Three congregations participated in the XTO Parade of Lights in downtown Fort Worth on Sunday, November 19, 2017.
St. Luke’s in the Meadow, St. Christopher, and the Episcopal Church in Parker County marched in the festive parade watched by hundreds of local residents. This is the first year any Episcopal congregation has taken part in the popular annual event.
St. Luke’s entry was the smoker “Old 100” decorated with hundreds of lights and a sign, “All aboard with St. Luke’s in the Meadow. Members wearing red shirts and lights walked along handing out glow sticks and candy.
St. Christopher’s and the Episcopal Church in Parker had 30 participants wearing light-up reindeer antlers following behind Junior Warden Rick Greene’s Mustang sporting more than 1700 lights. The entry was preceded by a banner with St. Christopher, ECPC, and the Diocese of Fort Worth’s names bracketed by a set of four Episcopal shields.
The tag line read at several announcer stations throughout the parade was: “St. Christopher Episcopal Church and the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth present “Singing in the Reindeer: the most fun you can have in church!”
Everybody had a great time, as evidenced by the conversation after the parade: “Next year, we could…!”
The Rev. Karen Calafat said it was a great opportunity for outreach as well as grand fun for all involved. Several participants observed that the announcers were very creative in pronouncing “Episcopal” and “diocese.” Next year we may need to provide a glossary for them.
The Rev. Bill Stanford wrote, “Members of St. Christopher and the Episcopal Church in Parker County (ECPC) processed down Commerce Street and up Houston Street with Rick Greene’s Mustang aglow with over 1700 lights. We were led by a banner with ours, ECPC, and the diocese’s names on it bracketed with four Episcopal shields. We wore blinky light reindeer antlers and waved to thousands of people, wishing them ‘Merry Christmas’ and giving high fives to the kids along the way.
“We made people smile. And whenever the announcers announced us, we let out a loud “Whoop!” because our tagline was ‘The most fun you can have in church!’ And even though half of the announcers couldn’t pronounce ‘Episcopal’ or ‘Diocese’, there was no mistaking that we were church people out there to have fun and make our presence known.
“God’s sense of humor became evident after we had prayed before the parade not to be behind an equestrian group with lots of horses. We were behind lots of horses and an entry called “Pooper Scoopers”. Oh well.
“In the wake of the horses we smiled, we waved, we laughed. We were light and life to thousands of people. We were the Church.”