Church news (week of Dec. 1, 2010)

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By Tom Wilmoth


Advent services
    Fort Hill United Methodist Church invites the community to attend the fifth annual Midweek Community Advent services on December 1, 8, 15 and 22.  Prelude begins at 11:45 a.m., service at noon, with lunch served each week immediately following the service.
    This year’s schedule of speakers and music are:
    December 1: Guest Minister Ann Gibbons, Associate Chaplain, Lynchburg College. Guest Organist Johnson Scott, Centenary United Methodist Church and Lynchburg College. Guest Soloist Mickey McKinstry, Soprano, Lynchburg College.
    December 8: Guest Minister Rev. Rachel May, Chaplain, Randolph College & Associate Pastor,    Peakland United Methodist Church. Guest Organist George Clark, Court Street United Methodist Church. Guest Soloist Sarah Pelfrey, Lyric Soprano, St. Andrews Presbyterian Church.
    December 15: Guest Minister Rev. Randal Walton, Director of Pastoral Care, Centra. Guest Organist Dee Booth, Fort Hill United Methodist Church. Guest Soloist Douglas Thom, Tenor, Peakland United Methodist Church.
    December 22: Guest Minister Rev. Jeffrey Liddy, Chaplain, Westminister-Canterbury. Guest Organist Rev. Janet Hawkins, Director of Music, Fort Hill United Methodist Church. Guest Instrumentalist Glenn Buck, Saxophone, Lynchburg College.
    Lunch will be available at 12:30 p.m. in the Church Fellowship Hall following the service.  Suggested donation: $5. Fort Hill United Methodist Church is located at 106 Oakridge Blvd. (corner of Memorial and Oakridge). For more information, contact Fort Hill United Methodist Church Office at 847-1251.

BUMC Christmas season events
    Bethlehem United Methodist Church in Moneta will present special programs for the Christmas season.
    Sunday, December 5:  Christmas Cantata “A Thrill of Hope,” and Bell Choirs presented at 8:30 and 11 a.m. services and also at 3 p.m.
    Sunday, December 12:  Children and Youth Christmas Program at the 8:30 and 11 a.m. services.
     Friday, December 24:  Christmas Even Services at 7:00 and 10:00 p.m. (Communion at 10 p.m.)
     Sunday, December 26:  Combined Worship Service:  Sunday School at 9:30 a.m. and Worship at 10:30 a.m.
     The community is welcome to attend.  For more information, call the church office at 297-7957 or check the website: www.bethlehemunitedmethodist.org.
     Bethlehem is located at  13586 Old Moneta Rd, across from the Smith Mountain Lake Library.

Prayer and Soup in December
    Dec. 1 at  St. Thomas Episcopal Church 9575 Big Island Highway, Bedford. A candle lit worship space, quiet advent music, someone to pray with you. The doors of St. Thomas Episcopal Church, near Sedalia, will be open for quiet prayer each Wednesday in December until Christmas. Beginning at 4 p.m., the church will be unlocked for you to wander in. Candles will be lit at dark. If more than your soul needs nourishment, a soup will be available in the parish house from 6-7 p.m.
Open for quiet. Open for prayer. The church is located at 9575 Big Island Highway, just past the Millstone Tea Room.


Sunday, Dec. 5

40 Years of German Advent Service
    The German community in Lynchburg, will celebrate its 40th year of Advent Services at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 1000 Langhorne Road, on Dec.5,  the second Sunday in Advent, at 6:30 p.m. This year the Advent Service will have a slightly different format, with an expanded musical part, which will include the singing of old and well known German Christmas songs.

