Church Briefs

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 23, 2006

Resurrection Life

At 7 p.m. Thursday, Ken Sausedo will present a concert of Christmas praise and worship music at Resurrection Life Church.

For 13 years, Sausedo served on various church staffs as minister of music and youth. In 1990, he began performing the musical drama “A Song of Paul,” based on the book of Philippians. He later produced and presented three more dramas, “Acts of the Apostles” in 1993, “The Song of Moses” in 1996 and “The Revelation” in 2002.

Since beginning in August 1990, Sausedo has performed all over the Southeast to audiences ranging from local churches to prisons, schools and universities. In September 1997, he left his staff position as minister of youth and music at Grassy Branch Baptist Church in Asheville to devote himself full time to travel with the music and drama ministry.

In January 2004, Sausedo accepted a call to become the pastor of Grassy Branch Baptist Church, where he presently serves. He is a graduate of Montreat and Mars Hill colleges and lives in Asheville with his wife, Jeannie, and their sons, Jonathan and Aaron.

The service will include traditional Christmas favorites and original songs written by Sausedo.

A love offering will be received.

Resurrection Life Church is located at 216 S. Main St. For more information, call the Rev. Jerry Snipes at 704-638-0002 or 704-721-4004.

St. John’s Lutheran

St. John’s Lutheran Church will offer a service of lessons and carols at the 10:45 a.m. service on Sunday.

As the story of Christ’s birth unfolds, carols will be sung, the promise and fulfillment of prophecy will be heard, and the choral music of Handel, Bach, Rutter and Mendelssohn will be presented.

The Chancel Choir, Cantio Sacra, St. John’s Men’s Chorus, soloists and instrumentalists will lead the service. Choirs will be directed by Robert Durocher, director of music ministries, and Rosemary Kinard, associate parish musician.

St. John’s is located at 200 W. Innes St., and is handicap accessible.

Mount Tabor

The Mount Tabor Presbyterian Church Mass Choir will present its annual Christmas music program, “Glory to the Newborn King,” at 5 p.m. Sunday in the sanctuary.

The musical drama, written and arranged by Douglas Wagner, combines the Cathedral Choir, Senior Choir, Men’s Choir and members of the Youth Choir with scenes from the promised coming, the birth of Christ, the shepherds at the manger, the journey of the magi, and the proclamation.

The 35-voice choir features narrators Douglas Hall, Kaye Rankin-Anderson and Roy L. Carruth; several soloists; and the debut of a small Voice Ensemble. The presentation will also feature Christmas songs from the African American tradition including “Joy, Joy” and “Jesus, O What a Wonderful Child.”

The piano prelude will be presented by students from the True Music for Youth program, sponsored by Allen Temple Presbyterian Church.

Mount Tabor Presbyterian Church is located in the West Rowan, Amity Hill section of Rowan County.

The Rev. Dr. Jeffrey A. Smith is the pastor of Mount Tabor Presbyterian and Frances Cowan is music director.

Bethel Methodist

Bethel United Methodist Church choir will present its annual Christmas program, “Ceremony of Candles,” at 7 p.m. Sunday.

The program will include the children of the church and several local musicians. The choir is under the direction of Dr. Stephen Etters. A reception will follow the program.

On Christmas Eve, Sunday, Dec. 24, Bethel will follow its regular Sunday morning worship schedule of Sunday school at 9:45 a.m. followed by worship at 11.

There will be a candlelight service with communion at 7 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

Bethel is located at 2380 Long Ferry Road. For more information, call 704-639-1084.

Nativity presented

A live nativity will be presented twice Sunday at Haven Lutheran Church, 207 W. Harrison St.,

The scene will be presented by members of Haven and Lebanon Lutheran churches at 5 and 6 p.m.

The scene depicting the birth of Christ will be highlighted with participants in costumes, live animals and vocal and instrumental music provided by Haven’s Chancel Choir and Handbell Choir. Refreshments will be provided.

Non-perishable food items will be collected for Rowan Helping Ministries.

Parking is provided in the church parking lot and West Harrison Street.

