Savoonga Church Celebrates Christmas on Bering Sea

February 02, 2019 | Church | Elouise Hawkes

Dec. 21, 2018, had arrived. As the time for our Christmas program drew closer and closer, we realized Alaska's Savoonga Church was going to be filled to capacity. We were right.

The church was packed with about 100 people. There was standing room, only with folks spilling out into the foyer and the Sabbath School room. As the narrator began the Christmas story, 20 kids participated by acting out the story as told in Luke 2:1–20 and Matt. 2:1–12.  

The program was interspersed with opportunities for the audience to sing Christmas songs. We were blessed to have such a large group join their voices in song. At the conclusion of the program, the children were stationed at the door to greet people as they left and hand each person a goody bag with an apple, an orange and some Christmas candy.

The program was a huge success in part because of the adults who participated by coordinating the children’s parts, involving the guests in group singing and helping to assemble the gift bags they were able to present. Miriam Toolie, Darlene Noongwook, Thelma Noongwook, Sally Okoomealingok and Elouise Hawkes offered their tireless efforts and coordination. Hawkes' family from North Carolina donated the fruit for the gift bags.

Nome Church members Ryan and Mel Woehler — along with their children, Thomas, Ruth and Lawrence — visited Savoonga for the weekend. Ryan offer to play the guitar and lead in the singing; the group gladly took him up on his offer. 

Savoonga members are praising God for this opportunity to share His Word with those in this small village on St. Lawrence Island in the midst of the Bering Sea.