In addition to a huge online celebration this year Bethesda will be offering a beautiful, new worship opportunity for Christmas. In order to welcome as many people as possible we will offer a Christmas Pilgrimage that provides worshipers an immersive experience telling the Nativity story through vignettes, moments of prayer with clergy, the opportunity for communion, and hymns and carols sung by the choir all over the Bethesda grounds. Simply put, in this service we will walk through the Christmas story beginning in the upper area of the Cluett Garden and walking a path that goes around the church grounds, through the church building, ending at the manger scene with the Holy Family on the front lawn. We hope that as we literally move through our beautifully decorated property, our hearts will be moved with that special hope that only the spirit of Christmas provides.

We will offer this liturgy three evenings: on December 22, 23, and 24 from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. each evening. Attendance will require a reservation so that we can safely accommodate as many worshipers as possible. Part of our time will feature an adapted route for those with accessibility issues which will avoid uneven ground or stairs. We will communicate when and how to make a reservation soon.

Now, here is the really important part: we need your help to make this happen. We are asking for volunteers of all ages to perform roles in the vignettes, to assist with ushering duties, and to serve as acolytes, greeters, and in other roles. Not sure you can commit to three nights? Don’t worry. We appreciate all of those who are able to commit to all three evenings, but we also have plenty of opportunities for volunteers that can give one or two nights of their time. If you would like to volunteer please email

We are excited to share a worship experience that will honor our glorious Christmas traditions while carefully addressing our current circumstances. We thank you in advance for your willingness to serve and help bring this together. We will share details about reservations, rehearsals, and more in the coming weeks.