Is your church having a New Year's Eve service, event, gathering or party this year, since New Year's Eve is Saturday night?

Yes, we are having an event that goes to or after midnight and full schedule Sunday
0% (0 votes)
Yes, we are having an event, but it ends earlier than midnight
17% (4 votes)
We are still undecided.
8% (2 votes)
We are opening it up for people to host events in their homes, but not in our church facilities
4% (1 vote)
No, we never have a New Year's Eve event.
29% (7 votes)
No, we are not having a New Year's Eve this year, though we normally do
33% (8 votes)
Yes, we are having a New Year's Eve event, but canceling some of our Sunday Morn. schedule
4% (1 vote)
Yes, we will have an event on New Year's Eve and are completely canceling church
0% (0 votes)
We are having our church services on Saturday this New Year's Eve
0% (0 votes)
We are having no New Year's even event and no church on Sunday
4% (1 vote)
Other
0% (0 votes)
Total votes: 24
8019 reads

There are 26 Comments

Ed Vasicek's picture

It is never fun when Christmas and New Year's Day fall on a Sunday. I find it creates scheduling problems.

How is your church going to handle New Year's Eve? For some, it doesn't matter if New Year's Eve is on a Saturday or night --- they either have nothing (as usual), an early event (as usual), or a late event (as usual). Form others of us, this convergence of day and date means change.

So how is your church addressing this?

We cancelled our New Year's Eve party, but are opening it up for folks who want to have one in their homes. At this point, there are no takers, which is fine by me.

What's happening with your congregation?

"The Midrash Detective"

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

as I know, there is a regular service on Sunday morning and an early afternoon service. Church folks might be planning something on their own, but there is no 'official' church function News Years' Eve.

Ken and I are stay-inners on New Years' Eve. We will probably spend the evening remodeling our downstairs bathroom.

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

Susan R wrote:

Ken and I are stay-inners on New Years' Eve. We will probably spend the evening remodeling our downstairs bathroom.

I would guess your strategy is very effective at cutting down on unwanted guests on holidays!

Dave Barnhart

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

We are die hard do-it-yourself-ers. It's just how we roll.

Paul J. Scharf's picture

I don't mean to go back to my growing-up days in Lutheranism with every holiday post, but NYE makes me think of when I was a boy and we had a regular church communion service that night -- no matter what night of the week it was. It signaled an end to the holiday season and reminded me that school was about to re-start, but it also made an impression on me as a boy that NYE was a somber time to reflect on the passing of one year and the beginning of a new one.

Since then, I have seen several types of NYE services in Bible and Baptist churches. Quite often, they are rather lame. On the one hand, there is fellowship around leftover Christmas cookies. On the other extreme, there is a kid-centered night of frenetic activity that is supposed to go until midnight. I also saw one church that tried to combine the latter with an hour-and-a-half preaching service that took place first. Frankly, I have not found any of the above to be very fulfilling.

I guess if I had my druthers, I would like to attend a nice church event on NYE -- either a formal worship service or, conversely, a movie-type event with a major focus on outreach.

With all the churches that now have Saturday night services, I wonder if some will have Saturday night this year and nothing on Sunday? (Just a question.)

Church Ministries Representative for the Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry

Dick Dayton's picture

I try very diligently to be wrapped up with any church or other events quite early on Saturday night. I like to be home and settled by 5 or 6. That way, my heart and soul have time to be ready for Sunday. I like to get to church at least an hour early on Sunday, and simply let my mind be relaxed and ready for the day.
If I am up late or rushed, I feel as though I am not giving the Lord or my people the best I can on Sunday worship.

Dick Dayton

Dan Burrell's picture

They were the bane of my existence as a child/teen. My sisters and I would pray fervently for a blizzard on December 31st each year asking God for a miracle and we could get "snowed in". It only happened once.

The schedule was always exactly the same:

Meet at church around 7:00. 30 minutes of "Pick Your Favorite Hymn from the Hymnal" free-style sing. (Important: Only sing the first and last.) (As a rule: Song leader is not amused when a teenager pulls out some ancient hymn that has never been sung in the history of the church. Only one verse of those songs were sung.)

