CBS will air latest Odyssey Networks Production on Christmas Eve

New York, NY, October 4, 2012-Like so many of America’s once bustling industrial centers, Reading, PA, has been on a downward spiral for decades. The city has lost factories, jobs and population. The latest economic recession amplified its burdens. Something that Reading has never lost, however, is hope—hope and an abiding belief in the power of community. ONE CHRISTMAS STORY: PEOPLE RICH IN SPIRIT, a new production from Odyssey Networks, takes viewers to the heart of this small American city for a celebration that reflects the true meaning of the holiday season—hope and caring. CBS will air the one-hour program, without commercials, starting at 11:35 PM on Christmas Eve.

The aptly named Hope Lutheran Church (a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America), a beacon in Reading’s poorest neighborhood, is the scene in which a diverse congregation gathers on Christmas Eve 2012 to share the joyful songs of the season, as performed by four local choirs, and to hear the story of the birth of Christ as told through the moving words of the Scripture. Woven through the music and the readings are the stories of Reading citizens today--stories that illustrate the messages of the Gospel: sharing with neighbors, valuing the spiritual over the material, and welcoming the stranger.

Also featured in this Christmas special will be a gathering, hosted by the Salvation Army, for Reading citizens–both the needy and those who are reaching out to help with a warm welcome, shelter, food, and holiday gifts. Viewers will be struck by the parallels between this gathering and the time-honored images from the Christmas story itself–the weary travelers Mary and Joseph finding shelter, the Three Kings bringing gifts to the Child, the humble shepherds being honored by heavenly messengers, and Bethlehem, a downtrodden town in Judea, becoming the birthplace of the long-awaited Messiah.

ONE CHRISTMAS STORY: PEOPLE RICH IN SPIRIT promises to be a unique and joyous celebration of Christmas that makes the story of the birth of Christ immediate and relatable to the world in which we live now.




Odyssey Networks is a 501(c)3 and is funding this production solely through tax-deductible donations. 

Please consider making a gift to support ONE CHRISTMAS STORY: PEOPLE RICH IN SPIRIT. Together we can make sure stories of faith, hope and community fill our screens this Christmas Eve.


Berks County Town Takes Starring Role In Christmas Eve Show - CBS Philly on December 22, 2012
Interview on "One Christmas Story: People Rich in Spirit" with Odyssey Networks SVP Rev. Eric Shafer - WITF Radio Broadcast on December 18, 2012
Reading featured in show to air nationally Christmas Eve - 69 WFMZ-TV News on December 11, 2012
What they're saying - on December 11, 2012
Nonprofits receiving grants - on December 11, 2012
500 get first look at TV special about Reading - on December 11, 2012
ELCA congregation the star of Christmas Eve special - The Lutheran Magazine on November 28, 2012
It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas - on November 17, 2012
Television Christmas Special will put spotlight on Reading - on July 28, 2012
O Little Town of Reading: Site for 2012 Nationally Televised Christmas Eve Celebration - Huffington Post on June 27, 2012
Reading gets early Christmas gift to aid poor - on June 15, 2012 
Odyssey Networks to feature Reading, PA in Christmas special - The Lutheran Magazine on June 14, 2012

December 19th, 2012 12:48 pm

Please check your local listings as it may re-run on your local station. Thank you for your interest!

December 28th, 2012 10:08 am

Unfortunately we will not air the show online. We greatly appreciate the interest and Happy Holidays!

Post new comment