Originally created 12/25/05

Where we live



There are probably many reasons why so many who usually don't attend church will pack Christmas services this weekend. For some, it's a chance to be with family and friends; for others, it's for the familiarity of a long-honored tradition.

Jamie Council Garvey says it's the mystery and magic that draws people to church.

"When it's dark and cold outside, people want to believe in a story that is all about warmth and love and hope," Ms. Garvey said.

As director of music at St. John United Methodist Church, it is her job to help create that connection to the stories and lessons of the church through music. It's a job that's especially demanding at Christmas and one she has done for 25 years.

When she began in September 1980, the choir had only a dozen members. Through the years, the number has grown to nearly 50.

With the numbers, the scale of the Christmas Eve concert has grown to include an orchestra and a beautiful 2-year-old pipe organ.

Despite the hours of preparations and lack of sleep that come with planning the Christmas Eve events, it's mystery and magic that make her job her calling.