BUMC to present 'Christmas Cantata'
    Bethlehem United Methodist Church in Moneta will present a special Christmas Cantata “A Thrill of Hope,” by Joel Raney, Sunday, Dec. 5 at three different times:  8:30 a.m.; 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Robert Downey is choir director.   “A Thrill of Hope” consists of four parts, with no soloists:  Part One, “A Thrill of Hope;” Part Two, “A Gift of Love;” Part Three, “A Prayer for Peace;” and Part Four, “A Song of Joy.”    The cantata looks at the birth of Christ from four distinct vantage points – celebrating the HOPE he brought, the LOVE he showed, the PEACE he promised, and the JOY of Emmanuel, God with us forevermore.  John Dwight’s “O Holy Night” serves as a cornerstone of this Christmas musical. The Carillon Bell choir will perform “In the Bleak Midwinter,” as well as “O Come All Ye Faithful,” with organ, piano, and hand chimes and “Silent Night,” accompanied by Mary Spencer on the flute.   The Joy Bells will perform “The Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy,” “Stille, Stille, Stille,” and “Carol of the Bells.”  Carolyn Reas is bell choir director.   Lillie McAllister is pianist, and narrators are Donald and Wendy Furrow-Scott.   The community is welcome to attend the performances.  Bethlehem is located at 13586 Old Moneta Rd., across from the Smith Mountain Lake Library.  For information, call the church office: 540-297-7957 or check the Web site: www.bethlehemunitedmethodist.org.

'Women of the Bible' program
    On Sunday, Dec. 5, at 3 p.m. the Deaconesses of Washington Street Baptist Church, where the Rev. Henry A. Henderson is the pastor, will be sponsoring a program, titled “Women of the Bible.”

Family and Friends Day
    The Olive Branch Baptist Church located at the corner of Joppa Mill and Flint Hill Roads, will be celebrating Family and Friends Day on Sunday, Dec. 5, at 2 p.m. Singing groups will be the Anointed Gospel Singers, Evington, The Disciples Gospel Singers, Goodview, The Freeman Family, Brookneal, and The Community Gospel Singers featuring Maria Yulle (Lord It’s In Your Hands) from Brookneal. The Rev. Alvin E. Smith is pastor.

Vocal group
    The Lynch Station Baptist Men’s Vocal Group will be singing on Sunday, Dec. 5, at 4 p.m. at Wilson United Methodist Church. There will be hot dogs, chili beans, and desserts. A love offering will be taken, with the proceeds going to Kenneth Overstreet, who is fighting cancer. Directions: Take Wilson Church Rd., just east of Body Camp Elementary on Rt. 24. Go 0.7 mile to church on the right.

Wednesday, Dec. 8

21-year-old founder of African mission organization to speak
    Renee Bach, of Bedford County, who went to Uganda two years ago to start a non-profit organization called Serving His Children is home and will be speaking at several area churches.  She rented a home in the slum community of Masese and began feeding 950 hungry children two days a week.  Since then, she has implemented a medical relief program and started a Malnutrition Rehabilitation Center where she takes children in life threatening stages of malnutrition into her home to rehabilitate them while involving their parents and teaching them how to avoid recurring malnutrition. For more information and stories about the  children and families whose lives have been changed through this ministry, visit her Web site at www.servinghischildren.org.
    Speaking engagements include:
    Dec. 8 – Eastlake Community Church, Moneta, at 6 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 12

Christmas Cantata
    'And Glory Shone Around', a Christmas Cantata will be presented at Colonial Baptist Church in Blue Ridge on Sunday, Dec. 12, at 6:30 p.m. Written by Lloyd Larson and Douglas E. Wagner, and orchestrated by Brant Adams, this musical program blends new melodies and familiar Christmas Carols and recalls the dark days of anguish for ancient Israel, only to give way to the dawning of a new day of light and love when Christ was born. Listeners are invited to the humble birthplace of the Savior as the glory of God's radiance that permeates this story is surpassed only by the light of the Christ Child as he once again comes to inhabit every corner of our living. Preceding the Cantata will be short programs offered by the children's departments and a nursery will be provided. Colonial Baptist Church is located at 221 Hillcrest St. in Blue Ridge just off Rt. 460W and Mountain Pass Rd. www.colonialbapt.org 977-5683.