SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Gospel singers dressed in shiny fuchsia dresses sang ‘Go Tell It On the Mountain,’ a video by late Glide Memorial Church co-founder Janice Mirikitani was shown and thousands of people were watching. enjoyed the camaraderie and a free meal on Glide’s annual Christmas Day. Saturday event.
The event began with the church’s virtual celebration broadcast live on Facebook at 10 a.m., followed by in-person Christmas feasts sponsored by the Glide Foundation. Ham, turkey and all toppings were served in tents outside the church on Ellis Street in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco as a COVID-19 precaution. The event has been held annually since the mid-1980s.
This year’s holiday season is the first for the foundation since the death of Founder Janice Mirikitani, who passed away in July. Mirikitani founded the organization and Glide Memorial Church with her husband, the Reverend Cecil Williams.
“(COVID-19) has brought us closer together,” Glide Celebration Minister Marvin K. White said at the online celebration. “This room is filled with so many ancestors, so much love.”
The minister urged the public online and in person to “think about what Christmas really means to you.” Large spaces between people in the church pews visible in the video attest to the church’s care in ensuring social distancing.
During the virtual event, the Glide Ensemble gospel choir sang holiday and gospel standards including “Silent Night” and “Joyful Joyful”. The choir performed in front of a backdrop of photos of Mirikitani, and a video she recorded before her death was part of the online presentation.
Food was served after the celebration.
Glide Memorial Church opened in the city in the 1960s. The church provides social services and free meals to homeless and low-income people in the Bay Area.
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