Volunteers from Trinity United Methodist and First-Faith United Methodist will come together to present a live Nativity Sunday, Dec. 8, at Fonner Park. The live Nativity is a narrated adaptation of the journey to Bethlehem for the miracle of Jesus’ birth. Volunteers from the two churches play the roles of Mary, Joseph, the angels, the three wise men and several shepherds. Shows begin every 15 minutes in the Red Barn, starting at 5 p.m.; the last show starts at 6:45. There is no charge to view the Nativity.

The Volunteers in Mission team will host a soup supper from 4:30 to 7 p.m. the same day in the Fonner Park cafeteria. Chili and assorted soups will be served, along with cookies and beverages. Tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for children age 5 to 12; children 4 and younger eat for free. Proceeds will be used for mission trips and disaster aid.

For more information, call Trinity UMC at (308) 382-1952, or First-Faith at (308) 384-5620.

St. Pauls Lutheran Church to host annual dinner

St. Pauls Lutheran Church will host its 22nd annual Community Christmas Day dinner from noon to 2 p.m. in the church fellowship hall, 1515 S. Harrison.

The nondenominational event is open to everyone and will feature a holiday dinner with turkey and all the trimmings (including pie!).

There will also be strolling Christmas carolers (members of the church choir) and Santa Claus with bags of toys and other gifts for children.

The event is attended by families, singles, couples and those whose relatives live far away. No one should be alone on this wonderful holiday and St. Pauls offers a place to enjoy great food and fellowship.

There is no charge for the meal, but freewill donations are gratefully accepted.

For more information, contact the church office at (308) 382-2973.

Christmas Eve lunch at St. Mary’s Square

St. Mary’s Cathedral Square will host a free Christmas Eve lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 24, at 204 S. Cedar.

The menu will feature turkey with all the trimmings.

This is the 32nd year the Grand Island Knights of Columbus councils 1159, 9562, 10387 and 11363, and Doniphan council 11924 have sponsored this holiday meal.

Grand Island church hosts Handel’s Messiah community sing-along.

St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church will host a community sing-along of Handel’s Messiah on Sunday, Dec. 8. Open to the entire community, rehearsals start at 6 p.m. at the church, 422 W. Second St., with the sing-along starting at 7.

The church will also sponsor a gingerbread house contest from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7. Everything will be furnished for participants to decorate gingerbread houses. There will be prizes for participants and a grand prize for the winner.

A special Christmas Eve worship is planned for Tuesday, Dec. 24, with a “carol sing” at 10 p.m. and Holy Eucharist at 10:30 p.m.

For more information, call (308) 382 4961 or check online at www.ststephengi.org

Aurora church to host ‘A Night in Bethlehem’

AURORA — Cross of Christ Lutheran Church will present “A Night in Bethlehem” from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday Dec. 8, in the Ag Auditorium at the Hamilton County Fairgrounds in Aurora.

A decree has gone out from Caesar Augustus that everyone must return to their own towns to be registered, so you’ll need to make your way to Bethlehem. When you get there, explore what the City of David has to offer: music, fresh baked bread and the smell of spices; goods at the market; townspeople busy at work making baskets and working with wood, metal and rope; and a priest at the synagogue. But don’t expect to find any room in the inn!

While it might seem like a normal night to most of the people in Bethlehem, the local shepherds have news they’ll want to share.

This interactive event designed for families of all ages will allow visitors to explore the sights and sounds of Bethlehem. Guests will be able to explore the live Bethlehem village, and spend Roman money at the bakery, market place and other Bethlehem shops. Finally, families will be able to visit the stable where Mary, Joseph and their newborn baby, Jesus, will be spending the night.

There is no admission charge. For more information, contact the church, 209 S. 16th St. in Aurora, at (402) 694-4209 or crossofchristaurora@gmail.com

Messiah Lutheran plans special programs, services

Messiah Lutheran Church has special activities and programs planned for the Christmas season.

First up is Santa’s Workshop from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, at the church, 122 W. Seventh.

Rooms will be transformed into mini shopping centers for kids to Christmas shop and wrap gifts for their families. There will be rooms designated for mom, dad, siblings, caregivers and the family pet! The event is designed for kids ages 5 to 15, but all ages are welcome to attend and visit with Santa.

