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Rick Warren Shares The Purpose of Christmas: Fox News Channel and the Armed Services Network to Broadcast Saddleback Valley Community Church Christmas Special

Contact: Kristin Cole, 972-267-1111, kristin@alarryross.com


LAKE FOREST, Calif., Dec. 20 /Christian Newswire/ -- Dr. Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Valley Community Church and author of the best-selling "The Purpose Driven Life," will bring a Christmas message of hope and peace during the international broadcast of "The Purpose of Christmas with Rick Warren" on the Fox News Channel and the Armed Services Television Network.


"The message of this program is encouragement," Pastor Warren said. "Though Christmas is all about giving, hope, and joy, it is actually one of the loneliest times of the year for many people."


"The Purpose of Christmas with Rick Warren" is currently scheduled to air in the U.S. on the Fox News Channel on Dec. 24 at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. EST and Dec. 25 at 12 a.m., 6 a.m., 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. EST. Check local listings, as all times are subject to change. Pastor Warren's Christmas message will also reach an additional audience of 800,000 uniformed armed service men and women and their families in more than 177 countries through the Armed Services Television Network.


The program will be pre-taped at the first of 13 Christmas services to be held at Saddleback Church over the holiday weekend, December 22-24, which in previous years, have been attended by more than 35,000 people. Various musical selections from the Saddleback orchestra, choir and congregants will be interspersed throughout Pastor Warren's inspirational message focusing on the three purposes of Christmas, based on the words the angel spoke to the shepherds the night of Christ's birth.


"Christmas is the celebration of an invasion when God came to earth 2,000 years ago, and the world has never been the same since," said Pastor Warren. "It is a time for celebration – 'don't be afraid for I bring you good news of great joy;' salvation – 'for unto you is born a Savior;' and reconciliation – 'peace on earth, good will toward men.'


"Christmas is also a time of coming together, and we need reconciliation in so many areas – in families, in communities and between nations," added Pastor Warren. "Many times when families get together over the holidays, there is a lot of brokenness, dysfunction, hurt and heartache. That's why this message of reconciliation, – peace with God, of God and with each other – is one that will ring true in a lot of hearts."


Pastor Warren will culminate his message by sharing the P.E.A.C.E. plan, a worldwide effort to mobilize one billion people to address the five global giants that encompass leadership, finance, health, education and faith. The P.E.A.C.E. plan is currently being tested in nearly 70 countries by Providing Hope, Equipping servant leaders, Assisting the poor, Caring for the sick and Educating the next generation.


At the conclusion of the telecast, Pastor Warren will invite viewers to visit a Web site, www.thepeaceplan.com, which as of Dec. 24 will feature a proprietary new "church finder" engine to help viewers locate a Purpose Driven church in their area.


"Though this message of encouragement is important for all to hear this Christmas season, the purpose of this broadcast is not to benefit Saddleback Church but to help and support other local congregations," said Pastor Warren. "We want people who are inspired or encouraged by this program to find a church in their community."


For more information about Saddleback Church or the P.E.A.C.E. plan, visit www.saddleback.net or www.thepeaceplan.com.