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First Lutheran Church closes Christmas season

The “Magi,” Kerrigan Keller, Eli Reid and Drew Davis, were appropriately dressed and presented the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the baby Jesus during First Lutheran Church’s Epiphany service on Jan. 6. (Photo Provided)

PARKERSBURG — First Lutheran Church, 19th and Plum streets, closed the Christmas season with its annual Epiphany service and bonfire on Monday, Jan. 6.

This bonfire is the traditional “burning of the greens,” the seasonal decorations from the church, as well as many trees and wreaths contributed by church members and neighbors.

The celebration of Epiphany is held on the 13th day after the birth of Christ, the day the wise men (Magi) arrived in Bethlehem to worship the newborn child. This year’s “Magi,” Kerrigan Keller, Eli Reid and Drew Davis, were appropriately dressed and presented the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the baby Jesus.

Continuing the custom, First Lutheran uses the unique service written by the Lutheran Church in Tanzania which Pastor Ian Reid experienced when sharing God’s word with the people there. The service always includes African drum percussionists as well as others who wish to join in the celebration with their drums, cymbals, etc.

Area ministers accepting Reid’s invitation to participate along with him in this year’s service were the Rev. Paul Hicks, Trinity Episcopal Church; the Rev. Emilie Theobald-Rowlands, Christ Lutheran Church, Vienna, and the Rev. Michael Seely.

Area ministers joined the Rev. Ian Reid for this year’s Epiphany service Jan. 6 at First Lutheran Church. From left are Reid; the Rev. Paul Hicks, Trinity Episcopal Church; the Rev. Emilie Theobald-Rowlands (with baby Elizabeth), Christ Lutheran Church, Vienna, and the Rev. Michael Seely. (Photo Provided)

Following the service, Reid lit the bonfire for a unique and exciting closing for the Christmas season, the church said. While the bonfire raged, those gathered to watch enjoyed hot chocolate and cookies.

First Lutheran welcomes all to Sunday worship services: morning worship at 8:30 and 10:30; church school at 9:30 a.m., invitation to prayer Sundays at 5 p.m., and evening worship at 6:30. Holy Communion is celebrated at all Sunday services. A nursery is provided for Sunday morning services.

The church is handicap-accessible. The LOOP hearing assistance system is available in the sanctuary. For more information, call the church office at 304-428-6174

First Lutheran Church sanctuary in Parkersburg was prepared for the arrival of the Magi during the special Epiphany service on Jan. 6. (Photo Provided)

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