Christmas Guide 2012: Church calendars full as Advent begins

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Young people portray angels in the last live Nativity presented by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Moreland. From left are Teka Brandley, Alexis Sokoloff, Troy Mapp, Hannah Sokoloff, Abby Cowdell, Lauryn Payne and Lillian Craig.

By W. WINSTON SKINNER
winston@newnan.com
December is here, and local church calendars are filled with activities for Advent and the Christmas season.
Music and drama presentations, services with lessons and carols, caroling outings and services on Christmas Eve are among the many events planned by local congregations. Many churches are already decorated for the holiday season, and Peachtree City Seventh Day Adventist Church has held a festive Christmas dinner with music by soloist Dow Kirkland and pianist Hugh Waddy.
Events on church calendars include:
Today, Dec. 1
• Old Fashioned Christmas Bazaar, Sharpsburg Baptist Church, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Bake sale, homemade jams/jellies, woodworking, handcrafted items, books, toys, Christmas gifts. Sponsor: Olive Branch Ladies.
• Christmas Bazaar, fellowship hall, Providence Baptist Church, Providence Church Road, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Vendors, Christmas gifts, food, door prizes. Sponsor: Providence Baptist Women. Proceeds to missions.
• Nativity Display, Episcopal Church of the Epiphany, Atlanta, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission – $5 adults/$4 seniors and students.
• Music following 5 p.m. Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting, downtown Fayetteville.

”Immediately following the parade, the tree lighting program will feature a variety of local performers and groups,” said Joyce Waits of Main Street Fayetteville. “Members of New Vision Church, Gospel Community Church and others will provide a festive musical program in front of the big Christmas tree.”

Volunteers from Rolling Hills Baptist Church will serve free hot chocolate, and Gospel Community serve free popcorn.

• Live Nativity, Moreland Town Square, 7:30/8/8:30 p.m. Sponsored by the Summer Grove Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Follows Moreland Community Historical Society Christmas covered dish, 6:30 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 2

• Advent Forum, first session, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 9:15 a.m.

Dr. David Pacini, professor of historical theology at Candler School of Theology at Emory University, will lead the four-week study, “Four Bibles, Four Visions.”

• Hanging of the Green, Woolsey Baptist Church, Fayetteville, 6 p.m.

• Advent Study, Allen-Lee Memorial United Methodist Church, Lone Oak, 6 p.m. “When God Comes Down” by James A. Harnish will provide the four-week study, which will be led by Melanie Stanley-Soulen.

The study will examine primary biblical characters in the birth stories – including Zechariah, Elizabeth, Joseph, Mary, and Jesus. In addition, the study will also look at a traditional character in nativity plays, one who is not mentioned in the Bible, the innkeeper.

• Nativity Display, Episcopal Church of the Epiphany, Atlanta, 2-4 p.m. Admission – $5 adults/$4 seniors and students.

Wednesday, Dec. 5

• Nativity Display, Episcopal Church of the Epiphany, Atlanta, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Admission – $5 adults/$4 seniors and students.

• Nativity Festival, LaGrange, 2-7 p.m. Mellody Hartelius-Reaves said the free event will offer “Nativity scenes, angels, and other religious artwork from around the world and locally.” Sites will include three LaGrange churches – Advent Lutheran, First United Methodist and St. Peter’s Catholic Church – as well as Vernon Woods Retirement Community.

• Advent Service, Word of God Lutheran Church, Peachtree City, 7 p.m. Soup supper, 6 p.m.

• Advent Service, St. Paul Lutheran Church, Peachtree City, 6:30 p.m.

Thursday, Dec. 6

• Nativity Display, Episcopal Church of the Epiphany, Atlanta, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Admission – $5 adults/$4 seniors and students.

• Nativity Festival, LaGrange, 2-7 p.m.

• Children’s Chair-ity Event, Dolce, Peachtree City, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Food, refreshments, music, Santa’s Workshop Silent Auction. Tickets, $20 – www.christiancity.org or 770-703-2636.

• Christmas With Griffin Choral Arts, First Baptist Church, Griffin, 7:30 p.m. Tickets – $10 door or Artistic Flowers/Gifts, J. Michael’s Frameworks, Griffin; Goggans Florist, Barnesville; A Novel Experience, Zebulon; TUAC Gallery, Thomaston.

Friday, Dec. 7

• Nativity Display, Episcopal Church of the Epiphany, Atlanta, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Admission – $5 adults/$4 seniors and students.

• Holiday Event, Salvation Army Service Center, 4-7 p.m. Thrift store open late. Santa photos, $10. Coffee/refreshments.

• Drive-Thru Nativity, Cornerstone United Methodist Church, 6-9 p.m. Drivers “will be handed a narration CD as they drive through 10 live scenes telling the story of the birth of Jesus, ‘The Greatest Gift,’” Ann Warren said. “Each night more than 100 cast and crew will come together to present the Drive-Thru Nativity.”

