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Christmas Brings More Than Presents for Reverend

LARCHMONT, N.Y. - Many hope for great gifts on Christmas, but Larchmont Avenue Church's Rev. Bill Crawford shares a different kind of hope with his congregants during the holiday

Crawford will impart that hope during Larchmont Avenue Church's two services on Christmas Eve and one on Christmas Day.

"We have this event that has been celebrated and recognized culturally, and has a lot of glitter and commercial to it," Crawford said. "At the heart of it is the presence of God, and, in Christ, hope is born. Christmas is hope born and hope come to life."

The church's Sunday school students gave life to that hope in a re-enactment of the nativity scene for the annual Christmas Pageant at Larchmont Avenue Church's Dec. 18 mass.

"The kids enacted the story with great purpose and panache, and enthusiasm, and creativity," Crawford said. "Over the course of generations, we've had so many play those parts that some who are in their 30s could see the parts of Joseph and Mary that they themselves played."

The Christmas Eve 5:30 p.m. service will focus on the family, especially children, said Crawford, who expects hundreds will turn out. The 8 p.m. service may draw even more and will be filled with music, as well as communion and light service.

"I will be overjoyed having just a rich and full Christmas Eve with two services here," Crawford said.

In addition to the celebrations, Crawford's congregation has taken time to remember those in need by preparing meals for New Rochelle's Hope Community Services. They also did a midnight run, along with Larchmont Temple.

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