BISHOP HILL – Visitors are invited to ring in Christmas Day in the traditional Swedish way at the Julotta non-denominational service beginning at 6 a.m. Dec. 25 at the Bishop Hill Colony Church.
The service at the mid-1800s church reaffirms the Swedish heritage of this historic community. Christmas morning in Sweden begins with the Julotta service.
The worship leader will be the Rev. Tom Larsen of Trinity Lutheran Church. Morris Nelson and Terri Wigant will read Scripture. The candlelit service will be conducted in both Swedish and English. Coffee and rusks will be served following the service. The church sanctuary is unheated, so guests are advised to dress warmly.
The community of Bishop Hill, founded by Swedish pioneers in 1846, is located 20 miles south of Interstate 80 and 17 miles east of Interstate 74 in Henry County. Many of the buildings are original, and many of the residents are descendants of the original settlers. The Colony Church is administered by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.