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Caroling For Inmates
ELMIRA---(WENY) Members of the Lake Street Presbyterian church in Elmira made it their holiday mission Tuesday night to spread a bit of Christmas Cheer to everyone.
Following Christmas Eve service, members of the congregation walked from the church to the Chemung County jail, singing 'Joy To The World'.
This is the first year the church has ever done something like this, but minister Juhura Shazer says its their way of getting the message of Christmas to everybody, free or not. Minister Shazer said, "I do jail ministry as part of our outreach at Lake Street Presbyterian and we had a testimony from an inmate last season."
Lay Pastor Priscilla Andrews recalls the time saying, "An inmate watched our lights come on Christmas Eve. He came a couple of Sundays later and said, I wanted to find that church."
That sparked a connection the Lake Street Presbyterian has kept with the inmates at the Chemung County jail ever since. Minister Shazer says it's an important part of coming together as a community and making the church's presence known.
And, with so many participants in this year's Christmas Carol at the Chemung County Jail, it's a gesture that's sure to become a tradition for the Lake Street Presbyterian Church for years to come.
Pastor Andrews said, "Between the two of us we said, let's share our light. We end with Silent Night and it's sort of quiet. Let's go out and spread our joy."