7:30 -- Pastor would preach. And Preach. And Preach. Mandatory invitation featuring "Just As I Am".

8:30 -- Take a break and head to the church basement for leftover Christmas cookies, pimento cheese and turkey salad sandwiches, dip, soft drinks, vegetable tray. (Note: everything must be in tupperware with name in magic marker on it and the bread MUST be soggy.) Sometimes someone would bring some leftover fruitcake or a platter of those summer sausage/cheese/cracker treats from the company Christmas present. Kids permitted to play a little basketball. Sometimes we'd come back up early for testimony time. Teens took bets quietly on who would be the first to cry during their testimony.

9:30 -- More sanging. Then, the "preacher boys" round robin. This was for every boy, 10-and-up, who had ever been told by his mom, pastor, grandmother or hair-lipped uncle that God had told him he was to be a preacher. Each boy had 10 minutes. Lots of unnecessary shouting and alliteration while misusing great individual verses from the Bible was done. Pastor would close with an invitation. All of our mothers came forward. None of our siblings did.

10:30 -- Start beginning of newest Bob Jones film (preferably "Sheffy" which was shown for 8 consecutive years in a row.) If not an Unusual Film -- go for an Estes Perkel film like "The Burning Hell". One time we showed, "If Footman Tire You What Will Horses Do?" (I'm still in therapy over that one. You'll need to youtube it, to get the idea. Go ahead and youtube The Burning Hell while you are there.) Last resort, a new evangelical film from Billy Graham or part of the "Thief in the Night" trilogy. Allow time for at least one breakdown of the projector. Make note to order movie earlier next year so we don't get stuck with the New Evangelical film as it requires a mandatory disclaimer from the pastor on the concerns he has with Billy Graham. Make sure you don't accidentally call it a movie. It is FILM. Get it? A F.I.L.M. -- only heathens watch movies. (This was prior to the arrival of the VHS player for the record. Things changed after that.)

11:55 -- No matter WHERE you are in the film -- even if it is right when they are hacking off the little boy's head and rolling it down the hill in the "Footman" movie -- you MUST stop. Everyone heads to the altar as the pastor calls us to "Pray the Old Year Out and Pray the New Year In." Usually, this was also punctuated with a brief warning that Jesus could come back at midnight and we should want to be found on our knees if He did. (It never seemed to occur to us that it had already hit midnight on the east coast. We just figured God used Missouri time.) Will admit to feeling a little sense of relief when the clock ticked to 12:01 and Jesus hadn't come. I REALLY wanted to get my driver's license and get married. He could come after that.

12:05 -- Watch the last part of the movie, er, uh, FILM. Many older people just went straight home. Not MY dad....he believed we should be the last ones to leave along with the pastor. Sigh.

So with those memories, I vowed that if I was ever a pastor and in charge, I would never have a 'Watchnight Service" at our church. I became a pastor in 1990 and kept my word. Now, I kiss my wife at midnight and go to sleep. Life is good.

(Written purely with tongue in cheek though the schedule and everything else actually occurred.)

Dan Burrell Cornelius, NC Visit my Blog "Whirled Views" @ www.danburrell.com

Ed Vasicek's picture

On New Year's Eve, we usually have a church party starting at 7. We have a prayer at the beginning, committing our New Year to Him, and then we have good, clean fun: Bingo (prizes are white elephants we all bring in), group "Boggle," and some other group games. Then we play individual games at our own leisure. I always joke that I am a pastor who has a "card ministry" as I teach people the rules to card games (no gambling, of course).

I always wear my tuxedo long-sleeve tee shirt (the wife put shoulder pads in it).

One year, we had a live internet feed to Time Square where one of our folks was for the big ball drop (a lot bigger than the one below). One year, we had silhouttes of major American cities and we had to try to guess which cities they were (with a white elephant choice for the one who got most).

We bring in lots of snacks (I make lasagna for people who want more substance), we have horns, hats, noisemakers and new year's banners. Some years we will break to watch an episode of the Honeymooners, Get Smart, etc.

