Tofino’s St. Columba Church was chock-full of seasonal merriment last week.
The church welcomed the community to a caroling event on Dec. 16 and a puppet show on Dec. 18.
“We’re a church in the community and a church of the community,” Rev. Will Ferrey told the Westerly News.
“Tofino is such a great community; always enthusiastic and always participating… It’s just nice to know that there’s people out there in the community who want to do these things.”
He said participation at both events was “fantastic” and he was thrilled to see so many locals pour into the church.
“We have a really lovely building and we want to share that with the community and we want to give people lots of opportunity to engage their spirituality in different ways over Christmas,” he said.
“Christmas is a really spiritual time for a lot of people but not everybody is comfortable with, or interested in, the spirituality expressed in our worship services so we try different things to give people all these different outlets for their spirituality.”
The puppet show, dubbed ‘The Shoemaker,’ was an adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s ‘Where Love is, God Is,’ and was put together by Tofino locals Dan and Mollie Law.
“It was one of these great things where we could be part of the community and all we had to do was say, ‘Yes,’ and make sure the doors were unlocked and the heat was on,” Ferrey said.
He added the puppet show provided the perfect blend of fun and tradition for the community get-together.
“It was a way to explore some spirituality about Christmas and about this season in a different way, a more fun way, a more relaxed way and maybe for some people less threatening,” he said.
“It’s a spiritual building, it’s a little piece of sacred space in the middle of Tofino...We want to invite people into that space for different shows and events and things but we want them to have that spiritual or sacred aspect to them that meshes with the whole reason that the building is there.”
St. Columba is getting ready to host three services on Christmas Eve: a 4:30 p.m. kids service, 7:30 p.m. lessons and carols and a 9 p.m. Christmas communion.
“The kids service is a little bit less structured, there’s more room to run them around and use up some of that good Christmas energy they always have and get them home before supper,” Ferrey said.
“Our 7:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. services are more focused on the spiritual and the sacred, the ancient carols and stories of our faith, which are really deep and really important and I think kids totally can understand but sometimes, especially late at night, have trouble staying awake for.”