All posts in “christmas”

Christmas Eve 12/24 – 5p

**Registration closed: full capacity**

Please join us online for our livestream at 3 and 5 p.m. on on our website, Facebook and YouTube. You can also access them on-demand after the livestream through our website or app.

Music: Blended Worship led by Renee Cooper and Nathan Fry
Series: It’s a Wonderful Life
When:
5 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 24. Other options: 6:30 p.m. Dec. 23 and 3 p.m. Dec. 24.
Where: Sanctuary
Who: All ages encouraged, but no youth programming at this time.
How do I register? Click on the registration button below. Registration opens Monday, Nov. 30.
Streaming: We will livestream all three Christmas Eve services on our website, Facebook and YouTube. You can also access them on-demand after the livestream through our website or app.

Guidelines (Phase 1):

  • Registration for Christmas Eve services will close at 11:59 p.m. the day before service. If you are unable to register online, call the church office at 815-877-7046 from 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Monday–Friday for assistance. No office assistance available on Saturdays and Sundays.
  • All ages are encouraged to attend, but there will be no other activities or ministries provided during the worship service until Phase 3.
  • We will follow CDC guidelines for face coverings and social distancing. Face coverings will be required at all times while in the building.
  • Enter and exit the building through the main entrance adjacent to the south parking lot. All other entrances will be closed.
  • A household can sit together with three empty seats between them and the next household. There will be two empty rows between each occupied row. Seat yourself by starting with the first open spot near the front moving back.
  • The balcony will be opened if needed. The overflow rooms on the main floor will not be used, because of ventilation issues.
  • Offerings will be received online, by texting, mail, or dropped into a provided container on the way out of the worship service.
  • Attendees should dismiss starting with the rear seats and moving forward. Please do not congregate in the lobby or halls.
  • Restroom will be open with only two people allowed at a time.

 

REGISTRATION CLOSED

Christmas Eve 12/24 – 3p

**Registration closed: full capacity**

Please join us online for our livestream at 3 and 5 p.m. on on our website, Facebook and YouTube. You can also access them on-demand after the livestream through our website or app.

Music: Blended Worship led by Renee Cooper and Nathan Fry
Series: It’s a Wonderful Life
When:
3 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 24. Other options: 6:30 p.m. Dec. 23 and 5 p.m. Dec. 24.
Where: Sanctuary
Who: All ages encouraged, but no youth programming at this time.
How do I register? Click on the registration button below. Registration opens Monday, Nov. 30.
Streaming: We will livestream all three Christmas Eve services on our website, Facebook and YouTube. You can also access them on-demand after the livestream through our website or app.

Guidelines (Phase 1):

  • Registration for Christmas Eve services will close at 11:59 p.m. the day before service. If you are unable to register online, call the church office at 815-877-7046 from 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Monday–Friday for assistance. No office assistance available on Saturdays and Sundays.
  • All ages are encouraged to attend, but there will be no other activities or ministries provided during the worship service until Phase 3.
  • We will follow CDC guidelines for face coverings and social distancing. Face coverings will be required at all times while in the building.
  • Enter and exit the building through the main entrance adjacent to the south parking lot. All other entrances will be closed.
  • A household can sit together with three empty seats between them and the next household. There will be two empty rows between each occupied row. Seat yourself by starting with the first open spot near the front moving back.
  • The balcony will be opened if needed. The overflow rooms on the main floor will not be used, because of ventilation issues.
  • Offerings will be received online, by texting, mail, or dropped into a provided container on the way out of the worship service.
  • Attendees should dismiss starting with the rear seats and moving forward. Please do not congregate in the lobby or halls.
  • Restroom will be open with only two people allowed at a time.

 

REGISTRATION CLOSED

Christmas Eve 12/23

**Registration closed: full capacity**

Music: Blended Worship led by Renee Cooper and Nathan Fry
Series: It’s a Wonderful Life
When:
6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 23. Other options: 3 p.m. Dec. 24 and 5 p.m. Dec. 24.
Where: Sanctuary
Who: All ages encouraged, but no youth programming at this time.
How do I register? Click on the registration button below. Registration opens Monday, Nov. 30.
Streaming: We will livestream all three Christmas Eve services on our website, Facebook and YouTube. You can also access them on-demand after the livestream through our website or app.

Guidelines (Phase 1):

  • Registration for Christmas Eve services will close at 11:59 p.m. the day before service. If you are unable to register online, call the church office at 815-877-7046 from 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Monday–Friday for assistance. No office assistance available on Saturdays and Sundays.
  • All ages are encouraged to attend, but there will be no other activities or ministries provided during the worship service until Phase 3.
  • We will follow CDC guidelines for face coverings and social distancing. Face coverings will be required at all times while in the building.
  • Enter and exit the building through the main entrance adjacent to the south parking lot. All other entrances will be closed.
  • A household can sit together with three empty seats between them and the next household. There will be two empty rows between each occupied row. Seat yourself by starting with the first open spot near the front moving back.
  • The balcony will be opened if needed. The overflow rooms on the main floor will not be used, because of ventilation issues.
  • Offerings will be received online, by texting, mail, or dropped into a provided container on the way out of the worship service.
  • Attendees should dismiss starting with the rear seats and moving forward. Please do not congregate in the lobby or halls.
  • Restroom will be open with only two people allowed at a time.

 

REGISTRATION CLOSED

O Holy Night

Laura Nothnagel, Evonne Johnson and Nathan Fry perform O Holy Night in the sanctuary of First Free Rockford.

Song written by Adolphe Adam and Placide Cappeau (public domain).

Silent Night

Nathan Fry performs Silent Night in the sanctuary of First Free Rockford.

Song written by Franz Xaver Gruber and Joseph Mohr (public domain).

His Name Shall Be

First Free Rockford’s chorale and orchestra virtually perform His Name Shall Be.

Song written by Jonas Myrin and Matt Redman (ThankYou Music).

The incarnational work of an artist

by Nathan McDonald | 3-minute read

 

These thoughts are inspired in part by Madeline L’Engle and N.T. Wright, and when I refer to the “Artist,” I am referring to the general sense of the word as someone who creates and holds some skill (or skills) in an art form.

 

“I am the Lord’s servant, ready to serve.
May it be with me as you have said”
–Luke 1:38

 

Mary had just received the most mysterious news. An angel declared that she would give birth to a son by the Holy Spirit. She responded with the humility of a servant and the open heart of an artist: I am the Lord’s servant, ready to serve. May it be with me as you have said. Read More

Joy in the presence of fear

by Mary Harker | 3-minute read

 

“But the angel said to them, ‘Don’t be afraid, for look, I bring you great tidings of great joy that will be for all people.’
Luke 2:10 (CSB)

 

When I hear the word fear, joy is not the next word that comes to mind. Read More

Bethlehem and basketball

By Jim Killam | 3-minute read

 

Scripture: Micah 5:2
But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.

 

On March 2, 1962, the NBA’s Philadelphia Warriors met the New York Knicks in what looked to be a meaningless, late-season game. Sometimes the league would schedule games in small towns as a way to drum up new fans. This one was in Hershey, Pa., which would be equivalent to the Chicago Bulls playing a game in Belvidere.
History happened that night. Read More

Your 2020 Christmas music sampler

by Jim Killam | 5-minute read

 

We asked First Free’s three musical worship leaders — Renee Cooper, Nathan Fry and Nathan McDonald — for Christmas music recommendations. They came back with quite a variety. Read More