Pandemic will transform Christmas services in 2020

Churches across Central Florida are preparing for one of their busiest times of the year, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact daily lives.

At Northland Church, they’re used to welcoming thousands to their 3,000-seat sanctuary in Longwood. During the pandemic, the church is following guidelines by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only opening roughly 600 seats. This year, they added an extra Christmas service and require online reservations.

Pastor Nathan Clark thinks there will be enough space, especially as many still opt for at-home worship via their online platforms.

“We actually have a number of Christmas services, both on Christmas Eve and the day before, so we think we have enough services and enough seats in here,” he said.

During the challenging year, the church relied heavily on Judy Head -- a nurse practitioner and volunteer who usually helps during disaster relief. Her role has been focused on providing counsel to the church.

“On what the guidelines are between Seminole, Orange County, and the state and CDC,” she explained.

As for what lies ahead in 2021?

“We’re pretty much taking it day by day as guidelines change as cases looking at the case and we’re just following the guidelines we are given,” said Head.

“So a lot of things that we’ve had to do, which is really trust and just take steps of faith, is what we’re gonna keep doing,” added Clark.

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