Stay, Pray, Press Play · 17 December 2016

Image Courtesy Cascade Community Church

Christmas is on Sunday this year and our church congregation, Cascade Community Church, is doing something different. Cascade is not having a church service on Christmas day. I repeat, Cascade Community Church is not having a church service on Christmas day in 2016.

It seems strange not having a church service on any Sunday let alone on one of the holiest days of the year. But it makes sense. Instead of having everybody stop their Christmas morning rituals, get dressed, bundle up, and make their way to church (grumbling all the way), or get up early and delay the morning festivities, why not just have people take a little time from their Christmas day festivities and watch a short video about the reason for the season.

It is brilliant.

(Now lest you think that the church staff just wanted to take a day off, our lead pastor let the cat out of the bag. He said it took over a hundred hours of filming, production, and logistics to give the staff and over a hundred volunteers one Sunday off. And there are still four services on Christmas Eve.)

The men who attended the Cascade Men’s conference on the first weekend in December got a preview of the video. Pastor Nate said he just had one request, “Stay, Pray, Press Play.” Simple right? Stay at home so that the kids do not get all their Christmas presents opened and then complain about having to get dressed and go to church service. Pray before the video presentation so that everybody present knows God is there with us blessing our time. Press play on whatever device is going to play the presentation so that we can all see the message of hope and salvation given to us by the birth of Jesus, our Savior.

It is brilliant. After all, anybody can view the message. (Go to or watch it on YouTube where there is a nice follow up message too.)

Now without spoiling things, I must say that the presentation is homey and heartfelt. It is refreshing for those who already know the story. It is informative and inspirational for those who do not. It is a message for everybody, not just the members of Cascade. And it is not preachy.

So while there will surely be some negative feedback about no church service on Christmas Sunday, Cascade has the right idea. Like the song says, “Go tell it on the mountain. Over the hills and everywhere. Go tell it on the mountain. That Jesus Christ is born.” Pastor Nate is telling the story on that big mountain called the internet. And to hear about it, you do not need to go to Cascade’s church service (remember, there is not one on Christmas day, but there are four Christmas Eve), you just need to stay, pray, and press play.

To all of you in Monroe and around the world, Merry Christmas. May God bless you and keep you.

© 2016 Michael T. Miyoshi

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