As previously mentioned, I’ve gone on a few American Legacy Tours: Queen City Underground, Newport is Haunted, Covington Haunted and now the Spirit of Christmas. It is a stroll through churches in Over-the-Rhine or in our case because it was brisk day, it was a fast walk to each location.
While we enjoyed learning about the church’s historical significance and delighted in ringing the bell, we also learned what these churches do to serve their community. Some times we forget that there are places beyond social services that are helping those in need. First Lutheran is committed to adult literacy, provides one-on-one tutoring and is a GED testing site.
The thing that stood out to me about Nast Trinity United Methodist Church besides the giant organ, was the amount of people they serve at their Sunday morning breakfast and evening worship. Hundreds!
Prince of Peace is a beautiful church with a story about why their walls are flaky (treatment that only lasted so long and now needs repair). Through their Bridge Ministry they offer all sorts of service, like mentoring, Bible study and computer help! It’s always nice to know that they are other places trying to help with job applications, resume writing and basic computer skills. Some times as a public librarian, you feel like many corporations and service agencies refer people to the library because we DO offer free computers, but we do not always have enough time to assist with these in-depth transactions (if you’ve never worked with someone who is new to a computer, it is always an lengthy experience.
The last church we visited was St. Frances Seraph, which part of the Queen City Underground tour and you get to go underground on that tour. For this tour, we visited Charles Dickens’ Christmas village, a collection of Santas, a live nativity and Fr. Tim’s collection of nativities from around the world. Plus, we leaned that he made all the shelves to hold his collection.
Even this large display does not stay up year-around because as Fr. Tim explained, it wouldn’t be that special. He started in mid-October to get his display unpacked. To see and appreciate them all, you need to see them in person. In additional to their live nativity, there is an open house Friday, December 28.
If you’re looking for a way to get involved in Over-the-Rhine beyond just patronizing the businesses, consider looking into what these churches offer their community.
Thank you to 365Cincinnati and American Legacy Tours for inviting me to the Spirit of Christmas Tour.