Here is what lead pastor Gene has to say about the apparently extremely controversial discion for willow to close on Christmas: (Kim had this on her blog and it came from an article in the tribune, I think Gene explained it best!)
"At first glance it does sound contrarian," said Rev. Gene Appel, senior pastor of Willow Creek. "We don't see it as not having church on Christmas. We see it as decentralizing the church on Christmas--hundreds of thousands of experiences going on around Christmas trees. The best way to honor the birth of Jesus is for families to have a more personal experience on that day."It's not that the church does not value Christmas, the day set aside to commemorate the incarnation of God on Earth. Willow Creek is organizing almost a week of worship ending Christmas Eve, and total attendance at the services is expected to top 50,000. The church has also produced a short DVD designed to reinforce the theme of the Christmas services and help viewers process spiritual questions that may cross their minds during the holidays.And Appel argues that family has always been at the heart of the Christmas story: the tale of a mother and father celebrating the birth of a babe in a manger.
I have seen the video and I think it will be a very powerfull tool!! I'm really excited about the opportunity it will present for familys close and far from God to focus on Christ Christmas morning.