The Operation Christmas Child shoe box collection begins in the Akron area on Monday.
Anyone is invited to fill a shoe box with school supplies, hygiene items, toys, flashlights with extra batteries, hard candy or gum in a plastic storage bag, clothes and a note of encouragement to be hand-delivered to children in 100 countries around the world. Items should be appropriate for a boy or girl, ages 2 to 4 years old, 5 to 9 years old or 10 to 14 years old. Each box should also contain $7 to cover shipping costs.
Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization based in Boone, N.C., and led by Franklin Graham, the son of evangelist Billy Graham. The organization has delivered more than 94 million shoe box gifts to children in more than 130 countries since 1993. This year, the goal is to distribute 9 million boxes.
Boxes are being collected locally through Nov. 19 at:
• New Hope Christian Fellowship, 1157 Riverside Drive, Akron.
• Christ Community Chapel, 750 W. Streetsboro Road, Hudson.
• Bethany Mennonite Church, 3497 Edison St. NE, Hartville.
For additional collection sites or to review collection times, visit www.samaritanspurse.org or call 800-353-5949. Labels for gift-filled shoe boxes are also available online.
In other religion news:
Calvary Open Bible Church —2251 Ninth St. SW, Akron. 6 p.m. Sunday. 12th annual free Thanksgiving dinner.
The Chapel, Green Campus — 1800 Raber Road, Green. 10 a.m. Friday. Abundant Living 55+ Christian fellowship and lunch in Atrium. Concert with Gate City Four Quartet. Age 55 and over welcome to attend. 330-315-5508.
Christ Is The Answer Ministries — 379 E. South St., Akron. 9 a.m. today. Prayer breakfast. The Rev. Flora Dees of New Hope Baptist Church is keynote speaker. For tickets, call 330-376-1869. At 4 p.m. Sunday, the Rev. Kevin Smith and Mount Carmel Baptist Church will be special guests to celebrate one year of the Be Strong and Courageous radio broadcast.
Copley Methodist Church — 1518 S. Cleveland-Massillon Road, Copley. 4 to 7 p.m. today. Copley Lions Spaghetti Dinner. $8.
Covenant Worship Center — 2535 Romig Road, Akron. 5 p.m. Sunday. Women’s Day. Topic is A Praying Woman Can Make a Difference. Guest speaker is Beverly Green from Cleveland.
Diocese of Youngstown — Catholic Charities and its affiliated agencies will sponsor Evenings of Peace and Reflection at three locations: (6:30 each night) Monday, St. Joseph Calasanctius Parish in Jefferson; Tuesday, University Parish Newman Center in Kent; and Wednesday, St. Charles Parish in Boardman. Free and open to the public but preregistration encouraged. Each evening will begin with prayer, followed by creative reflective experience on the theme Managing Stress During the Holidays. To register, contact Rachel Hrbolich at 330-744-8451, ext. 328, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Diocese of Youngstown Council of Catholic Women — at St. Peter of the Fields, 3487 Old Forge Road, Rootstown Township. 9:30 a.m. Nov. 17. Next board meeting will be open to all Catholic women in the Diocese. Light breakfast at 9 a.m. No charge but reservations required by Monday. Call Rosemary Wetshtein at 330-296-6817 or Bonnie Workman at 330-497-1992.
Firm Foundation Ministry — 241 Jefferson St., Ravenna. 11 a.m. today. Fred Brame II, of Prosperity Through Prophecy Ministry, will be guest speaker. 330-297-5933.
First Church of God — 532 W. Maple St., Hartville. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 17. Craft Fair to support Loved One of Prisoners. Lunch available for purchase, raffles every hour. Handcrafted items, gift baskets and more. Includes bake sale. For more information, visit www.loopfamilyministry.org.
Goodyear Heights Community Church — 464 Brittain Road, Akron. 6 p.m. Nov. 18. Special Thanksgiving Communion Service. Nursery will be provided. 330-733-6664.
Grace United Church of Christ — 13275 Cleveland Ave. NW, Lake Township. 10:45 a.m. Sunday. Veterans Day will be observed with a worship service led by veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. The public and surrounding communities are encouraged to participate. There will be patriotic hymns and a veterans chorus performing Eternal Father Strong to Save. 330-699-3255.
Kenmore Community Church of the Nazarene — 2025 12st St. SW, Akron. 10 to 11:30 a.m. Sunday. Special Veterans Day service with trumpeter Rudy Cervantes. Everyone welcome to this free event.
McDonaldsville United Methodist Church — 7641 Wales Ave. NW, Jackson Township. 5 to 7 p.m. Friday. Swiss steak dinner. Full meal with dessert. Gluten free and carryout available. Profits go to community outreach projects. 330-499-6971.
Millheim United Church of Christ — 2260 Myersville Road, Springfield Township. 5 to 8 p.m. Friday. Annual salad supper and mini bazaar. Soups and salads, craft items for sale, raffle tickets. Adults $8, ages 12 and younger $5. 330-699-3033.
