The congregation at Cross Road Unity Church is providing an opportunity to help the homeless while gaining a better understanding of homelessness during its annual three-day sleep-out.
The sleep-out begins at 5 p.m. Friday and runs through Sunday morning. During the event, the homeless are invited to sleep in the church on Friday and Saturday nights. A tent will be set up outside the church for anyone who wants to camp out as a way to experience the plight of the homeless.
Meals will be provided throughout the weekend, including breakfast on Sunday. Drive-up donations (of food, clothing and other items) will be accepted each day at the church. The congregation plans to provide tents, tarps, foam cushions, sleeping bags, blankets, socks, winter coats, thermals, ear muffs, gloves, waterproof boots, foot warmers, pocket warmers and easy-to-open food to the homeless.
Cross Road Unity Church is located at 920 Brown St. in the Firestone Park area of Akron. The church has an outreach ministry that serves the homeless year-round. For more information, call 330-310-5787.
In other religion news:
Calvary Temple — 3045 Albrecht Ave., Akron. 12:45 p.m. Sunday. Women’s Ministry fundraiser. Cookie trays, homemade soups, coney dogs, desserts and beverages will be sold. An auction will be held for some specialty items.
Canton Christian Women’s Connection — at The Fairways at Arrowhead, 1500 Rogwin Circle SW, Plain Township. 11:30 a.m. Thursday. Monthly luncheon will be held. Theme is The Sounds of the Season featuring the Hoover Hi Notes singing holiday songs. Speaker will be Jennifer Ebaugh, whose topic is Running to Win. Cost is $13 which includes lunch. Free childcare available. For reservations, call Sherry at 330-837-6552 or email firstname.lastname@example.org by Sunday.
Family of Faith United Methodist Church — 800 E. Market St., Akron. 9 a.m. to noon today. Annual cookie sale. $6 per pound for all homemade cookies and candy.
Firestone Park Presbyterian Church — 275 S. Firestone Blvd., Akron. 9 a.m. today. Annual Mrs. Santa Claus Cookie Walk. Homemade cookies and treats. $7 per pound.
Grace United Methodist Church — 1720 Schneider St. NW, Plain Township. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 15. Free Christmas thrift shop for children in the Family Life Center. All new and gently used items for infants and children, including clothing, shoes, toys and books. Donations of new toys gladly accepted. Sponsored by All Saints Anglican Church in North Canton. For information, contact The Rev. Brian Chase at email@example.com.
Resurrection Evangelical Lutheran Church — at Stow Safety Building, 3800 Darrow Road, Stow. 10 a.m. Sunday. The church will receive the Summit Ablaze torch from the Church of the Holy Spirit, which will pass it to the congregation during worship service. Summit Ablaze is a collaborative prayer initiative sponsored by Love Akron Network. 330-689-1045.
St. Hilary Parish — 2750 W. Market St., Fairlawn. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16. Advent of Festival of Lessons and Carols. Free of charge. Sacred music by the adult, handbell and youth choirs. Light reception will follow. 330-867-1055.
Trinity Lutheran Church — 600 S. Water St., Kent. 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday. Fifth annual craft show and coffee hour. Open to members and friends, or relatives of members. Handcrafted items preferred. Tables and chairs provided. Electric outlets limited. Donations requested for space. 330-673-5445.
Wedgewood United Methodist Church — 2350 Wedgewood Drive, Akron. 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday. Jesus’ Birthday Party. Fun, games, singalong, crafts, decorative cupcakes. For preschool ages and up. Admission is an unwapped toy or nonperishable food item. 330-733-0707.
Calvary Chapel — 8151 Stuhldreher St. NW, Jackson Township. 5:30 to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 15 and 16. The 19th annual Christmas drama, A Night in Bethlehem, will be presented. Participants will experience the sights and sounds of the first Christmas each night. Light refreshments will be served at the end of the tour, which takes 30 to 40 minutes. Groups of any size welcome. 330-833-4347.
Fairlawn Lutheran Church — 3415 W. Market St., Fairlawn. 4 p.m. Sunday. The Parish Arts Concert Series will present a Christmas concert with Master Singers Inc., directed by J.D. Goddard: Gloria, by John Rutter, with chorus, soloists, organ, brass and timpani. There will be a new composition by Jason Metheney, and anthems and carols. Refreshments in Fellowship Hall.
First United Methodist Church of Akron — 263 E. Mill St., Akron. 7 p.m. Friday. Christmas concert by Western Reserve Community Band. Sounds of the holiday season, including traditional, classical and contemporary arrangements of holiday songs. Free and open to the community.
Mount Calvary Baptist Church — 442 Bell St., Akron. 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday. A Taste of Heaven: Gospel Meets Symphony fundraiser. Christian gospel music featuring Jennifer Mekel Jones, Exalting Him Gospel Choir, Robert L. Hunt Sr. and Just Love to Sing. $25 suggested donation. Drawing for two Gospel Meets Symphony tickets. 330-535-8131.
Oak Hill Presbyterian Church — 2406 Ardwell Ave., Akron. 7 p.m. Sunday. The 10th annual The Music of Christmas will be held. Free program features the Oak Hill handbell choir and orchestra, along with other ensembles and soloists. Refreshments afterwards in Fellowship Hall. 330-784-2432.
Phillips Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church — 413 Iroquois Ave., Akron. 4 p.m. Sunday. Annual Christmas Concert, the Take Me Back 11 and More song series. Brian Bruney is music director. Walter E.L. Scrutchings and Raymond W. Hinton will perform selections from their Songs for Sunday Worship book. Various musicians and singers will be featured. 330-784-8964.
St. Mark’s Episcopal Church — 515 48th St. NW, Canton. 2 p.m. Dec. 16. A puppet show with a spiritual theme, Cowboy Christmas, will be for area children, teens and their parents. It is performed by a group of students from the church in black light theater, with fluorescent singing and dancing puppets. Free but donations will be accepted. Cookies and punch will follow. 330-499-2662.
Trinity United Church of Christ — 3909 Blackburn Road NW, Plain Township. 3 p.m. Sunday. The church choirs will join with the Hall of Fame Chorus in a holiday concert. The adult and youth bell choirs, flute choir and sanctuary choir will participate. It will include many favorite and familiar sacred and secular songs and carols. Free-will offering will benefit community charities. A reception with homemade cookies and wassail will follow. 330-492-3383.
Trinity United Church of Christ — 215 High St., Wadsworth. 4 p.m. Sunday. The final concert of the 2012 Trinity Concert Series will be Amahl and the Night Visitors, featuring Northeast Ohio opera personalities and members of the Akron Symphony Chorus. The one-act opera by Gian Carlo Menotti is set in Bethlehem in the first century after the birth of Christ. Free-will offering. 330-334-2536.
Victory Life Church — 3833 Hudson Drive, Stow. 7 p.m. Friday and Dec. 15. The sights and sounds of Christmas, One Night Under a Star, will be presented. An evening of music with adult and children’s choirs. There is a live Nativity seen from a horse-drawn wagon. Christmas cookies and holiday beverages. Free admission. 330-929-6555.
The deadline for Religion Notes is noon Tuesday. Items must be in writing. Please fax information to 330-996-3033, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org or send it to Religion, Akron Beacon Journal, 44 E. Exchange St., Akron, OH 44309.