“Cornerstone’s Drive-Thru Nativity is all about the greatest gift ever given, the birth of Jesus,” said Paul Griffin, project chairman. “We want the community to see, hear and experience the real meaning of Christmas. For some it’s a reminder. For some it will be the first time they learn of the true meaning of Christmas. We cannot wait to share this with the community.”

Griffin and his wife, Penny, who is co-chair, brought the idea to their church in February. The church immediately embraced the project and supported the Griffins with their plans.

There is not believed to be another drive-through program like Cornerstone’s elsewhere in south metro Atlanta. Scenes will include the angel Gabriel visiting Mary; the inn in Bethlehem; and the traditional Nativity scene where Jesus is born in a manger.

“A team of about 300 people of all ages from Cornerstone have contributed to the project in one way or another,” Warren said. “Penny and her team of talented seamstresses have made all of the 64 costumes. The construction team designed and built all 10 sets.”

• Nativity Festival, LaGrange, 2-7 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 8

• Breakfast with Santa, Cornerstone United Methodist Church, 7:30-11 a.m. “Children can have their pictures taken with Santa, eat breakfast and take part in fun crafts,” Warren said. Tickets are $5 for adults, $2 for children 3-12, and free for ages 2 and younger.

• Nativity Display, Episcopal Church of the Epiphany, Atlanta, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission – $5 adults/$4 seniors and students.

• Coweta County Genealogical Society Christmas Dinner, Youth Building, Unity Baptist Church, 11:30 a.m. Reservations, $20 each, 678-521-2974 by Wednesday. Ken Thomas to speak at 1:30 p.m.

• Nativity Festival, LaGrange, noon-5 p.m.

• “Meet Me at the Manger,” Warehouse, First Baptist Church, Newnan, 1 p.m. Free. Presented by Joyful Praise Homeschool Choir. The play includes a choir performance at Herod’s Department Store and a Christmas party at the Lighthouse Mission where children discover God wants them to have hearts of gold and to give him prayers and praise like sweet incense.

• A Night in Bethlehem, FaithCreek United Methodist Church, 6-8 p.m. Visitors will savor the sights, sounds and excitement of the very first Christmas.

”Guests of all ages can experience the world where Jesus lived,” said Rita Teel. “The event is free, and everyone is welcome.”

Attendees will “go back in time,” arriving in Bethlehem for the census. The marketplace will be bustling with shopkeepers, Roman soldiers, shepherds and even a tax collector.

”Shops will include a bakery, a toy shop, a jewelry shop, a candy shop, a marketplace and a Hebrew scribe,” Teel said. The inn and the stable will be recreated.

“This is our fourth year and recreating Bethlehem is our way of celebrating Christmas and the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ” said Rev. Tommy Ross. “This is a fun and interactive way to share the story of the birth of Jesus.” Upon departing Bethlehem, guests will be invited to join us for coffee and hot chocolate.

• Drive-Thru Nativity, Cornerstone United Methodist Church, 6-9 p.m.

• Christmas Dinner, Old Veal School, Roopville, 6 p.m. The annual celebration will be followed by singing at 7 p.m. The Emmaus Road Quartet and In His Steps will be singing.

• “The Greatest Gift,” musical, Bible Baptist Church, 7:15 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 9

• Christmas Music of Robert Shaw and Alice Parker, First United Methodist Church, Newnan, 8:30 a.m. Presented by chancel choir.

• Advent Forum, first session, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 9:15 a.m.

• Christmas Music of Robert Shaw and Alice Parker, First United Methodist Church, Newnan, 10:55 a.m.

• Nativity Festival, LaGrange, noon-5 p.m.

• Nativity Display, Episcopal Church of the Epiphany, Atlanta, 2-4 p.m. Admission – $5 adults/$4 seniors and students.

• Holiday Music, chancel choir mini-concert, Senoia United Methodist Church, 5:15 p.m. In conjunction with home tour.

• Drive-Thru Nativity, Cornerstone United Methodist Church, 6-9 p.m.

• “O Holy Night,” Christmas music program, First United Methodist Church, Newnan, 6 p.m.

• Prepare the Way: A Service of Advent Music and Readings, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 6 p.m. Featured will be the parish choir and bells, St. Cecilia’s Singers and instrumental soloists.

• “Silent Night, Holy Night,” sanctuary choir Christmas music, First Baptist Church, Moreland, 6 p.m.

• Advent Study, Allen-Lee Memorial United Methodist Church, Lone Oak, 6 p.m.

• Holiday Music, Senoia United Methodist Church, 5:15 p.m. In conjunction with home tour.

Monday, Dec. 10

• “O Holy Night,” First United Methodist Church, Newnan, 6 p.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 11

• Job Network Christmas Celebration, parish hall, First United Methodist Church, Newnan, 6 p.m. Bring a favorite dish or holiday treat to share. Bread and meat will be provided.

Wednesday, Dec. 12

• Advent Service, Word of God Lutheran Church, Peachtree City, 7 p.m. Soup supper, 6 p.m.

