Cleveland ó South River UMC hosts the 11th annual live nativity tonight, Dec. 17 from 6:30-8:30 p.m., a free outdoor event that portrays the birth of Jesus Christ. There will be free hot chocolate at the scene that features Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, angels, wise men, shepherds and live animals in a barn setting, as well as communion. The nativity is located at 11600 Cool Springs Road. Visit www.southriverumc.org
Providence AME Zion
Providence AME Zion Church, 2415 Providence Church Road, will host the Lights of Love Celebration at 6 p.m. this evening, Dec. 17.
On Sunday, Dec. 18 after the morning service, at 1:30 p.m. the church will observe ěA Christmastime Fellowshipî in the fellowship hall. The Rev. Zacharias Allen Sr. will host.
St. Johnís Lutheran
St. Johnís Lutheran Church, 200 W. Innes St., offers two Services of Lessons and Carols Sunday: a contemporary service at 9 a.m. and a traditional service at 11 a.m., patterned after the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols first presented nearly 100 years ago at Kingís College in Cambridge, England. The fall of humanity, the promise and birth of the Messiah are all told in scripture readings, interspersed with Christmas carols and special music. Vocal groups, choirs and instrumental ensembles will perform during both services.
The Rev. Rhodes Woolly is senior pastor, the Rev. Jan Huntley is pastor for discipleship and outreach, Rob Durocher is director of music ministries, Rosemary Kinard is associate parish musician.
EAST SPENCER ó Providence Baptist Church presents ěThe Midnight Miracleî on Sunday, Dec. 18 at 10 a.m. The play, directed by church members Luke Ponds and Pam Russell, features church members in all roles.
The Midnight Miracle takes place the week before Christmas in a small town, and shows the reactions of the townspeople to a new Nativity scene set up in a park by a local church. The feel-good nature of the play is fortified by the cheery Christmas carols throughout.
CHINA GROVE ó On Dec. 18 at 10 a.m. the youth and children of Concordia Lutheran (NALC) will present Christmas programs. At the 11 a.m. worship the Chancel Choir will offer the cantata ěLead Me Back To Bethlehem.î
On Wednesday, Dec. 21, the Advent service at 6:30 p.m. includes a special prayer litany for our communities and churches. Concordia is located on NC-Hwy 152 in China Grove between Salisbury, Mooresville and Kannapolis.
The Rev. Kenneth Reed Jr. is pastor, www.concordia-lutheran.org
N. Kannapolis Baptist
KANNAPOLIS ó The North Kannapolis Baptist Church choir and orchestra will present a service of Christmas music on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. under the direction of Charles Morrow, minister of music. The church is located at 312 Locust St.
Main Street Baptist Christmas cantata
CHINA GROVE ó On Dec. 18 the church choir of Main Street Baptist Church will present a Christmas cantata at 10:30 am. The presentation will be repeated at 6 p.m. along with a play presented by the children and youth of the church. The church is located at 1615 N. Main St.
Cleveland 1st Baptist cantata
CLEVELAND ó Cleveland First Baptist Church choir will present the cantata ěThe Love of God at Christmasî tomorrow at 10:30 a.m., under the direction of Karen Naile with Gail Moore as pianist and Jane Current as narrator.
At 6 p.m. the children will present a Christmas program under the direction of Cheryl Douglas, Lorie Bowen, Susan Moore, Karen Naile and Katie Carscaden. Afterwards there will be a Birthday Party for Jesus in the fellowship hall.
There are no evening services on Dec. 28.
World Hope, 2203 Mooresville Road, will hold a family Christmas service on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. featuring ensembles, solos, duets, instrumentals, Christmas caroling, Little Praisers Girlsí Dance Ministry, multi-media, hot cider and yeast rolls, an early childhood presentation plus ěChristmas Memories.î
Children in kindergarten and older will join their families in the sanctuary. David Cowger is lead pastor.
Community Baptist Church will hold their Christmas cantata, ěThe Promised Hope,î on Sunday, Dec. 18 at 10:45 a.m.
The childrenís Christmas play will be presented at 6 p.m. that evening. Community Baptist is located at 18 Carolina St.
KANNAPOLIS ó First Presbyterian Church in Kannapolis presents an adaptation of the ěEmmanuel: God with Us!î during the 10:55 a.m. service Sunday, Dec.18. This choral work, created by Lloyd Larson, includes traditional and contemporary songs interspersed with poetic readings.
The cantata is under the direction of Dr. Don Simmons, and features the Chancel Choir with readings by members of the congregation. Visit www.FirstPresb.org
Christmas cantata at Mt. Mitchell UMC
KANNAPOLIS ó Mt. Mitchell United Methodist Church, 6001 Old Salisbury Concord Hwy, is having Christmas cantata on Dec. 18 at the 11 a.m. worship service. At 6 p.m. that evening is Mt. Mitchellís Christmas program.
Christmas drama at South China Grove
CHINA GROVE ó South China Grove Church of God presents the drama, ěThe Inn Keepers Wifeî in conjunction with the Christmas Choir under the direction of Gloria Ross on Sunday at 11 a.m.
The 6 p.m. evening service will include a Christmas puppet show by Rivers Edge Puppet Ministry. Refreshments will follow the evening service. The church is located at 163 Third Ave., 704-467-4555.
ëTwelve Prayers of Christmasí
First United Church of Christ, 207 West Horah St., continues the Christmas tradition of lighting the Advent candle at the 11 a.m. service on Dec. 18. The Jay Laurens family will light the candle of Love. The Chancel Choir will sing ěCanticle of Faithî led by Matthew Newton and Susan Trivette.
