GREENBURGH, N.Y. Dozens of children ran to Reverend Dr. Verlin D. Williams' office last Sunday to receive candy and gifts after the service. The giving happens every Sunday around Christmas, but this year, the holiday spirit began early.
"For the church, Christmas means an observation of the birth of Christ," said Gloria Cunningham, the church secretary. "His death is really what frees us from sin. But through the birth of Christ, it's just time to celebrate it. To celebrate that he was here and to celebrate his life."
The Union Baptist Church is holding a special Christmas worship on Sunday, Dec. 25 at 9:30 a.m. It will run for an hour, half the time of a regular session, and include prayer, Christmas songs, a gospel message and communion.
"The pastor is very understanding that people have a lot going on," said Cunningham. "We just want people to come in, take a quick minute and listen to a word. Focus on what the reason for the season is. And then go on home and be with their family."
The Union Baptist Church is located at 31 Manhattan Ave., across from the Theodore D. Young Community Center and Lois Bronz Children's Center, near the Crossroads Shopping Plaza.
In the video, Reverend Dr. Verlin Williams said: "It is the season of celebration and expectation. Its that time of year when we commemorate the wonderful gift of love that God has given us in Jesus Christ. He comes to bring the gifts of love, peace and the forgiveness of sins, which are the true gifts of Christmas. And they last forever."
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