Christmas dinner

ALBEMARLE — The 17th annual community Christmas dinner will be hosted for the second year in a row by First Presbyterian Church from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on Christmas Day. The church is located at 126 W. North St.

The meal is open to everyone. Since its beginning, thousands have received a free traditional Christmas meal. Special arrangements can be made in advance to have meals delivered to those unable to travel to First Presbyterian.

Other participating churches include Central United Methodist, Christ Church Episcopal, First Baptist Church, First Lutheran Church and First Street United Methodist Church.

The churches take turns hosting the dinner, exchanging time as the host church every two years. Local businesses and individuals donate all of the food for the meal. Volunteers help throughout the day to cook, serve and clean up.

For more information, contact First Presbyterian Church at 704-982-2722.

Bethel Lutheran

The Bethel Lutheran Church Adult Choir will present their Christmas cantata, “Born a King, Born a Savior,” during the 10:30 a.m. Sunday worship.

The Children’s Choir will sing the anthem, “Glory to God in the Highest.”

The children will present the Christmas play, “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” in the sanctuary at 5 p.m. The presentation will be followed by a reception in the fellowship hall.

The final Advent evening worship service, “Yet In Thy Dark Streets Shineth …” will be held in the sanctuary at 7 p.m.

The Rev. Carroll L. Robinson is the interim pastor of Bethel.

The church is located at 355 E. Ridge Road.

Remnant in Christ

During December, Remnant in Christ Outreach Worship Center Inc. (RICO), will have services at the Geneva Oglesby Building in Granite Quarry.

The church normally worships in the Ellis Building at 1401 N. Long St. Sunday worship services will begin at 10:30 a.m.

For more information, call 704-640-0351.

Community worship

KANNAPOLIS — A special community Christmas service will be hosted by Unity United Methodist Church, 8505 Unity Church Road, at 7 p.m. Sunday.

The Christmas drama and music presentation will be followed by refreshments. Everyone attending the event will receive a Christmas treat bag.

For more information, call 704-932-7605.

Dunn’s Mountain

The Sunday morning worship at Dunn’s Mountain Baptist Church will include a presentation by the Adult Choir and Youth Drama Group.

“Jesus, What a Wonderful name,” written by Russell Mauldin, will be presented at 11 a.m.

Dunn’s Mountain Baptist Church is located at 1350 Old Stone House Road.

Grace Lutheran

The Chancel, Youth and Children’s choirs of Grace Lutheran Church will present a service of lessons and carols on Sunday. The pastor, the Rev. Woodrow F. Frick, will have a meditation, “Here Comes Jesus” and Elizabeth Sloop will present the children’s sermon.

The prelude will be by the Junior Handbell Choir. Accompanists are J.B. Faggart and Patty Reynolds. Lynn Lippard is director of music.

At 7 p.m. Sunday, the youth of Grace will present the Christmas program, “Oh Savior, Where Art Thou?” There will be a covered-dish Christmas supper at 6 p.m.

St. Peter’s Lutheran

St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, 2570 St. Peter’s Church Road, will have its annual Christmas pageant at 7 p.m. Sunday.

The evening will include a Christmas program by the St. Peter’s Preschool followed by the presentation of the drama, “The Lost Feeling of Christmas.”

Sets for the drama were constructed by members of the youth.

For more information, call 704-279-5054.

Gethsemane Baptist

Gethsemane Missionary Baptist Church will have a number of special activities and services leading up to the new year.

The pastor, the Rev. Dr. C.L. Phelps, will facilitate a workshop for greeters from 10 until noon today.

On Friday, the church’s Drama Ministry will present the play, “Christmas Without Christ,” at 5 p.m. The Finance Ministry will have its Empowered to Serve banquet for invited guests at 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 23.

A Christmas cantata will be presented at 10:45 a.m. on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24.

There will be a baptism service on Dec. 31 at the 10:30 a.m. worship and a Watch Night service that night starting at 10. The Watch Night speaker will be the Rev. David Bracken of Jerusalem Baptist Church. He will be accompanied by his congregation.

The Rev. J. L. Stowe is the church’s pastor emeritus.

