Radiant Church will host community Christmas Eve dinner.

December 10, 2015
radiant_church_theis_barrette

Pastor Jerry Theis, left, and Natalie Barrette of Radiant Church.

Dinner will be served from 4 to 6 p.m. with services beginning at 6:30 p.m. To reserve a meal for delivery, call 231-845-9596.

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

LUDINGTON — For many years Emmanuel Lutheran Church, 501 E. Danaher St., has hosted a community Christmas Day dinner, free to anyone who wished to attend. The church also hosts a Thanksgiving Dinner as well. This year, that tradition is changing a little bit in date and geography.

Emmanuel Lutheran will no longer be holding the Christmas dinner. Instead, Radiant Church, 409 S. Washington Ave., will be hosting a free community Christmas Eve dinner.

“Our church is in its second year in this location,” said Pastor Jerry Theis of Radiant Church. “As a church we have been wanting to give more to the community. I was at a pastors’ lunch earlier in the year and mentioned this.”

Theis said he received a phone call from Pastor Domingo Shriver (“Pastor Mick”) from Emmanuel Lutheran, who explained that the church was no longer going to be able to host the Christmas dinner.

“We thought this would be a perfect opportunity for us to bless people during Christmas time and share the love of Christ.”

Theis said the decision was made to hold the dinner on Christmas Eve instead of Christmas to be sensitive to the many volunteers and their own personal times. “Every year we hold a Christmas Eve service but take Christmas Day off. Having the dinner before our service made a lot more sense.”

Radiant Church is the former Greater Life Church, which used to be located in the 200 block of South James Street in the old Lyric Theater building.

Dinner will be served from 4 to 6 p.m. with services beginning at 6:30 p.m.

“The concept of the dinner is pretty much staying the same,” said Natalie Barrette, who is chairing the event. “We will be serving ham along with some great side dishes and pies for desert. We will also continue to offer take out and delivery for those who are unable to make it to the church.” Barrette said there church is pretty set for volunteers, but they could use some more pies for the dinner.

To reserve a meal for delivery, call 231-845-9596.

The church’s basement banquet facility can hold many people and is also handicap accessible through an elevator. Live music will be played during the meal.

While those attending the dinner do not have to attend the evening service, Pastor Theis said he is hoping they will.

“We want this to be an opportunity for our community to come together and celebrate the birth of Christ and to experience His love,” Theis said. “Anyone is welcome to the service. It will be a little more reserved compared to our regular Sunday services, probably more traditional in many people’s eyes.

“We are looking forward to this being the beginning of a new tradition here in Ludington and we couldn’t be more excited to be a part of it,” Theis said. “Not only is this an opportunity for us to bless people during Christmas but it is also a time for us to be blessed as well. Anytime we can serve our community it expands our hearts.”

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