Due to rising COVID cases in town, Piedmont Community Church has decided to move its Christmas eve worship services online. The church often receives around 1,000 parishioners on this night, according to Michael Barber.
Dr. Steve Schibsted sent the following message to the congregation on Thursday, Dec. 23:
Just when I thought we were moving toward “normalcy” and looking forward to a Christmas Eve with 3 full worship services, COVID-19 has thrown us another curve ball and is causing us to pivot once again.
If you have been following the news, you know that the Omicron variant is highly contagious and spreading like wildfire in different parts of the country, including California. On a personal level, I know 7 people who have been infected in the past week, all but 2 of them fully vaccinated and boosted. We are at the beginning of yet another surge.
Because of this threat to the safety of our congregation and community, we have made the decision to hold our Christmas Eve service online only. In addition, worship on the next 2 Sundays, December 26 and January 2, will also be held online only.
All through this pandemic, the Board of Trustees and Staff have put the health of our congregation first so this decision is consistent with that value. Although we are confident that this is the right decision, we have not made this choice lightly. For most of us (me included) Christmas Eve is our favorite event in the life of the church and to not be able to gather together in our beautiful sanctuary to celebrate the birth of our Savior is very disappointing. Please know that this decision is based on our love for you and our community!
Also, as an expression of our care for our community, the entirety of our Christmas Eve offering was going to be given to benefit the feeding program at Hispanic Presbyterian Church of Oakland. I am concerned that the amount which would have been collected at the 3 services will be diminished. Please give generously to this offering either online at PiedmontChurch.org, or by sending a check to the church office. This feeding program is serving people hit hard by the pandemic who will again be hurt by the coming surge.
This has been a difficult 18 months for all of us and we have hope that at some point life will be normal once again. Until that point, we must remain diligent about our health and the health of others. We will get through this.
Wishing you a very safe and Merry Christmas!