Uptown Murfreesboro has been beautifully transformed with sparkling lights and colorfully decorated shops for the month-long holiday celebration.
Special guest musicians and singers from area praise and worship bands sing during the December 2011 annual Night Watch in Murfreesboro, Tenn. (TMP File Photo)
This year the celebration will culminate with a “New Year’s Eve Night Watch: Praise and Prayer for 2013” from 8-10 p.m. New Year’s Eve at the First Presbyterian Church. Doors open at 7 p.m.
Make plans to join this family-friendly, community celebration Murfreesboro’s oldest church this New Year’s Eve.
This year our theme is “re-find your purpose – your purpose refined!”
First Presbyterian Church is conveniently located within a couple of blocks of the Historic Courthouse on the corner of College and Spring streets. The Blue Chips Praise Band from Celebrate Recovery at Belle Aire Baptist Church, along with special guest musicians and singers from other area praise and worship bands will offer music to warm the night.
The praise concert will be from 8-10 p.m. Highlighting the event will be community prayers ending with the ringing of the Downtown chimes and church bells at a virtual midnight at 10 p.m.
What an appropriate place for the community to pray God’s will and vision for 2013 where one of the few Civil War relics in our city remain, the church bell at the First Presbyterian Church.
The bell is within earshot of the lawn of the Rutherford County Courthouse, which played a role in one of the most horrific battles of 1862. In fact, on another New Year’s long ago, from Dec. 30, 1862 until Jan. 2, 1863, the time of the Battle of Stones River, many loyal sentinels were positioned on the roof of the Courthouse and were assigned to protect and alert the city population from the advancing Union army.
In that incident during the Union occupation, the church was burned to the ground. The charred remains of the bell were recovered and installed in the present-day church. That bell still exists and will ring in 2013 along with other downtown church bells and the Courthouse bell.
As a living reminder of context and perspective, there will be re-enactors present, dressed in authentic Civil War era clothing and will be in character talking with Night Watch guests about events and circumstances of 150 years ago during that turbulent time.
2012 marked the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Stones River and the 200th anniversary of the City of Murfreesboro as well as the 200th anniversary of First Presbyterian Church.
Why a Night Watch for 2013?
The assignment goes beyond worship and praise this New Year’s Eve. We are issuing a declaration of the plans of God for 2013 for this city and to the world.
To say the least, 2012 has been a challenging year. Fearlessly and joyfully, we are posed to start a new year with hopeful anticipation.
In ancient time, the watchman played an important role in the city. The watchman carefully alerted the city when good ambassadors were approaching so that the gates could be opened, and they could enter. Also, the watchman warned the city in advance of an enemy’s approach. They alerted, summoned, and forewarned the people of the city by the ringing of church bells.
What to bring:
• Leftover Christmas Cookies to share - and a bell, horn or other noisemaker, and a flashlight for our “Virtual Midnight” - welcoming in the New Year at 10 p.m.
• We’re also collecting canned and non-perishable food items for Feed America First, and warm coats, hats, gloves, and blankets for GreenHouse Ministries and Salvation Army.
Admission to Night Watch is free, but your donations of the above items will go a long way to help others who are hungry or may be suffering in the cold weather.
All nonprofit social service agencies are invited to our annual community services fair.
If you are part of a group that offers help to others in our city or county, you are invited to bring a small card table and set up a display about your agency, organization, or service club so that all our Night Watch attendees may discover your work, and possibly volunteer if you offer opportunities to serve. Set up time for fair participants is 3 p.m.
• Bring your brochures, business cards, and some child-safe trinkets for the kids who will be curious about your table, as well. If you plan to use a laptop to show photos or informative text, you will also need to bring your own multi-tap power cord. Electrical outlets are very limited.
Find out who will be the 2013 Recipient of the Night Watch Community Service Award, and through the fair displays- what many others in our community are doing to help address and resolve community need.
Start off your 2013 New Year in a delightful and memorable way with all your neighbors and friends at 2013 Night Watch.
For more information or to volunteer to help, call 615-896-6288, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.