GIVING the gift of hope

Around Town


If there’s anything the world needs right now, it’s Christmas, according to the pastor of a Bluffton church. 

After a harrowing year and many not being able to gather for Easter, the Rev. Dr. Angela Jennings of Lord of Life Lutheran Church is looking forward to celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ this month. 

“Everybody needs a little Christmas right now,” Jennings said. “Not the commercial stuff but a real Christmas, where we focus on the simple things in life and the great gifts that God gives to us.” 

The church, located on Buckwalter Parkway, is planning outdoor Christmas Eve candlelight services at noon, 4 p.m., 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. The services will take place on the church’s patio, which will be decorated with lights and luminaries. The sermon will be shorter than usual this year. 

Jennings thinks the church should get back to the basics of Christmas, singing carols and lighting the tree on Christmas Eve as people did generations ago. She said having the services outside will make it safer for people to sing, something she said is a must for Christmas. 

Lord of Life celebrates the 12 days of Christmas, beginning on Christmas Day and going until Epiphany on Jan. 6. 

All are welcome, but reservations are encouraged. The church will add another Christmas Eve service if it is needed. Masks are required. 

Jennings said in general churchgoers have been great about wearing masks during the pandemic. The weekly sermons are shorter — about 30 minutes instead of an hour. Chairs are set up with names on them and spread out to cut down on the spread of germs. Services are streamed on YouTube and Facebook for those who are not comfortable attending in person. 

“It’s really hard to look out and preach to my sheep when all I can see are their eyes, and not being able to hug,” Jennings said. “So that’s been really hard, but we’re doing the best we can do.” 

Jennings wants people to know that God is always with them and he has a plan. 

“That plan is to save his children, and he’s done it since the beginning of time,” she said. “We will get through this. God’s people have learned patience by waiting and waiting, but when something wonderful does happen, we recognize it as a great gift. We never lose hope because we know that God is faithful.” 

For more information on Lord of Life or to make reservations for one of the Christmas Eve services, call 843-757-4774 or visit the church’s Facebook page.