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Watching For The New Year

For many Christians, New Year's Eve will find them in the pews of a church, saying goodbye to the old and welcoming the new.

Watch night, a late night service, has been part of the Christian tradition for centuries and marks a new beginning for church-goers.

The service also allows for attendees to review the year that has passed while also making new commitments for coming year.

Watch night service has special significance in the African-American community in the United States, since many slaves were said to have gathered in churches on New Year's Eve, in 1862, to await news and confirmation of the enactment of the Emancipation Proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln, on January 1, 1863.

While the watch night service is embraced with excitement, others treat it with a feeling of sacredness, showing utmost reverence to God for what is to come.

While no church conducts their services in the same manner, one common thread is that a speaker, usually the pastor, brings a word believed to be given by God for the New Year.

Among the churches hosting a watch night service in New Providence this Sunday night are the following:

• Miracle Life Global Outreach Ministries invites members of the general public to its upcoming watch night service at 9.30pm. The church hopes to celebrate with everyone in attendance, thanking all of those who laboured and supported the ministry throughout the year.

• New Destiny Baptist Cathedral expects its watch night service to be a transformative experience for all. The service will be held at 10pm at the William Thompson Auditorium. All are invited to attend the event to hear a special word from the Lord.

• Mount Tabor Church, under the leadership of Bishop Neil Ellis, extends the invitation for all to come and begin the new year on the right footing. The church's watch night service will be held at 9.30pm. The church family wants all to join for a time to give God thanks for what He has done and what is to come in the new year.

• As 2017 has been a purposed-filled year, Spirit Life Ministries will finish strong and in anticipation of the greatness that 2018 will bring. Friends and family members are encouraged to worship during the service beginning at 10pm.

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