At 12 o'clock we walk two blocks to downtown and watch the ball drop (Kokomo does New Year's right) followed by a fireworks show. Then we usually come back to church and clean up.

We have lots of good, clean fun. But not this year. Bummer!

"The Midrash Detective"

Paul J. Scharf's picture

Though I did not share your experiences growing up, I have been in fundamentalism long enough now that I may as well have. You have my empathy, brother... :bigsmile:

Church Ministries Representative for the Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry

Shaynus's picture

The school district we meet at canceled on all churches meeting in schools for New Year's Day and Christmas. Our dear school-employed maintenance crew petitioned (not with a petition drive) without our knowledge for an exception for us, and got it for New Years. So we can't meet Christmas (we'll meet in homes), but we can meet New Years.

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

Dan Burrell wrote:

(Written purely with tongue in cheek though the schedule and everything else actually occurred.)

Wow. That takes me back! I remember something a *lot* like that. With the exception that we always had a church-wide sword-drill in the course of the evening, and we had communion right before midnight, your description pretty much parallels some of my experiences. I even remember both Sheffey and Thief in the Night being used.

Actually, since it was different from the usual, I didn't dread that service, in spite of the length. All my friends were there too. One time, one of the "preacher boys" used "alright" and "OK" so often, that we kept a running total of how much he used each one.

Nowadays, I pretty much prefer to be home at midnight on New Year's Eve. I've been to a few short NYE services, with some fellowship but ending in time to be home with family, and I've enjoyed those too.

Dave Barnhart

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

I remember as a kid reading the itinerary Bro. Burrell described in the church bulletin for many years, but as a family we weren't much into holidays, so we never went.

I've always thought there was something a bit superstitious about some NYE services, especially when it is said that you haven't started the New Year off right if you didn't start it in church. Is that like a jinx?

Paul J. Scharf's picture

dcbii wrote:
Nowadays, I pretty much prefer to be home at midnight on New Year's Eve. I've been to a few short NYE services, with some fellowship but ending in time to be home with family, and I've enjoyed those too.

If you want motivation to be home before midnight, just go to the convenience store anytime after 2 p.m., stand by the cash register for five minutes, and keep track of how much beer is sold. :cry:

Church Ministries Representative for the Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry

Paul J. Scharf's picture

Dan Burrell wrote:
... go for an Estes Perkel film like "The Burning Hell". One time we showed, "If Footman Tire You What Will Horses Do?" (I'm still in therapy over that one. You'll need to youtube it, to get the idea. Go ahead and youtube The Burning Hell while you are there.)

I made the mistake of finding these on YouTube... ... ...

Those leftover Christmas cookies are starting to look really good!! Cool :tired: :Sp

Church Ministries Representative for the Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry

Shaynus's picture

Susan R wrote:
I remember as a kid reading the itinerary Bro. Burrell described in the church bulletin for many years, but as a family we weren't much into holidays, so we never went.

I've always thought there was something a bit superstitious about some NYE services, especially when it is said that you haven't started the New Year off right if you didn't start it in church. Is that like a jinx?

No. It's manipulation.

Joel Shaffer's picture

Ah yes, I remember News Years eve services, especially the times where they showed the movie "A Thief in the Night." Scared me to death and caused me to "Accept Christ" about five times the next day each year they showed it, even though I had believed in Christ for my salvation a few years before :X Anyhow, on a side note, once I went to college and saw Monty Python and the Holy Grail on video, I realized that one score from the sound track from A Thief in the Night and one score from the Holy Grail were incredibly similar Smile

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euAsGHweqDo&feature=related begin at 3:19 (a thief in the night)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJWHDdhq1CI (Holy Grail Theme Song)

Ed Vasicek's picture

Joel Shaffer wrote:
Ah yes, I remember News Years eve services, especially the times where they showed the movie "A Thief in the Night." Scared me to death and caused me to "Accept Christ" about five times the next day each year they showed it, even though I had believed in Christ for my salvation a few years before :X Anyhow, on a side note, once I went to college and saw Monty Python and the Holy Grail on video, I realized that one score from the sound track from A Thief in the Night and one score from the Holy Grail were incredibly similar Smile

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euAsGHweqDo&feature=related begin at 3:19 (a thief in the night)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJWHDdhq1CI (Holy Grail Theme Song)

I liked "A Thief in the Night," especially the song by Larry Norman, "I Wish We'd All Been Ready." Those pork-chop sideburns on that guy in the movie were amazing!

