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Youth members of the Baker United Methodist Church gathered outside the church Friday morning, Dec. 18, to sing “Go Tell It On The Mountain.” The performance will be included with a live Christmas Eve service shown via Zoom.

The kids Christmas program at the Baker United Methodist Church wasn’t the usual performance.

It was colder, for one thing.

In deference to the pandemic, about 15 young members of the congregation gathered on Friday, Dec. 18, not inside the warm sanctuary, but outside the church in 33-degree weather.

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Marilyn Hereau sets out toys that the Baker United Methodist Church will donate to The Salvation Army.

The group went through a few rehearsals of the chorus of “Go Tell It On The Mountain” before singing it while Pastor Michele Holloway made a video of the performance with her phone.

That video will be included in the church’s live Christmas Eve service, which will be available by Zoom and also can be watched later on YouTube.

The service starts at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 24.

In a typical December, members of the church’s Tuesday Activity Club for kids in kindergarten through sixth grade would be joined by older students for the Christmas music program, said Marilyn Hereau, a member of the church.

They also gather toys and financial contributions from the Methodist congregation to donate to The Salvation Army.

But with COVID-19 precautions moving the church to Zoom services, the kids’ Christmas program also changed, Hereau said.

They convened around 10 a.m. Friday in the alley on the west side of the church. Kids and adults set up folding tables to hold the donated toys, and the young singers stood among the tables to record their performance.

Holloway, who arrived in August to serve as pastor, said it’s been a difficult year, with regular worship services replaced by recorded sermons, to become acquainted with her new congregation.

“The only way I can get to know people is by Zoom,” Holloway said.

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