Southern City EAST SPENCER — The Gospel Choir of Southern City Tabernacle AME Zion Church will have its annual Christmas holiday dinner concert at 6 tonight.

A liturgical group from Philadelphia will perform during the program. The event will be held at Isenberg Elementary School. Admission is $10.

The Rev. Rollins S. Graham is the pastor.

Back Creek

MOUNT ULLA — The children and youth choirs of Back Creek Presbyterian Church will present their singing Christmas tree at 7 p.m. Sunday.

The musical includes songs from the preschool/kindergarten choir and a live nativity scene. Following the presentation there will be refreshments in the fellowship hall.

For more information, call the church at 704-278-2798.

Faith Lutheran

FAITH — The children and youth of Faith Lutheran Church will present Pauline E. Stray’s “The Christmas Story,” on Sunday.

The 7 p.m. performance will be in the church’s family life center. The play, a narration of the Christmas story, will be presented by the children through drama.

The Christmas Story will be directed by Gwen Hudson and Carolyn Rogers. Daisy Bost is the accompanist for the drama. The scenery and set design is by Donald and Zachary Stewart.

Refreshments will be served after the presentation.

For the month of December, Faith Works, the contemporary service at Faith Lutheran Church, has been focusing on the Christmas season. A Christmas drama, “The Toys,” will be presented on Dec. 24 and Holy Communion will be distributed.

Tonya Brinegar will be the worship leader.

Faith Works is held every Sunday from 9 until 9:45 a.m. in the family life center.

Light refreshments will be served after the Dec. 24 presentation.

The traditional service will begin at 11 a.m. on Christmas Eve, the fourth Sunday of Advent. The Advent candle lighting and readings will be presented by the Bost family. The Chancel Choir and Handbell choir will provide special music for the day.

The Christmas Eve candlelight worship service will begin at 10:30 p.m. This service will be a traditional Lutheran Vigil Service with Holy Communion.

The Rev. Loyd Ginn, pastor, will give the message. The Chancel Choir will sing, “On Christmas Night” and “Amen.” The church’s handbell choir will also offer selections for the Christmas season.

The service will culminate with the traditional candle lighting service and conclude with the singing of “Joy to the World.”

Traditionally, the church bell is rung during the recessional to remind those in the church as well as the community that the Savior is born.

Faith Lutheran Church is located at 205 S. Main St.

Concordia Lutheran

CHINA GROVE — Concordia Evangelical Lutheran Church, 185 Concordia Church Road, will hold the children’s Sunday school Christmas program at 10 a.m. Sunday and a special service at 11 a.m.

During the morning worship, the Chancel Choir will present the Christmas cantata, “Come, Let Us Worship the King.” The Cherub’s Choir will present “Away in a Manger.”

Concordia Church will have a service of lessons and carols on Dec. 24, Christmas Eve, at 11 a.m. The Rev. Kenneth Reed, pastor, will speak on, “Luke I.”

There will be a special service at 7 p.m. in celebration of Christmas Eve. The service will include the presentation of the annual Christmas pageant followed by a candlelight service with Holy Communion. The drama, “The Path to Bethlehem,” will be presented under the direction of Jenny Hancock.

Jan Williams is the choir director. Frankie Freeze is the organist, and Sarah Brandt is the pianist. Melinda Dabbs is director of the Cherub’s Choir and Leslie Reed directs the Children’s Choir.

On Dec. 31, Reed’s message for the morning worship will be on Luke II. Worship will include a festival of hymns.

From 8 p.m. until midnight, the church will have a New Year’s Eve party and kick off its 125th anniversary year.

The Rev. Dr. Larry Bost is Concordia’s visitation pastor.

Union Lutheran

On Sunday at 7 p.m., Union Lutheran Church will present “The Angels Sang,” the story of the birth of Jesus.

The program is written by Ruby Goodman, who also designed and made all the costumes for the pageant.

Approximately 60 members are involved in the presentation. A combined adult, youth and children’s choirs make up the choirs of angels. The congregation will participate in the singing of carols during the program.

Soloists are Kevin Huffman, Sonya Mulkey and Patrick Miller. Following the program there will be a reception in the fellowship building.

At 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 24, there will be a service of Lessons and Carols. Sharon Miller and Matt Miller will sing “The Annunciation,” and the choirs will sing “The Magnificat,” from Holden Evening Prayer.

On Christmas Eve, beginning at 8:30 p.m., there will be a prelude of music, followed by a candlelight service with Holy Communion.

Union Lutheran Church is located at 4770 Bringle Ferry Road, Salisbury. The Rev. C.P. Fisher is interim pastor.

Grace Lower Stone

Grace Lower Stone Church will conduct its annual candlelight and communion service on Sunday, Dec 24, at 7 p.m.

This year will include a live nativity.

After the service, attendees will visit the fellowship hall for a visit with Santa and to receive a treat bag.

Christmas Day service

Services will be conducted on Christmas Day at Trinity Oaks Lutheran Home Chapel, located at 820 Klumac Road.

The Rev. Darrell Norris, chaplain, will bring the message, “The Word Became Flesh,” at the 10:45 a.m. worship.

Worship will include the singing of carols.

First Reformed

First Reformed Church of Landis will hold a Christmas Eve Service, featuring special music, the Christmas story with carols, message and candlelight service, at 9 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 24.

The Rev. David P. Franks, pastor, will bring the message, “The Practical Dreamer.”

Dress is casual.

Shiloh Reformed

FAITH — Shiloh Reformed Church of Faith will have special services in celebration of Christmas.

At 10:30 a.m. Sunday, the Handbell Choir will present a concert in the fire place lobby.

Sunday school is at 9:45 a.m. The message for the 11 a.m. Sunday worship is “The Shadow of the Cross at Christmas.” Children in grades 1-4 will present, “From the Manger to the Cross.”

The children of the church will present the Christmas play, “The Mouse Christmas,” in the sanctuary at 6 p.m.

A “Christmas Eve Meditation,” will be held at the 10:30 a.m. worship on Dec. 24. The Hand Bell Choir will present “Christmas Joy” and “Christmas Reflections.” The Contemporary Choir will sing, “Hallelujah, Love Has Come,” and the Chancel Choir will present a mini musical, “A Special Gift.”

A Christmas Eve candlelight communion service will be conducted at 7 p.m. on Dec. 24. The message will be, “An Intimate Moment.” The Chancel Choir will sing, “Jesus Has Come For All.”

The message for the 11 a.m. morning worship on New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31, will be, “Taking Inventory for the New Year.” The Chancel Choir anthem will be, “Unto Us a Child is Born.”

First Methodist

CHINA GROVE — The annual Christmas Eve candlelight communion services at First United Methodist Church will be conducted at 5 and 11 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 24.

Services will include traditional carols, special music, scripture, a Christmas message. Worship will conclude with a candlelight carol. There will be 15 minutes of prelude music before the services.

Haven Lutheran

Haven Lutheran Church, 207 W. Harrison St., will have a family Christmas Eve worship at 9:30 p.m. Sunday, dec. 24.

Worship will begin with 30 minutes of prelude music featuring Haven’s Handbell and Chancel choirs. Handbell pieces will include “Twas in the Moon of Wintertime” and “Good King Wenceslaus.”

A candlelit service, with the sacrament of Holy Communion, will follow at 10 p.m. Anthems during the worship will include “On the Eve of Christmas Day” and “At this Joyous Christmas Time.”

The church will have a worship gathering at its regular time of 10:30 a.m. on Christmas Eve. The format for the morning worship on Dec. 31 will be “The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols.”

The service is a format of Christian worship service celebrating the birth of Jesus and traditionally followed at Christmas. The story of the fall of humanity, the promise of the Messiah, and the birth of Jesus is told in nine short Bible readings, interspersed with the singing of Christmas carols and hymns.

The Chancel Choir anthem will be “Gentle Mary Laid her Child.”

Church of God

CHINA GROVE — The Rev. Joyce Miles, pastor, will speak on overcoming depression in the Christmas season during the 11 a.m. Sunday worship at South China Grove Church of God, 163 Third Ave.

The entire congregation will leave the church at 2 p.m. to sing carols to various shut-ins. At 6:30 p.m., they will reconvene at the church fellowship hall for finger foods.

A special School of Prayer will be led by Vanessa Sterling at 10 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 24. Special Christmas music will be a part of the program for the 11 a.m. service.

There will be a candlelight communion observed during the 6:30 p.m. service on Christmas Eve.

On Sunday, Dec. 31, Charles Moore will be the featured speaker at the 10 a.m. School of Prayer. Worship will be at 11 a.m.

A New Year’s Eve Watch Night Service and will begin at 6:30 p.m. and continue until after midnight. The program will include a puppet presentations from Mustard Seed Moving Company and a message from the pastor and special speakers, original poetry, recitations, testimonies and gospel music.

The service will begin with fellowship and finger foods. A soup break will be held later in the evening and a country breakfast will be served after midnight.

For more information, call 704-467-4555.

First Presbyterian

On Dec. 24, First Presbyterian Church of Salisbury will conduct several services on Christmas Eve.

There will be an Advent Gathering in the fellowship hall at 10:45 a.m. The 11 a.m. service will include the Sacrament of Holy Communion and a message by the Rev. Dr. Randy Kirby.

A family service will be conducted in Lewis Hall in the new Family Life Center at 4 p.m. An Appalachian service will begin at 7 p.m. in the sanctuary. The Rev. Whitney Salter will bring the message.

The Service of A Thousand Lights will be at 9 p.m. in the sanctuary. The Rev. Dr. Jim C. Dunkin will preach.

Immanuel Lutheran

ROCKWELL — At 7 p.m. Sunday, the youth and children of Immanuel Lutheran Church will present the children’s Christmas musical, “A King is Coming to Town.”

Written by Geron Davis, Sue Smith, and Craig Adams, the musical is directed by Judy Harwood, who also directs the youth choir.

The musical will be followed by Christmas Family Night at Immanuel. The children of the church will gather around the Birthday for Christ cake and sing “Happy Birthday to Jesus.” The Birthday for Christ celebration will include the singing of Christmas carols representing the months of the year and the presentation of gifts at the manger. The gifts will be given to residents at Salisbury Lutheran Home.

Christmas treat bags will be distributed to those present and children and youth in the musical will be served refreshments.

The Rev. Bruce C. Sheeks, pastor, will present a children’s message, “A Visit From Santa.”

Immanuel Lutheran is located at 2070 Immanuel Church Road.

Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace Baptist Church, 188 Rogers Road, Lexington, will have its Christmas program at 6 p.m. Sunday. The presentation will be, “How Jesus Came.”

On Christmas Eve, Sunday, Dec. 24, there will be a special singing service at 11 a.m. There will be another service at 3 p.m. in place of the regular evening worship.

Transportation is available. For bus pick-up or more information, call the church at 336-357-5844.

Healing service

Resurrection Life Church, 216 S. Main St., will host a Christmas Eve candlelight communion and healing service at 9 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 24.

The service will minister to those who are grieving the loss of a loved one and will include scripture, reading and meditation.

The Rev. Jerry L. Snipes is the pastor. For more information, call 704-638-0002 or 704-721-4004.

Messiah Lutheran

Messiah Lutheran CHurch will observe a Christmas Eve service, Dec. 24, at the 11 a.m. worship.

The prelude will include a piano medley of Christmas hymns by Molly Brown. The choir will sing the anthem, “Bethlehemtown,” and “Christmas Communion Song.” Communion will be observed.

The angel candle, the fourth advent candle, will be lit during the singing of “Angels, from the Realms of Glory.” The Christ candle will be lit during the reading of the gospel of Luke by the Rev. Don Safrit.

Congregational Christmas hymns will be sung at intervals throughout the service and Safrit will bring the message, “God’s Miracle for Ordinary Folks.”

Trinity BaptistThe Rev. Dr. Paul Hawkins of Reidsville will preach at Trinity Baptist Church at 11 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 24. His topic will be, “Three Wise Women.”

