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Olympia church uses worship, webcasts to open Christmas to all

Worshippers light the Church of Living Water chapel with candles during Christmas Eve service in Olympia . Four services were held during the evening.
Worshippers light the Church of Living Water chapel with candles during Christmas Eve service in Olympia . Four services were held during the evening. The Olympian

OLYMPIA - Thousands of worshipers heard Pastor Burt Smith's sermon during Church of Living Water's candlelight Christmas Eve services Friday - both online and in person.

This Christmas Eve, for the first time, Olympia’s Church of Living Water showed a webcast of its regular Christmas Eve services at 1, 3, 5 and 6:30 p.m., so anyone could watch live on the Internet, according to Online Campus Pastor Mike Barker.

Users could also log in on Facebook and send instant messages to one another as they watched the service, he said.

Barker said he’s not aware of any other local churches doing anything comparable.

Administrative Pastor Jake Broeker said the webcasts allow anyone, be it servicemen and servicewomen abroad or senior citizens in assisted-living centers, to stay involved with the church no matter where they are.

“We accommodate everybody,” he said.

During the Christmas season, Church of Living Water members serve more than 16,000 meals to families as part of the church’s annual food basket campaign, Broeker said. The church also distributes 2,100 gifts during the holidays, he said.

Rehearsals for Christmas Eve services begin two months in advance.

The services included live music from a four-piece jazz band, as well as singing, and each service ended with every member of the congregation holding a lighted candle and joining in singing “Silent Night.”

Barker said Church of Living Water has 1,800 to 2,000 members attending services each Sunday.

Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5465 jpawloski@theolympian.com

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