First Presbyterian Church of Youngstown is sponsoring a Christmas Eve luminaria to light up the Village of Youngstown’s Main and Church streets in celebration of the season.
All supplies will be provided to homes and businesses along the two streets, on Main street from Fort Niagara to the town line; and on Church Street, from First Presbyterian to village limits
The Rev. Bob Hagel, new pastor at First Presbyterian Church, said he hopes the luminaria will enhance the sense of community that he has already experienced in the few months he has been in Youngstown: "My family has enjoyed becoming a part of this active, welcoming community. It's not just a small village charm – though there is plenty of that – it's a place where people get that feeling of belonging."
The luminaria will begin at 4:30 p.m. and stay lit throughout the evening.
"Our hope is that the luminaria will not just light people's way to our Christmas Eve worship service, but will also guide their way to friends and family," Hagel said.
Organizers noted, “With December being the darkest time of the year, lanterns and lights have been a part of winter holiday traditions for hundreds of years. Originating in 14th century Spain, luminaria – or farolito – became a Christmas tradition in the Southwest United States. Since then, it has spread to other parts of the country.”
The luminaria kits will be assembled at a potluck supper at First Presbyterian at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 15. All are welcome to join, regardless of church membership. The kits will be distributed to homes and businesses between Dec. 16-18.
Free-will donations are welcome, but not expected. Those who would like to participate, but can’t, can call the church at 716-745-7067 to request a kit; or stop by the church office from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.
Christmas Eve worship service will be held at 7 p.m.
For more information, visit the church’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/youngstownpres.