Marc Rader, senior pastor at Gymea Baptist Church, reckons: “Christmas is an important time of year for everyone, and this year it’s going to be even more significant for people” – and we agree! After months of upset and uncertainty, a message of hope and sense of familiarity is vital. But, as many churches are unlikely to be able to return to face-to-face gatherings in 2020, this year’s Christmas will look different to most. Hear from Marc about two things his church plans on doing for Christmas in light of Covid-19 restrictions.

‘Bethlehem Village’
Touring around looking at light displays play a big part in celebrating Christmas. Gymea Baptist plan to offer a sense of familiarity to their community by using lights on their church building to echo Bethlehem Village (think lit up animals/angels, possible live actors, etc.). The idea is that people will park in their parking lot and walk through the display. They’ll try to incorporate QR codes along the way that will take people to a video that explains the Christmas story, and plan on using a lot of the supplies again in future carols events. With a Covid-safe volunteer team present on the nights it runs, this idea should bring great joy to many!

Pictured: The light display design that Marc’s team came up with

‘Carols in Your Backyard’ 
At the moment, we’re restricted in singing in church – but there are no rules stopping you from singing in your home! On December 20th at 7PM, Gymea Baptist will be live streaming an exlusive carols service featuring talented musicians Colin Buchanan and Emma Pask. As current restrictions allow for up to 20 guests in the home, the church is encouraging people to gather neighbours, friends and family for a carols event in your backyard, lounge-room, on your deck, on your driveway – wherever! They’re not messing with the classics, but offering a sense of familiarity with all your favourite carols, as well as stuff for the kids, and a message on the hope found in Jesus. This is not a ‘promoting Gymea Baptist’ event – it’s generic, so that anyone can take part. So get your homemade ‘sausage sizzle’ ready, create an invite list, and access the service here.

Pictured: Colin Buchanan & Emma Pask

If you have any questions, the church is happy for you to contact them at

Let us know how your church plans to do Christmas 2020!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here