At 6 p.m. the children will present the play ěThe Twelve Prayers of Christmas.î The nursery age children will sing and the older children will play the Kristal Bells. Congregational Christmas carols will be led by Lonnie Carpenter Jr. A Christmas story will be told by ěMama Joî Carpenter and the First UCC Youth will introduce their new musical instruments, Boomwackers.
Refreshments and fellowship will follow the program.
ëA Song in the Airí and ëOne Starry Nightí
CHINA GROVE ó South China Grove Baptist Church celebrates Christmas on Dec. 18, with ěA Song in the Airî at 11 a.m., presented by the church sanctuary choir. At 4:30 p.m. is a covered dish meal in the Family Life Center and at 6 p.m. is the childrenís play, ěOne Starry Night.î
The church is located at 501 Haney St., between Hwy 29 and Hwy 29-A off of Thom St. Visit www.scgbc.com or call 704-857-3611. The pastor is Rev. Shane Utley.
Henderson Grove Missionary Baptist Church will hold its annual Christmas program on Sunday, Dec. 18. Dinner will be served at 1:30 p.m. The play ěAnd Thatís What Itís All About,î written and directed by Brenda Rice McNeely, will begin at 3 p.m. There will be special music and a variety of recitations.
KANNAPOLIS ó Kimball Lutheran Church, 101 Vance St., will serve communion at both its contemporary and traditional morning services on Sunday, Dec. 18. The 4 p.m. Christmas program will be followed by a covered dish supper.
On Wednesday, Dec. 21 at 7 p.m. is an Advent service and on Friday, Dec. 23 at 7 p.m. is the Blue Christmas service for those whose days are difficult during this season of joy.
The Drama and Music Ministry of Gethsemane Missionary Baptist Church, 719 S. Caldwell St., will present the Christmas drama ěOur Holy Messiah Reigns Foreverî on Sunday, Dec. 18 at 5 p.m.
Thresa Phelps is Drama Ministry chair, Thelma Banks is Minister of Music, the Rev. Dr. C. L. Phelps is pastor.
Christmas Play at Dunnís Mountain
On Sunday, Dec. 18 at 6 p.m., Dunnís Mountain Baptist Church, will present ěThe Giver and the Gift,î a Christmas play written by youth director Mark Newsome.
Members of the church of all ages act and sing the story of Emma and Abigail and the events taking place around them in Bethlehem
The church is located at 1350 Old Stone House Road, 704-633-6588.
LANDIS ó Calvary Fundamental Baptist Church will present their Christmas play on Sunday, Dec. 18 at 6 p.m. The church is located at 414 Upright St., where the Rev. Allen Merrington serves as pastor.
CHINA GROVE ó Genesis Baptist Church presents the Christmas cantata, ěMary Did You Know, A Christmas Celebrationî performed by the Genesis Baptist Church Choir on Sunday evening, Dec. 18 at 6 p.m. The Genesis children, ěFired Up!!î will be performing the 12 Symbols of Christmas. Genesis Baptist Church is located at 710 Old Concord Road, 704-857-4600.
Stallings Memorial Baptist Church, 817 S. Main St., presents musical performances by church ensembles and orchestra. Admission price is at least one canned food donation per family, which will go to Rowan Helping Ministries food bank. This musical event is at 7 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 18.
Blood drive at church
KANNAPOLIS ó First Presbyterian Church in Kannapolis will host an American Red Cross Blood Drive on Tuesday, Dec. 20, from 2-6:30 p.m. in the fellowship hall, featuring hot spiced cider and home-made baked goods and snack mix. The church is located at 201 Vance St. at the southern end of the North Carolina Research Campus.
Sixteen-year-olds may donate now with parental concert. To make an appointment, call 704-938-4623. Walk-ins are welcome too.
Blue Christmas service
SPENCER ó The Spencer Council of Churches offers a Blue Christmas worship service for those struggling with sadness during Christmas. Christmas can be a difficult time for people who have lost loved ones, lost a job or received bad news from the doctor. This service is provided believing that God can get us through the difficult times. Many will share testimonies about how they dealt with painful times at Christmas. The service will be in the chapel room of Central United Methodist Church, 200 4th St. in Spencer on Dec. 21 at 7 p.m. Call 704-633-9412 or 704-636-2152 for more information.
St. Peterís Church
óphoto of windowsó
This yearís Christmas Eve program at St. Peterís Church will be ěA Light Through A Window.î The drama, written by one of its members, will bring to life the story of Jesus from his birth to His resurrection. The magnificent windows of stained glass will each illuminate as ěangelsî carry candles to them.
The nine windows in St. Peterís are without a doubt some of the most beautiful in the area, or anywhere for that matter! The last window shows the journey of St. Peterís, one of the oldest churches in North Carolina, from the original meeting house to its present building. The Christmas Eve service will include a celebration of past Christians whose pilgrimage, steeped in love and dedication, brought the church from the past to the present.
The service, dramatized by the youth, will include Communion and will end in candlelight as each participant allows the light of the Lord to shine brightly on the eve of Godís Sonís birth.
The service will begin at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 24. After the service, treat bags will be distributed to the children.
Faith Community Health Promoter training classes
CONCORD ó A Faith Community Health Promoter is a layperson serving as a health advocate in a faith community. This training will enable laypersons to educate and motivate a congregation toward health and wellness. No medical background is necessary. One must attend both days to receive the certificate. Cost of the course is $50.
Classes are scheduled Jan. 27 from 5-9 p.m. and Jan. 28 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at CMC-NorthEast, 920 Church St.
Call 704-403-4484 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on the program.
Faith Baptist Church
FAITH ó Faith Baptist Church has launched a new website, www.fbcfaith.com, which will provide members and visitors with information about the churchís history, ministries, missions, programs and events.