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Churches celebrate Christmas with walk, drive through Bethlehem

By Colette M. Jenkins
Beacon Journal religion writer

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The congregations at East Liberty Church of the Nazarene and Summit Christian Church are hoping to convey the meaning of Christmas via live Nativity scenes this weekend and next.

“A Walk Through Bethlehem” is scheduled for 5 to 8 p.m. today at Summit Christian Church, 133 S. Hawkins Ave., Akron. The walk-thru experience is expected to take 15 to 20 minutes, and at the end of the journey, participants are invited to listen to music and have coffee, hot chocolate and cookies inside the church.

At East Liberty Church of the Nazarene, the congregation is preparing a 10-scene drive-thru experience called Bethlehem — The Gift. The play, which puts a modern twist on the story of the birth of Jesus, will be presented from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Friday and next Saturday. Each vehicle will receive a recorded CD containing the story. The church is located at 700 E. Turkeyfoot Lake Road, Green.

For more information about Bethlehem — The Gift, call 330-896-1422.

To contact Summit Christian Church, call 330-836-2211.

In other religion news:

Events

Bath Church — 3980 W. Bath Road, Bath Township. 4 p.m. Dec. 21. The annual Blue Christmas service will take place. A quiet, meditative service for remembering and sharing hurting places with God. 330-666-3250.

Diocese of Youngstown — A special parish and community collection for winter utility assistance for families in need, “Keep the Kids Warm,” will take place between the Feast of the Holy Family on Dec. 29 and the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord on Jan. 12. All funds raised are returned to the counties in which they were collected for those in need. It is for working-poor families who do not qualify for government assistance and those whose benefits have been exhausted. Donations can be made at www.ccdoy.org. 330-744-8451, ext. 320.

Grace United Church of Christ — 13275 Cleveland Ave. NW, Lake Township. 7 p.m. Sunday. A Blue Christmas worship service for individuals and families in the community. If the holidays are unhappy or painful because of the loss of a loved one, loneliness, job loss, sadness or other circumstances, join the Rev. Jeff Nelson for prayers of healing and words of hope. 330-699-3255.

Mogadore Christian Church — 106 S. Cleveland Ave., Mogadore. 5 to 7 p.m. today. Monthly Swiss steak dinner. Includes mashed potatoes, green beans, coleslaw, applesauce, rolls, beverage and dessert. The public is welcome. Carryout is available. Adults $8, ages 5-12 $4, age 4 or younger free. Proceeds benefit local food pantries. 330-628-3344.

Our Lady of the Cedars of Mount Lebanon — 507 S. Cleveland-Massillon Road, Fairlawn. 6:30 p.m. Sunday. A nine-day Christmas Novena begins. 330-666-3598.

St. John Christian Methodist Episcopal Church — 1233 S. Hawkins Ave., Akron. 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. Monthly food distribution for qualified persons living in postal ZIP code 44320. Registration and qualifications for current year will be required of all applicants, including picture ID and proof of current address. The annual Christmas Community Lunch will be 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday. Free to the community. The community lunch and clothing bank will not be open Christmas or New Year’s Day. 330-864-3060.

Trinity Lutheran Church — 600 S. Water St., Kent. 4:30 to 7 p.m. Friday. A spaghetti dinner will be served. Free-will offering. All proceeds will go to the Michael Broyles fund. A Trinity member, Broyles died from a head injury Nov. 24, leaving a wife and two young boys. A fund has been established at the Portage Community Bank in his name to assist the family. 330-673-5446.

Wooster Avenue Church of Christ — 1147 Vernon Odom Blvd., Akron. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. today. Snack lunch and clothing giveaway. First come, first served. All sizes when available. Bus No. 14 stops in front of the church. 330-762-7301.

Performances

Apostolic Church of Barberton — 1717 W. Turkeyfoot Lake Road, Coventry Township. 6 p.m. Sunday. Shine Christmas Program will be presented. Also, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, it will be Christmas in Whoville. 330-745-5550.

Calvary Baptist Church — 820 White Pond Drive, Akron. 11 a.m. Sunday. The choir will present a Christmas cantata, The Promised One, during morning worship. 330-836-4701.

Faith Fellowship Church — 10277 Valley View Road, Macedonia. 7 p.m. today. The children’s choir will present the musical, An Out-of-the-Box Christmas. Created by Celeste Clydesdale and arranged by David T. Clydesdale. 330-467-1234.

First United Methodist Church — 245 Portage Trail, Cuyahoga Falls. 6:30 p.m. Sunday. An evening of Christmas carols and music by the church’s chancel choir and the Vine Fellowship Choir of Copley. They will combine to present The Christmas Story, a cantata by Ron Nelson, and John Rutter’s Gloria with brass, organ and percussion. 330-923-5241.

Goodyear Heights Community Church — 464 Brittain Road, Akron. 6 p.m. Sunday. The annual Christmas play, A Charlotte Brown Christmas, will be performed by the church’s children and youth. Refreshments and fellowship will follow. 330-733-6664.

Grace United Methodist Church — 1720 Schneider St. NW, Plain Township. 7 p.m. Sunday. The Puppets of Grace will perform the annual Christmas show. Come at 5:15 p.m. for a covered dish dinner. The show features singing camels, dancing presents and special effects and is for all ages. 330-499-2330; www.northcantongrace.org.

St. Hilary Parish — 2750 W. Market St., Fairlawn. 7:30 p.m. Sunday. An Advent Festival of Lessons and Carols will be presented. Free. It will include performances of sacred music by the adult choir, hand bell choir and youth choir, interspersed with readings from scripture. Festive reception to follow. 330-867-1055, ext. 202.

St. Sebastian Parish — 476 Mull Ave., Akron. 3:30 p.m. Sunday. The annual Ceremony of Lessons and Carols will feature the music ministry’s hand bells, parish choir, praise and worship ensemble and Gregoria Schola. Free to the public. 330-836-2233.

Trinity United Church of Christ — 3909 Blackburn Road NW, Plain Township. 3 p.m. Sunday. The Greater Canton Men’s Chorus will join the sanctuary choir, adult and youth bell choirs and flute choir for a festive holiday concert. They will present many favorite sacred and secular songs and carols of the season. At 2:30 p.m., W. Robert Morrison will give a pre-concert program playing carols on the Trinity Carillon. Free to all. A reception with homemade cookies and wassail will follow the concert. 330-492-3383.

Unitarian Universalist Church of Akron — 330 Morewood Road, Fairlawn. 10:30 a.m. Sunday. The Joy of Christmas: A Musical Celebration, featuring the chancel choir under the direction of Bob Carlyon. Featuring Brian Laakso on keyboards with a host of guest musicians. 330-836-2206.

Westminster Presbyterian Church — 1250 W. Exchange St., Akron. 10:30 a.m. Sunday. The community is invited to hear the traditional Christmas story as told by the children of Westminster during worship. They will tell the story through costumes, readings and songs. 330-836-2226.

Support groups

The Chapel — 135 Fir Hill, Akron. 7 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday. Parents of Prodigals, a support group for parents of teen and adult children who are having problems, will hold a Christmas fellowship in the Great Commission Room. Guests are asked to bring a small tray of dessert to share. Reservations are not needed. For more information, contact Ed Davidian at 330-620-5668.

The deadline for Religion Notes is noon Tuesday. Items must be in writing. Please fax information to 330-996-3033, email it to religion@thebeaconjournal.com or send it to Religion, Akron Beacon Journal, 44 E. Exchange St., Akron, OH 44309.


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