy also provided recorded Advent and post-Christmas sermons for churches to use for their online worship.
The Cabinet invites churches to show this newly recorded worship video in full or in part, on Dec. 26 or another date, either onsite in their sanctuaries or online using their preferred media. “We hope this Christmas worship service will provide a much-needed respite for our pastors and lay worship leaders who continue to serve faithfully,” said the Rev. Dawn Taylor-Storm, Director of Connectional Ministries, who envisioned and produced the video worship experience along with her colleagues.
Watch on YouTube: