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Faith briefs

Advent Fair
CLEVELAND — Knox Chapel United Methodist Church is holding an Advent Fair from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., today, Dec. 3. Santa will be there with hands-on crafts for children, a free lunch of hot dogs, chips and drinks. Children may bring a gift to give to Santa to be taken to Cancer Center or Toys for Tots. Knox Chapel UMC is located at 3520 Amity Hill Road.
Calvary Lutheran hosts concert
CONCORD — The Choral Academy will present “The Christmas Choral Festival” at 11 a.m. today, Dec. 3, at Calvary Lutheran Church, 950 Bradley St., 704-786-7447.
This free concert will feature three children’s choirs made up of approximately 25 area youth ranging in age from 7-18 years. The choirs, under the direction of Gary Shive and accompanied by Lynnette Novobilski, rehearse each week from September through mid-May April. For details, call 704-786-7447.
First UCC presents Lessons and Carols
First United Church of Christ, 207 West Horah St., will present a selection of Lessons and Carols at the worship service on Sunday, Dec. 4 at 11 a.m.
The Chancel Choir will present music selections from Handel’s “Messiah,” Kirby Shaw Carols, Jaroslav Vajda/Craig Courtney, Gustave Holst, Knut Nystedt, Hal Hopson and Mark Andrews. Scripture Lessons will be read from the books of Isaiah and Matthew. The Chancel Choir is under the direction of Matthew Newton and organist is Susan Trivette.
Following Lessons and Carols the Youth Mission Team will serve soup and sandwiches in the fellowship hall, followed by Christmas caroling to home-bound members.
The Rev. Marcella Morton is interim minister.
Marable fundraiser
KANNAPOLIS — The Marable Memorial Church family is sponsoring a chicken dinner sale on Sunday, Dec. 4 beginning at 1 p.m. Chicken plates will sell for $7, consisting chicken, green beans, corn, potato salad, rolls and dessert. Marable Memorial AME Zion Church is located at 400 Huron St. To place an order call James Plummer, 704-932-5352 or William Gaither, 704-933-5661.
Blessing of God
LEXINGTON — Sunday, Dec. 4 at 4 p.m., pastor Mike Evans of Encouraging Word Church in Chapel Hill will be the special guest speaker at The Blessing of God Ministry, which is located at 412 Westside Drive. For information, call 336-242-1930 or go to www.apostleslove.com
Saint Patrick’s
MOORESVILLE — Saint Patrick’s Episcopal Church presents A Celtic Christmas concert with Robin Bullock Sunday, Dec. 4 at 7 p.m.
Internationally recognized as a master Celtic instrumentalist, Bullock celebrates the Yuletide season with selections on cittern, mandolin and piano.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m., cash or check ticket sales only, first-come first-served. Adults $15 and $5 for children 12 and under. Proceeds will benefit Saint Patrick’s Food for Friends Outreach. The church is located at 201 Fairview Road.
Gingerbread party
KANNAPOLIS — The reservation deadline for First Presbyterian’s Gingerbread House Party is Thursday, Dec. 8. Kannapolis First Presbyterian Church will host the party for preschool-age children and a parent or guardian on Saturday, Dec. 10, at 10 a.m. in the fellowship hall.
Participants will have the opportunity to create their own gingerbread houses. Refreshments will be served and there will be some other Christmas crafts to create too.
There is a $3 charge for each house built to cover the costs of supplies. Reserve a spot by calling the church office at 704-938-4623.
Handel’s ‘Messiah’
CONCORD — The Christmas portion of Handel’s “Messiah” with orchestra will be presented by the sanctuary choirs of First Presbyterian Church and Central United Methodist Church, Concord, and the Piedmont Choral Society. Donna Hill, director of music at Central UMC and Jeff Price, choirmaster at First Presbyterian and choral society director, will conduct the chorus and orchestra. Around 100 singers are expected to participate.
The concerts will be held at First Baptist Church, 200 Branchview Drive on Friday, Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. and again on Sunday, Dec. 11 at 3 p.m. The concerts are free, and an offering will be taken. For details, contact 704-699-6053 or kayy2000@gmail.com
Coburn hosts concert
The Salisbury-Rowan Choral Society will present its annual holiday concert, “The Wonder of Christmas,” on Saturday, Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. at Coburn Memorial United Methodist Church, 901 South Church St.
This free community concert will be followed by a reception to celebrate the season. Bring to the concert a new unwrapped toy for the children and families served by Rowan County’s Department of Social Services.
Oak Grove Methodist live nativity
MOCKSVILLE — Oak Grove Methodist Church, 1994 Hwy. 158, will host a live nativity from 6-9 p.m. Friday through Sunday, Dec. 9-11. Hot chocolate and roasted marshmallows will be served.?
Jerusalem Baptist live nativity
MOCKSVILLE — On Dec. 16 and 17 from 6-8 p.m., Jerusalem Baptist Church will have a live nativity drive- through with three scenes, live animals which kids are welcome to pet, and free hot chocolate and coffee.
Jerusalem is located at 3203 U.S. Hwy. 601 S. For more information, call 336-284-2328.
Local Christian rock group releases album
National independent record label Tate Music Group announces the nationwide release of “Battle in the Ring,” the newest album from local Christian rock group Shield of Salvation.
The album includes eight tracks and is currently available nationwide at the iTunes Store, Amazon.com, or directly from TateMusicGroup.com.
With differing musical backgrounds including country, pop, and even heavy metal, the members of Shield of Salvation are no strangers to differing tones. However, through their differences, the group has come together to create a sound that is unified, honest and thought-provoking.
With “Battle in the Ring,” the group looks to reach new listeners with its eclectic and catchy sound. Each track is filled with a message of love and faith.
Ecumenical Choir
On Sunday, Dec. 11 at 4 p.m., St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Salisbury will once again host the annual Glory of Christmas Concert, which features the Salisbury Ecumenical Choir accompanied by orchestra, piano and organ.
The program will include new settings of traditional carols as well as some well-beloved favorites from past concerts. More than 80 voices strong, members of the choir are drawn from churches throughout the area.
The concert will feature readings and vocal solos. Soloists this year include Rebecca Stinson, Phyllis Partee, Dr. Grant Harrison and Teresa Moore-Mitchell. The choir is directed by Dr. Phillip Burgess, organist/choirmaster of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.
The 75-minute event is free and a reception will be held in the parish hall immediately following.
St. Philips’ 150th
WINSTON-SALEM — St. Philips African Moravian Church in Old Salem is celebrating its 150th anniversary on Thursday, Dec. 15. Consecrated in 1861, the congregation held its first service in the church on Dec. 15th of that year. Events will be going on throughout the day.
An open house will take place at St. Philips Heritage Center from 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Visitors may tour the African Moravian Log Church, St. Philips African Moravian Church and the African American and Strangers graveyards. At 11 a.m., an anniversary celebration and Christmas Lovefeast will take place at St. Philips African Moravian Church, with music by the Moravian Brass Band.
The “An Evening of Conversation and Music” begins with a reception from 5-6:30 p.m. at the Old Salem Visitor Center. At 7 p.m., a program will take place at St. Philips African Moravian Church, which will include expressions by regional officials, clergy and community leaders as well as special music. Shuttles will transport attendees from the Visitor Center to St. Philips every 15 minutes ending at 6:30 p.m.
All the events are free and open to the public, although an RSVP is required for the evening program; call 1-800-441-5305.
Historic St. Philips African Moravian Church is the oldest African American church still standing in the state of North Carolina and one of the earliest in the entire country. The African and African American Moravian congregation, organized in Salem in 1822 among a mostly enslaved population, is one of the oldest Black congregations in the United States. It is the only historic African American Moravian congregation in the country.

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