In 1740, John Wesley organized the first “nightwatch” service to mark the changing of the calendar year. For Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement within Protestantism, a brief informal time of reflection and prayer was an alternative to the sometimes raucous secular observance of New Year’s Eve. While such services sometimes took place in the church, more commonly nightwatch services took place in small groups in the homes of believers.
Beginning in 1862, in the African American community nightwatch services were instituted as both enslaved people and abolitionists gathered to pray for the end of war and the abolition of slavery. Even today many African American churches observe a time of nightwatch on New Year’s Eve.
This year you are invited to join us via Zoom at 7:00 pm on December 31, for a time of reflection, prayer and an opportunity to greet one another with New Year’s wishes. Pastor Eileen will lead the service from her home. Plan to join us as we conclude 2020 and look forward 2021. Even if your plans call for you to be out and about later in the evening consider being with your church family for 45 minutes or so at 7:00pm. All are welcome!
The link for the service will be sent out on Monday, December 28.