Mansfield churches hold Christmas Eve services

By Adrienne Douke
Empire Press Correspondent

Tara and Posiadon Bounds at the Mansfield Community Church Christmas Eve candlelight service. (Empire Press photo/Adrienne Douke)

Congregations from the Mansfield Community Church and the Mansfield United Protestant Church?commemorated the birth of Christ during?candlelight services?on Christmas Eve.

The?Community Church?held?its service at 5 p.m. and the United Protestant Church?service followed?at 6 p.m. Both services were well attended.

Those attending the service at the?Community Church sang several old favorites, including “O Come, All Ye Faithful” and “O Holy Night,” led by church music director Diana Mickelson.

Pastor LeRoy Harshaw then gave a sermon about the difficult trip Joseph and Mary took to Bethlehem, and their despair as each innkeeper told them there was no room. Finally one innkeeper allowed them to stay in a stable that night. There, among the livestock, the baby Jesus was born ?and laid in a manger,? Harshaw said.

Linn “Pinkie” Glessner holds a candle during the Christmas Eve service at the Mansfield United Protestant Church. (Empire Press photo/adrienne Douke)

Harshaw noted that the month of December is four Sundays that bear the themes of Hope, Peace, Joy and Love culminating in the birth of the Savior.

?Emmanuel, that means ‘God with us’,” said Harshaw.

?It is his love that redeems us, and we remember the birth of Christ with a candlelight service as we recognize the light he brought into a dark world,? Harshaw added.

The?United Protestant Church?began?its service with a welcome and opening prayer. The congregation sang, ?O Come, O Come Emmanuel” and lit the advent candles of Hope, the Way, Joy and Peace.

Pastor Ric Bayless?said that ?Jesus was born to be the light of the world, and he passed it on to us as believers that we are to become the light of the world through Christ.?

At the conclusion of the service with candles lit, the congregation sang “Silent Night”?a cappella.

Candlelight services are a time-honored Christmas tradition in Mansfield.

?Our candlelight service is one of the more beautiful services we hold,? said Renee Bayless, wife of?Pastor?Bayless.