Austin church moves Christmas Eve service to parking lot to adhere to CDC guidelines

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) —Christmas Eve is usually one of the busiest services for churches, but this year the service will look a bit different at an Austin church.

Abby Byrd has been going to the Christmas Eve service at The Church at Highland Park for years.

“The Christmas Eve service is one of my favorite things,” Byrd said.

Due to COVID-19, the church has changed up their normal in-person services.

“It takes a certain amount of personal responsibility to pull something like this off,” Byrd said.

Cheryl Kimble, the church’s pastor, says when the virus started they cancelled services, and then had to quickly regroup and move everything online.

“We had to buy a camera and buy sound equipment,” Kimble said.

Online services became the new norm, but Christmas Eve called for something else.

“I just couldn’t bare to not have the Christmas Eve service, so the staff and I really brainstormed and decided to do an outdoor Christmas Eve service,” Kimble said.

Parking spots are marked for people who wish to remain in their cars and squares have been spray painted to keep people separated.

“They are for small groups or large families to sit socially distanced,” Kimble said.

It’s just one way the church is looking to keep people safe, but also continue on with tradition.

“It is something we have never had to do before, and hopefully will never have to do again,” Byrd said.

Kimble says they will only have one service and are expecting about 40 people for the outdoor service.

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