This Christmas Eve the Church of Peace United Church of Christ in Rock Island, Ill., welcomes the Peace Light of Bethlehem for its 10:30 p.m. Candlelight Service on Wednesday, December 24, 2014. This light was shared from the Grotto of the Nativity in Bethlehem that has burned at that site for over 1,000 years.
Each year Austrian Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts send representatives to Bethlehem to light six lanterns from the light that has burned at the site of the Nativity for centuries. Three of these lanterns spread the light across Europe while three of the lighted lanterns are flown to New York where volunteers spread the light across North America.
The living flame from Bethlehem was brought to the Church of Peace from the Iowa Religious Media Services in Des Moines. During the Christmas Eve 10:30 p.m. service, the Peace Light will be shared with each individual there.
Then the Church of Peace will keep the Peace Light of Bethlehem burning until the service at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, December 28, 2014.