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Churches and synagogues sticking to yearly traditions

Area churches are adapting to pandemic worship
Posted at 6:26 AM, Dec 16, 2020

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Hot meals for the people of Aransas County have been provided for many years now.

"Like those home cooked like comfort food meals," First Presbyterian Church office administrator Kimberly Durkee said.

There has always been a great need for this subsistance. But with COVID-19 leaving many unemployed, the need is even greater this year, Durkee said.

"This is a church that provides community table and so they know they can come here for that meal," she said. "It's a constant, it's something normal."

This year, First Presbyterian Church in Rockport is doing something different in hosting its community table food distributions and holiday services.

"Because of COVID-19 we're only going to have one service for Christmas Eve," said Ed Boyce, pastor at First Presbyterian Church.

Boyce says last week was the first Sunday where people got to worship in the church's sanctuary since the pandemic.

"We have scaled down our activities to just tell people stay safe," he said.

The Congregation Beth Israel is currently celebrating Hanukkah which rabbi Ilan Emanuel says is a time to celebrate with food and service but this year that just couldn't be done.

"We had some individually wrapped Donuts, sufganiot fried donuts for Hanukkah," he said.

Emanuel also says live streams have helped with "connecting people not just to God but to each other. The lighting of the candles on Thursday will be enjoyed from the comfort of peoples homes via Zoom.

"To get together on light the candles of Hanukkah and to some extent both sort of physically light the candles and to spiritually," Emanuel said.

Members of Congregation Beth Israel are welcome to join in on the virtual celebration.

First Presbyterian Church invites citizens of Rockport to the next food distribution on Jan. 10.

Services on Christmas Eve will held in the Family Life Center at 6 p.m.