"The Midrash Detective"

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Oh man, I remember Sheffey. Then there was the one night I didn't get the memo in about 8th grade. The youth pastor's kid and I snuck out to go down to the local convenience store to play video games. We came back about a quarter to 12 and found the parking lot empty, the lights off, and everything locked down tight. Apparently, with the annual increase in drinking and driving on new year;s eve, the church had decided this year to call it quits at 10:30. Man it was a long, lonely wait after I called my dad and got him out of bed to come get me.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

PLewis's picture

Laugh .. I guess most of us had similar experiences .. When I was in high school the youth group would go bowling afterward .. then out to breakfast ..

Now don't go rolling your eyes at Sheffey - my husband's and my first date was to the premier .. (we were sophmores and were going to have to sit in Rodeheaver - but he managed to swap tickets with someone that had tickets in the Amphitorium) we still watch it every couple years .. I think it's fun because they finished filming my freshman year at BJU and knew some of the kids in it ..

Pastor Joe Roof's picture

Our church will be hosting a "Dinner and Movie Night" on New Year's Eve. For the meal, we will have a chili/soup cook-off with prizes. For the movie, we will be showing the Courageous movie.

On New Year's Day, we are having a Praise, Prayer, and Pizza Event. This will be a worship service followed by a pizza meal.

Paul J. Scharf's picture

Pastor Joe Roof wrote:
Our church will be hosting a "Dinner and Movie Night" on New Year's Eve. For the meal, we will have a chili/soup cook-off with prizes. For the movie, we will be showing the Courageous movie.

On New Year's Day, we are having a Praise, Prayer, and Pizza Event. This will be a worship service followed by a pizza meal.

Cool Cool Cool Cool

Church Ministries Representative for the Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry

Dan Burrell's picture

Joe....that is a "Dinner and a FILM Night"....get it, F.I.L.M. I'm afraid that I'm going to have to call for a 30-day suspension of your Fundy Card!

0:)

Dan Burrell Cornelius, NC Visit my Blog "Whirled Views" @ www.danburrell.com

Dick Dayton's picture

I have been surprised at the intensity of some of the comments. Sounds like this really hit a nerve with some people.

In some of our churches, we did do something organized on New Year's Eve, to provide an opportunity for interaction and fun for the church family.

Now that I have had a few decades of birthdays, I prefer to be holding down the pillow at midnight. I used to like to stay up and play table games. Also, since it is a Saturday night, I want to be well rested, so that I can more effectively minister to the souls of our people.

It could be used to focus our thoughts on God's goals for our lives, and put the II Peter 3:18 principle of growth in grace and knowledge into effect.

This year, since January 1 is a Sunday, and we normally have communion on the first Sunday evening, we are going to focus on a theme of new beginnings, and how the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ bring life and new life to us. We may mix up the order of service a bit, to keep our minds focused.

Dick Dayton

Dan Burrell's picture

Dick Dayton wrote:
I have been surprised at the intensity of some of the comments. Sounds like this really hit a nerve with some people.

I don't sense any real intensity here, Dick, but if you want to see some real heat, go visit the Tebow thread going on right now or the one on BJU now offering Intercollegiate Athletics. We believers can really excited about athletics! Yowsers!

0:)

Dan Burrell Cornelius, NC Visit my Blog "Whirled Views" @ www.danburrell.com

SBashoor's picture

I grew up with Watchnight Services. I could never understand why Jesus was more likely to come at that particular time. There never seemed to be a verse anyone could quote for it. Eventually I started to think that the whole thing was just a contrived religious alternative to secular NYE celebrations.

M. Scott Bashoor Happy Slave of Christ