Bah Humbug to COVID.
Christ Church in Greenville has been planning to ahead with its annual Christmas Marketplace in a socially distanced manner until last last week when Gov. John Carney and health officials said COVID-19 cases are skyrocketed, instituted new restrictions and asked people not to get together for Thanksgiving.
Then church officials pulled the plug on the public event for the first time in 66 years.
Instead, a silent auction will be held virtually through Dec. 4.
The Marketplace, which typically brings dozens of shoppers at a time to Christ Church Christiana Hundred on Buck Road, was all set to be held outdoors this year – a first in its history.
“Though we are disheartened that COVID is spreading and more are at risk, we know it is right to limit the marketplace,” said the Rev. Ruth Beresford, pastor at Christ Church.
The Church’s legendary Green Sale of trees, wreaths, poinsettias and more has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for charity in the past.
At the online site, the public can pre-order the greens and pick them up on Saturday, Dec. 5 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. In previous years, the silent auction had only been open to parish members. Tickets to the preview party are $50 and can be bought on the website.
All proceeds from the auction support the work of local social service agencies, identified by the outreach committee of the church.
Last year, nearly $105,000 was collected for charity, said Beresford.
“While this year will look different, it remains one of the best things we do here at Christ Church –- strengthening friendships among those in our parish, and providing much-needed funding to our outreach partners in the community,” Beresford said.
“We know the risk of COVID is great, but we also know the power of love and generosity is great; as human beings created in God’s image, we need to love and need to give.”