ST. CLOUD -- A local church is inviting you to join them for a traditional Christmas service.

Atonement Lutheran Church is hosting a series of Christmas Eve services at the Park Event Center in Waite Park.

Pastor John Gabrielson says they wanted to have a space large enough to allow for in-person services, while following all COVID-19 regulations.

Our council felt with the size of our space and the age of our ventilation system, it wouldn't be possible to have worship for the kind of numbers we would typically see. The Park Event Center has about 15,000 square-feet, modern ventilation system and will provide cleaning services, we just thought that would be the safest way to go.

Gabrielson says they plan to stagger the services throughout the day.

Right now we are starting with noon, 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. and those are spread out kind of far but that's because the Park Event Center staff wants to get in between each service and clean.

He says they may add a fourth service if the demand is there, and are working to live-stream the services for anyone who doesn't feel comfortable attending in-person.

Gabrielson says you're asked to reserve a spot as each service will be capped at 200 people, masks will be required and families will be set up in pods to allow for social distancing.

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