Lutheran church holding Christmas Eve service at Jewish temple

POWAY, Calif. - Two congregations with separate beliefs are coming together on Christmas Eve in the spirit of cooperation and love.

Rev. Dr. Luther Symons won't deliver his Christmas Eve message at Incarnation Lutheran Church Tuesday night. Over the past few months, the church has started to disassemble the sanctuary in preparation for a $1.8M refurbishment project.

Symons said they started the project this summer and planned to have it completed by Christmas, but the process of securing permits from the city of Poway has taken longer than expected.

Symons then came up with the idea for a temporary location for Christmas Eve service.

"I thought that it might be interesting to ask our friends at Temple Adat Shalom if they'd be willing to house us," Symons said.

Rabbi David Castiglione welcomed the idea.

In front of the temple's Five Books of Moses sits a communion table and cross brought in by the Lutheran church. Castiglione said sharing the temple this holiday was the "godly" thing to do.

"In terms of Christmas, the message of peace on Earth and goodwill to men speaks volumes and certainly speaks volumes in terms of our being able to reach out and help each other to be the best we can," Castiglione said.

Coincidentally, nearly 40 years ago, Incarnation Lutheran Church did the same thing for Temple Adat Shalom before they secured their location in Poway.

"An overwhelming sign of the kind of grace and giftedness that we ourselves celebrate this time of year," Symons said.

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