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Christmas ... and a step back in time

Published: Friday, Dec. 6, 2013 1:18 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Dec. 6, 2013 1:20 p.m. CDT
(BCR photo/Andrew Fisher)
Sheffield Historical Society President Lisa Aber adjusts some decorations on the tree inside St. Peter’s Danish Lutheran Church, which is the setting for an old-fashioned Christmas program at 1 p.m. Dec. 15. The event will include caroling, a non-denominational church service, refreshments and more.

SHEFFIELD — The historic St. Peter’s Danish Lutheran Church on South Washington Street is decorated; the weather is cold; and Christmas is only weeks away, which means it is nearly time for the Sheffield Historical Society’s annual Christmas program.

Presented by the Sheffield Historical Society and scheduled for Dec. 15, the program is one of the village’s most long-awaited Christmas traditions, which began in 1971. The program at Sheffield’s Danish Lutheran this year includes caroling by Bunker Hill Church members from Buda, a complete non-denominational Christmas service, and refreshments and fellowship with Santa Claus at the Sheffield Community Center following the service. Other local performers are also scheduled to participate in the program. Treats will also be given to children who attend the program.

New to this year’s program is a children’s story, “The Legend of the Candy Cane,” which will be read by the Rev. Brenda Lovick of Trinity Lutheran Church in Manlius.

Caroling begins around 1 p.m. with the church service commencing promptly at 1:30 p.m. The program draws a large crowd, so participants are advised to arrive early to enjoy the Christmas carols and stay warm by the church’s historic pot belly stoves.

The traditional Christmas service is open to all denominations. It will be officiated by the Rev. Jane Courtright of the United Church of Christ in Sheffield; the Rev. Brenda Lovick of Trinity Lutheran in Manlius; and Todd Krost of the Sheffield United Methodist Church. Songs and hymns will be led by Charles Gebeck who has played the organ for the program for years.

The program is funded by donations. The past year’s donations were used to re-roof the church, re-plaster the ceiling, and install a new wooden walkway, said Lisa Aber, president of the Sheffield Historical Society.

St. Peter’s Danish Lutheran Church no longer holds services on Sundays, but it is open for weddings, baptisms and funerals. Tours are available Wednesday through Saturday or by appointment.

Contact the Sheffield Historical Society at 815-454-2850 for additional details on the program and church availability for other functions. The society welcomes suggestions on ways to make the program even more memorable for future generations.

Comment on this story at www.bcrnews.com.

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