provided to Santiva Chronicle
Island residents and visitors alike are invited to grab a beach towel or chair and head to Lighthouse Beach for the Annual Christmas Eve Beach service at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 24. This enchanting service is Sanibel Congregational United Church of Christ’s gift to the community since 1979. Join this family-friendly service, as the Gulf breezes and waves provide background for this service of carols and telling of Christmas Story Senior Pastor the Rev. John Danner. Then as the sun sets, the beach will become aglow with candlelight as all join in singing “Silent Night” in the shadow of the Sanibel Lighthouse. All proceeds from the offering taken during the service will be given to F.I.S.H. of Sanibel-Captiva and the Salvation Army.
Complementary parking is available at the Chamber of Commerce at 1159 Causeway Road and Sanibel Congregational United Church of Christ at 2050 Periwinkle Place, with free transportation to the beach beginning at 4:00 p.m. and continuing until all have left the beach at the conclusion of the service. Transportation will be provided by vans from Island Taxi and trollies from Adventures in Paradise. There will also be limited free parking available at Lighthouse Beach. Traveling by bicycle or walking to Lighthouse beach is always encouraged to ease traffic and minimize damage to the beach areas.
Sanibel Congregational United Church of Christ thanks the City of Sanibel and the Sanibel Police Department for their assistance in carrying on this tradition. Those attending are asked to help preserve the beauty of the island by following the “no parking” zones, cleaning up all personal trash, and avoiding the roped off beach grass areas on the beach itself. In the rare event that weather forces cancelation of the service, announcements will be made at 1 p.m. and the service moved to the church. For more information about this service, contact the church office at 239-472-0497, or check out www.sanibelucc.org. There will also be a traditional candlelight service held at the church at 9 p.m that same evening.