• Advent Service, St. Paul Lutheran Church, Peachtree City, 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 15

• Singing Christmas Tree, East Newnan Baptist Church, 6 p.m. This year’s presentation is “Infant Holy, Infant Lowly.”

”There will be a choir of 50 or more voices singing the story of Christmas – accompanied by a small orchestra and a computer generated light show of 7,000-8,000 lights,” church member June Harris said.

Singers will be on a nine-tier tree that is is 24 feet tall, with a star on top. “Imagine seeing a 24-foot tall cross on the Christmas tree,” Bobby Stevenson, minister of music, said. “It is breathtaking.”

The tree itself weighs 4,000 pounds. “Loaded with participants, it comes to about 15,000-20,000 pounds,” Harris said.

Tickets are free, and those who get tickets in advance from the chuch website – www.eastnewnanbaptist.org – will be admitted 45 minutes prior to the presentation.

• “The Joy of Christmas,” play, Line Creek Baptist Church, 7 p.m. The three-act comedy-drama was written by Fred Hottensen and Jim Gant. Word To Life Ministries is producing the play. The contemporary story centers on the Clayton family -- father John, who is watching every dime; mother Marian, who is focused on decorations, lights, food, gifts and cards; children Stephan and Danielle -- and 5-year-old Elizabeth who asks, “How can you take Jesus out of Christmas?”

Sunday, Dec. 16

• Brass Trio and Organ, First United Methodist Church, 8:30 a.m.

• Advent Forum, first session, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 9:15 a.m.

• Children’s Pageant, First United Methodist Church, Newnan, 10 a.m. Featuring children from kindergarten-sixth grade.

• Brass Trio and Organ, First United Methodist Church, 10:55 a.m.

• “The Joy of Christmas,” play, Line Creek Baptist Church, 11 a.m.

• Singing Christmas Tree, East Newnan Baptist Church, 6 p.m. Free tickets – www.eastnewnanbaptist.org.

• Children’s play, Providence Baptist Church, Providence Church Road, 6 p.m. “Following the program, we will have fellowship with Santa in the fellowship hall,” Jill Elder said. Church members will bring finger foods.

• “Candy Cane Lane,” children’s Christmas music, First Baptist Church, Moreland, 6 p.m.

• Advent Study, Allen-Lee Memorial United Methodist Church, Lone Oak, 6 p.m.

Monday, Dec. 17

• Christmas Caroling, leaving Allen-Lee Memorial United Methodist Church, Lone Oak, 5 p.m. Ending with refreshments.

Tuesday, Dec. 18

• AMPP Christmas Concert, Heritage Christian Church, Fayetteville, 7 p.m. Performers will include Marvin Mumford, a former drug dealer who is now an Atlanta-based worship leader, as well as AMPP bands The Remnant and The Rising.

”AMPP is a modern music program for homeschooled teens from Fayette, Coweta, Clayton, Fulton, Henry, and Pike counties,” said Ana Ivey.

Melissa Futch said the concert will be free. “Donations will be taken at the door,” she said.

Wednesday, Dec. 19

• Advent Service, Word of God Lutheran Church, Peachtree City, 7 p.m. Soup supper, 6 p.m.

• School/Advent Christmas Program, St. Paul Lutheran Church, Peachtree City, 7 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 23

• Advent Forum, first session, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 9:15 a.m.

• Cantata, Providence Baptist Church, Providence Church Road, 10:50 a.m.

• “Heaven’s Child,” a new musical by Pepper Choplin, Liberty Christian Church,5 p.m. The musical program will be part of the church’s annual Christmas Candlelight Communion service.

The event will feature The Liberty Singers’ presentation of Choplin’s musical. “Soloists for this program are Cynda Pierce, Jimmy Walker and Dr. Milton West, the church’s pastor,” said Mary Jane Miles. “Refreshments will be served in the fellowship hall after the service.”

• Advent Study, Allen-Lee Memorial United Methodist Church, Lone Oak, 6 p.m.

• Worship Service in the Style of Taizé, parish hall, First United Methodist Church, Newnan, 6:30 p.m. JoAn Kinrade, associate pastor, described this as “a quiet, peaceful and meditative service of prayerful reflection, using scripture and repetitive music which allows one to commune more deeply with God.” She said, “This will be a perfect time to be still in mind and spirit and to fully prepare our hearts once again for the coming of the Christ Child.”

Sunday, Dec. 24

• Open communion, Cornerstone United Methodist Church. Drop by between 3-4 p.m.

• Family Service, Cornerstone United Methodist Church, 4:30 p.m.

• Candlelight Service, First Baptist Chuch, Moreland, 5 p.m.

• Christmas Eve Communion, Allen-Lee Memorial United Methodist Church, Lone Oak, 5-6 p.m.

• Traditional Service, Cornerstone United Methodist Church, 6 p.m.

• Candlelight Service, St. Paul Lutheran Church, Peachtree City, 6 p.m.

• Candlelight Service, Cornerstone United Methodist Church, 11 p.m.



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