As parents rush out to buy last-minute gifts and children all over Spokane squirm in anticipation of the big day, churches are also preparing for Christmas.
This is the last week of Christmas pageants and other special holiday occasions.
Many churches are also holding worship services on Christmas Eve, which provides the perfect opportunity to take some time to relax and get into the true spirit of the season.
Here is a rundown of some events:
Manito United Methodist Church is holding several special holiday events this week, beginning with an evening of free food and Christmas carols on Saturday. A chili and corn bread dinner will be served at the church at 5 p.m. Christmas carols will be sung by all beginning at 6 p.m. and be followed by Christmas goodies.
The church will also recognize that the Christmas holidays can be tough for those who have recently lost a loved one. A “Blue Christmas” worship service will be at 7 p.m. on Sunday. Refreshments will be served after the service.
The church will celebrate Christmas Eve with candlelight worship services at 7 and 11 p.m. Wednesday.
All are invited to attend any of these special events.
The church is located at 3220 S. Grand.
First Presbyterian Church, 318 S. Cedar, will host a community worship service from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Saturday featuring a living Nativity scene. The family-oriented service will also feature Christmas carols and a Christmas meditation.
First Presbyterian will also host the annual performance of Handel’s “Messiah” at 4 p.m. Sunday. The free sing-along performance, open to the public, will feature hundreds of singers from all over the Spokane area and a professional orchestra.
Sign-up for singers who want to perform in the concert begins at 2:15 p.m. Sunday, with rehearsal beginning at 2:45 p.m. Singers may also join the choir and orchestra for rehearsal at 9:30 a.m. Saturday.
For more information, call 747-1058, ext. 302.
The Episcopal Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, 127 E. 12th, will present a traditional Christmas pageant Sunday at 10 a.m. The cast will act out the Bible story of Christ’s birth, and the cathedral’s choir will join in with Christmas carols.
A Christmas party will follow the pageant. Jolly old St. Nicholas is scheduled to make an appearance with his bag stuffed full of treats for everyone.
The pageant and party are free.
The cathedral will also host a candlelight Christmas concert at 4 and 8 p.m. Sunday. The concert will feature the Clarion Brass Choir along with baritone Robert Newman, soprano Heather Steckler, pianist Linda Siverts and organist Charles Bradley Jr.
The concert is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, and $6 for children age 12 and under. Tickets are available through all G & B Select-A-Seat locations or by calling 325-SEAT.
For more information, call the cathedral office at 838-4277.
The cathedral will celebrate Christmas Eve with several events. A family-oriented worship service featuring the children’s choir will be at 4 p.m. Wednesday. Christmas carillon recitals will be performed at 5:15 and 9:15 p.m.
Christmas music will be performed in the cathedral at 9:45 p.m., followed by a festival choral Eucharist with the cathedral choir at 10:30 p.m.
The Sunday school children of Highland Park United Methodist Church, 611 S. Garfield, will present their Christmas program at the 10:30 a.m. worship service Sunday. The children will use carols and drama to present the Christmas story. Refreshments will follow.
The church will also host a candlelight Communion service at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
The choir of Central United Methodist Church, 518 W. Third, will perform a cantata called “Come Celebrate Jesus” during the 10 a.m. worship service on Sunday.
The church will also host a birthday party for Jesus following the service. A free soup-and-bread luncheon will be served.
The church will present a Christmas Eve service at 7 p.m. Wednesday in conjunction with the Jesus is the Answer Apostolic Church, which meets in the church building. Centenary United Methodist Church, 1012 S. Freya, will present its annual Christmas pageant and music program during the 11 a.m. worship service on Sunday.
The church will host its traditional candlelight service at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Christmas Eve services
The following churches will be holding worship services on Christmas Eve, which falls on Wednesday.
St. John’s Lutheran Church, 2 W. Third, at 7 p.m.
St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 316 E. 24th, will have a family-oriented service at 4 p.m. and candlelight and Christmas carols at 6 p.m. A Communion service will be at 11 p.m. The Cheney Community Church, 1307 Third, at 5 p.m.
Emmanuel Lutheran Church, 314 S. Spruce, at 5:30 p.m.
Covenant Christian Church, 5616 S. Palouse Highway, at 7 p.m.
Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Cheney, located at 639 Elm St., at 10 p.m.
United Methodist Church of Cheney, 204 Fourth, at 7:30 p.m.
St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 5720 S. Perry, will have a family-oriented service at 5:30 p.m. A worship service will also be held at 10 p.m.
Unity Church of Truth, 2900 S. Bernard, will have a children’s service at 5 p.m. A candlelight service featuring the senior choir will be at 8 p.m. A meditative candlelight service will be at 11 p.m.
Westminster United Church of Christ, 411 S. Washington, will host a family-oriented service at 7 p.m. A traditional Christmas Eve service will be at 8 p.m.
, DataTimes MEMO: The Religion Notebook is a regular feature of the South Side Voice. If you have news about an interesting program or activity at a South Side church or about the achievements of South Side worshipers, please let us know. Deadline is Monday. Write: Nina Culver, Religion Notebook, South Side Voice, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210. Call 459-5487. Fax 459-5098. Or E-mail Ninac@spokesman.com.
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