A graduate of Bob Jones University, Greensville, S.C., Hawkins serves on the university’s board of trustees. He received the doctor of divinity degree from the Fundamental Bible College in the Philippines.

Hawkins served in the U.S. Army during the Korean conflict, and was awarded the purple heart for being wounded in action. He is national representative of the Armed Forces Baptist Mission, a mission to military personnel around the world.

For 27 years, he was the pastor of Tidewater Baptist Temple, Chesapeake, Va.

Trinity Baptist Church is located at 735 Klumac Road. The Rev. Dr. Walter Kirk is the pastor.

St. John’s Lutheran

On Sunday, Dec. 24, St. John’s Lutheran Church will have its Center Celebration service at 9 a.m. The traditional Family Christmas Eve service of Holy Communion will be held at 10:45 a.m. with the Carol, Crusader, Middle School and Senior High choirs, and Youth instrumentalists leading worship.

No 8:30 a.m. chapel service will be held, but a social gathering will be held in the fellowship hall between the Center Celebration and sanctuary services.

At 10 p.m. the Chancel Choir, Catawba Brass, Adult Hand Bells and other instrumentalists will lead the traditional Christmas Eve candlelight service of Holy Communion.

St. John’s is located at 200 W. Innes St. The church is handicap accessible.

First Baptist

A Christmas Eve candlelight service will be held at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 24, in the main sanctuary of First Baptist Church.

Worship will be a service of lessons and carols.

First Baptist is located at 223 N. Fulton St.

First Presbyterian

KANNAPOLIS — First Presbyterian Church, 201 Vance St., will conduct a Christmas Eve service in the sanctuary at 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 24.

Worship will be a candlelight service of carols and memories of the Christmas story designed for all ages. To give participants an opportunity to unwind from the hectic day, an extended musical prelude will begin at 4:40 p.m.

The service will consist of singing familiar Christmas carols, special music by the Chancel Choir and Praise Ringers handbell choir, the telling of the Christmas story with scripture, and a candle lighting ceremony. The tone of the service will be one of joy and celebration.

For more information, call 704-938-4623.

First Calvary

On Christmas Eve, the music ministry of First Calvary Baptist Church will present a Christmas program at 11 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 24.

The combined choirs will present a musical created by Tony Wood and Russell Mauldin, “Jesus, There’s Something About That Name.”

The Rev. Leamon E. Brown is the pastor of First Calvary Baptist Church, 400 S. Long St.

St. Mark’s Lutheran

CHINA GROVE — St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 326 N. Main St., will have its annual Christmas Eve candlelight communion service on Sunday, Dec. 24.

The prelude will begin at 9:30 p.m. and the service begins at 10. The Rev. Greg Yeager will bring the message, “Out of the Box.” Worship will include the singing of the anthem, “Gentle Mary.”

Christiana Lutheran

Christiana Evangelical Lutheran Church will have its Christmas play, “God Made a Way in a Manger,” on Christmas Eve. The musical will be presented at the 10:30 a.m. Sunday worship on Dec. 24.

A Christmas Eve candlelight service will begin at 8 p.m. Worship will include the sacrament of Holy Communion and the Chancel Choir cantata, “Ceremony of Candles,” written by Joseph M. Martin. Becky Morris is the director.

Carl M. Haynes is the pastor. The church is located at 6190 U.S. 52.

Shiloh Reformed

Special services will be held on Christmas Eve at Shiloh Reformed Church. Sunday school will be conducted from 9:45-10:20 a.m. on Dec. 24.

The Chancel Choir will sing, “A Special Gift,” and the Contemporary Ensemble will resent, “Hallelujah! Love Has Come.” Music will also be presented by the Handbell Choir. The Rev. Wayne Trexler will bring the message, “A Christmas Eve Meditation.”

A Christmas Eve candlelight communion service will begin at 7 p.m. Worship will include the singing of “Christ Has Come for All,” by a combined choir composed of the Chancel and Contemporary choirs. The Hand Chimes will present a concert in the fireplace lobby before the service. The pastor’s message will be, “An Intimate Moment.”