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Old Stone Church in Cleveland hosts first in-person service in 3 years despite cold temperatures

Old Stone Church in Cleveland hosts Christmas Eve service.
Posted at 10:40 PM, Dec 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-24 22:40:05-05

CLEVELAND — T’was the night before Christmas in Downtown Cleveland.

The usual business consuming Public Square on normal Saturday nights is at a minimum as the bitter cold keeps many indoors.

But just across the street at the Old Stone Church, a familiar sound could be heard, inviting those brave enough to endure the cold temperatures.

“Just kind of get out and festive and enjoy some Christmas music,” said one woman. “Yeah, it’s cold though.”

Still, these Southern Belles tell News 5 the frigid temperatures couldn’t cancel their plans.

“No, it’s a deterrent but it didn’t stop us, and we’re southerners,” they said.

What makes Saturday night even more special for the Old Stone Church in Cleveland is they’re celebrating their first Christmas Eve service back in-person in three years.

“Going into COVID, we were celebrating our 200th anniversary of this congregation, and so all of the celebrations were put aside, and so tonight really is, as we celebrate the birth of Christ and we’re able to be together for the first time in this way, and the beauty of the candlelight ending of this service and the gorgeous music, it’s exciting,” said Pastor Stephen Blonder-Adams of the Old Stone Church.

“I’ve been doing it so many years, and in spite of the weather, I just wanted to come because somebody is going to come here and there has to be somebody here for them,” said Elder Willie Brown.

Pastor Blonder–Adams understands these conditions can be dangerous, so he thanks his congregation for their help in making this all possible.

“For many people, it’s also worth the risk of the cold because they have longed for this night,” said Blonder–Adams.

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