Pastor Mike Brake preaches from the Pavillion at Ashley Pond Park. Courtesy/Freedom Church
Service at Ashley Pond Park. Courtesy/Freedom Church
Ashley Pond at night. Courtesy/Freedom Church
Freedom Church will host an outdoor Christmas Eve service at 4:45 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 24 at Ashley Pond Park and the whole community is invited.
“Ashley Pond at night is gorgeous with the snow and the Christmas lights … and when it’s Christmas Eve it just takes it to another level,” Pastor Mike Brake said.
The service will be simple and last about 45 minutes. There will be free gifts, games and prizes for the kids and lots of hand warmers and hot chocolate.
“People who come are going to find hope,” Brake said. “Christmas is the loneliest time of year for some people. Come and feel welcomed and encouraged and inspired that God is working in you and through you at a time when people are searching for meaning.”
This outdoor service has become a new tradition for Freedom Church, which held the service last year when the church was just getting started. Up until that point, 50 people attended most Sunday services. Brake said they were blown away when 150 people came to the first Christmas Eve at Ashley Pond.
“It was one of the coolest things I’ve done in Los Alamos,” he said.
He is looking forward to seeing new faces this year.
A second service Sunday, Dec. 22
Freedom Church will host an additional Christmas Eve service 11 a.m. to noon Sunday, Dec. 22 at its regular location in the gymnasium at Aspen Elementary School. Children 4 and under will have supervised play time in a safe and child-appropriate space. Both services will have the same message and same songs.
What makes Freedom Church special?
Freedom Church is an evangelical church that has a mission to “Help people take the next step in their relationship with Jesus … together.” They do everything they can to provide a low-pressure environment where people feel welcome.
“So many people don’t feel like they belong and they don’t feel like they have value,” Brake said. “We want to make people feel welcomed and valued. I don’t care what faith background you come from. I can’t make people believe in anything. But I am trying to let them know that God loves them no matter what they’ve done and no matter what they are going through in their lives. They have hope and purpose. God wants to do big things in them and through them.”
They offer message series that address problems that people face in real life, like dealing with stress, going through the holidays while grieving the loss of a loved one, fighting fear, exploring doubt, and how God can do amazing things through unlikely people. You can see his sermons on their website. (https://freedomla.church/sermons/)
“We can help people in real life,” Brake said. “If we’re not talking about something that relates to real life, then why are we talking about it?”
It can be stressful for parents to bring kids to a new church, especially when you don’t know what to expect. Freedom Kids is the children’s ministry of Freedom Church for children six weeks through age 7. Students engage in an interactive and age-appropriate environment where the Bible is taught in a creative and relevant way.
Freedom Church recently hired Seth Evans as director of Freedom Kids. Before joining Freedom Church, he had an internship at a church in Alamogordo. He has an educational background in children’s ministry. With the hire, Freedom Church is looking forward to expanding Freedom Kids to include interactive environments for all students 6th grade and below in the first part of 2020.
Freedom Church is at 2182 33rd St. Service times are 11 a.m. to noon Sundays. For information, call 505.278.7556 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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