Following Santa’s Workshop, the church will host its youth Christmas program at 4 p.m. A soup supper will follow with special guests Mr. and Mrs. Claus.

A Christmas Eve service to “celebrate the birth of our Lord with prayer, Scripture reading and song,” will begin at 6:30 p.m.

A special New Year’s Eve service the following week, will also start at 6:30 p.m.

For more information, call (308) 382-3417.

First-Faith UMC plans special Advent services

Special Advent worship services at First-Faith United Methodist Church start Sunday, Dec. 1, with a special “Hanging of the Greens” service at 9:30 a.m. This service will also explore Crismon faith symbols. In recognition of the 300th birthday of “Joy to the World,” several services throughout the month will focus on the theme of “joy.”

The Dec. 8 service will include the children’s Christmas pageant, “No Room Inn.” A combined adult and children’s choir will sing “The Cat and Mouse Carol,” composed by Carolyn Jennings. A brunch hosted by youth members follows the service.

Other special services at First-Faith include:

--  Blue Christmas service, 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 21, for those who are facing a tough holiday season.

-- Christmas Eve services, 5 and 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 24. The 5 p.m. service is a younger family-oriented worship service that will share the Christmas story from a different perspective. Based on the carol, “The Friendly Beasts,” puppets bring the story of Jesus’ birth from the animals’ point of view.

The 7 p.m. service will include communion and conclude with the lighting of candles and congregational singing of “Silent Night, Holy Night.”

The Rev. Dr. Trudy Kenyon Anderson is pastor of First-Faith, 4190 W. Capital Ave. For more information, call (308) 384-5620.

Trinity Lutheran plans holiday events

Trinity Lutheran Church has scheduled several special programs and events for the Christmas season.

Special Advent services with students from Trinity Lutheran School will be offered at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Wednesdays, Dec. 4, Dec. 11 and Dec. 18. Services include: “Advent Lessons and Carols,” featuring 6-8 students, 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4; “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing!” featuring 3-5 students, 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11; and “Who Came to Bethlehem?” featuring K-2 students, 10 am. and 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 18.

Church choirs will lead a special service of “Lessons and Carols” at 8 and 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 22. Special services on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day include candlelight family services at 3 and 5 p.m. and a candlelight Communion service at 11 p.m. Dec. 24. A Christmas Day service with Communion is scheduled for 9 a.m. Dec. 25.

Trinity Lutheran Church is located at 212 W. 12th St.; for more information, call (308) 382-0753 or check online at www.trinitylutherangi.org.

Trinity United Methodist Church offers special services

Music will fill the air at Trinity UMC on Sunday, Dec. 15, as the church will present programs from the children’s choir during both services at 9:30 and 11 a.m.

The holiday season starts with a “hanging of the greens” event from 6:45 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 4. Young people will be hanging the greens throughout the church, and parents are welcome to join in.

Special Christmas Eve services are planned for 5, 7 and 10 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 24. The community is invited and welcome to attend these services, as Christmas is brought in with Communion, carols and candles illuminating the darkened sanctuary.

For more information, call the church, 511 N. Elm St., at (308) 382-1952.

Classical guitarist to perform at G.I. Free

Praised by the London Times for his “pleasing tone” and “relaxed stage manner,” Norman Ruiz has established himself as a master teacher and a virtuoso of the classical guitar.

He will share his talents in a performance set for 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, at the G.I. Free Church, 2609 S. Blaine St.

Ruiz has performed as soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and has performed in Carnegie Hall of England, the Gran Teatro in Cordoba, Spain, and was artist-in-residence of the University of Guadalajara, Mexico. The Rev. Donald Adams, worship pastor at G.I. Free, studied under Ruiz and invited him to perform. He will also perform at the Sunday morning service.

There is no admission charge; for more information, call (308) 382-1898.

St. Leo’s hosting craft, vendors fair

St. Leo’s Young Neighbors in Action will host a Craft and Vendors Fair from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15, at the church, 2410 S. Blaine.

The event will feature a wide variety of items from area vendors and crafters. A bake sale will also be open and homemade soup will be for sale, along with cinnamon rolls and homemade tamales.

All proceeds will be used for the Young Neighbors’ summer service trip to Detroit.

For more information, call (308) 382-4753.

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