Mogadore Christian Church — 106 S. Cleveland Ave., Mogadore. 10:30 a.m. Sunday. The Northmen and Cathy from Fort Wayne, Ind., will bring their inspirational gospel music to Veterans Day worship service. Service men and women will be honored and there will be special prayers for persecuted Christians around the world. 330-628-3344.
Morning Star Baptist Church — 1360 Newton St. 10:45 a.m. Sunday. Celebrating the 20th pastoral anniversary of the Rev. Edward Wheat. Guest speaker will be the Rev. James McWain of Macedonia Baptist Church in Waynesburg. 330-923-8462.
Mount Lebanon Baptist Church — 180 Edward Ave., Akron. 11 a.m. Sunday. Celebrating the 66th Men’s Day. Guest speaker is the Rev. Carl P. Small of Mount Zion Baptist Church in Elyria.
Prince of Peace Missionary Baptist Church — 844 Garth Ave., Akron. 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 3:30 p.m. Nov. 18. Celebrating the 55th church anniversary. On Thursday, guests will be the Rev. Horace Drake and Good Shepherd Baptist Church. On Friday, the Rev. Robert Evans and Mount Lebanon Baptist Church, and on Nov. 18 the Rev. Luther C. Cooper and Mount Zion Baptist Church.
Queen of Heaven Church — 1800 Steese Road, Green. Annual Solemn Eucharistic Devotions are planned for Nov. 18-20. Adorations begin after 11 a.m. Mass on Nov. 18, and continue until a vesper service with benediction at 6 p.m. Nov. 20. The Rev. Monsignor Richard C. Antall, pastor of Holy Name Parish in Cleveland, will be speaker at the closing service. 330-896-2345.
St. John Christian Methodist Episcopal Church — 1233 S. Hawkins Ave., Akron. 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Fall Fashion Frenzy. Featuring clothes from Macy’s and hats from The Hatterie with models from the church and the community. Tickets $15. Refreshments and door prizes. 330-864-3060.
Summit Spiritual Center — Masonic Temple, 2307 Sackett Ave., Cuyahoga Falls. 7 to 9 p.m. Sunday. Veronica McHugh, an international meditation teacher from Miami, Fla., will be featured speaker at Let There Be Light, a celebration of Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights. 330-777-0250, or www.summitspiritualcenter.org.
Trinity Lutheran Church — 600 S. Water St., Kent. 4:30 to 7 p.m. Friday. Monthly spaghetti dinner. Includes garlic bread, drink, salad, applesauce and dessert. Adults $7, children $4. A portion of the proceeds will go to Freedom House, a halfway shelter for male veterans. 330-673-5446.
Wesley Temple A.M.E. Zion Church — 104 N. Prospect St., Akron. 10:30 a.m. Sunday. Annual Family and Friends Day during worship service.
Akron Free Will Baptist Church — 1802 Eastwood Ave., Akron. 7 to 9 p.m. Friday. Down Home Gospel Quartet will host a concert. Special guests are the Fisherman Quartet from Clyde, Ohio. Free-will offering. 330-256-3114.
First United Methodist Church — 245 Portage Trail, Cuyahoga Falls. 7 p.m. Friday. Dean Wagner, organist and music director at the church, completes his recital series of the Complete Organ Works of Bach. Free. Childcare provided. 330-923-5241.
Trinity Lutheran Church — 50 N. Prospect St., Akron. 8 p.m. Friday. The Trinity Organ Series will feature Christian Lane, organist and choirmaster from Harvard University.
Whipple Heights Christian Missionary Alliance Church — 4900 12th St. NW, Perry Township. 5 to 7 p.m. today. Southern Gospel benefit concert for Stark County Jail’s the Way Out Prison Ministry featuring the Pathway Quartet, the Parable Quartet and Brothers of Grace Trio. Free-will offering. 330-575-6408.
Speakers, classes, workshops
First Friday Club of Greater Akron — at University of Akron Martin Center, 105 Fir Hill, Akron. Noon Dec. 7. John L. Allen Jr., senior correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter and senior Vatican analyst for CNN, will be the speaker. His topic is All Things Catholic: What’s Hot and What’s Not in the Catholic Church. Luncheon cost is $15. 330-535-7668.
Unity Chapel of Light — 503 Northwest Ave., Tallmadge. 2 to 3 p.m. Nov. 17. Sacred pet blessing service on the patio of fellowship hall. In case of inclement weather, it would take place inside the hall. Dogs, cats and other domestic pets welcome. They must be on leashes or in cages. All will receive a certificate. Absentee blessings will be offered. 330-928-2108.
The deadline for Religion Notes is noon Tuesday. Items must be in writing. Please fax information to 330-996-3033, email it to email@example.com or send it to Religion, Akron Beacon Journal, 44 E. Exchange St., Akron, OH 44309.