Articles of Faith: Brownson Holds Service of Healing and Hope
Brownson Memorial Presbyterian Church, at 330 South May St. in Southern Pines, welcomes the public to a special sort of church service during the Christmas season. A "Silent Night Service of Healing and Hope" will be held in the sanctuary on Thursday evening, Dec. 14, at 5 p.m.
The Rev. Cynthia J. Strickland, parish associate for pastoral care, points out that for many people, Christmas can be a difficult time.
"Sometimes, due to the circumstances of our life, it just seems hard to 'celebrate' Christmas," she says. "Death, illness, divorce, job loss or other life transitions can make Christmas a challenging time of the year. If this is how you are feeling, know that you are not alone.
"For some, Christmas brings back sad memories, and for others, the stress of the season can cause despair. Because of a variety of circumstances, many people do not feel like celebrating the season by 'Decking the Halls' or singing 'Joy to the World.'"
This will be the sixth year that Strickland has conducted this service at Brownson. Through her ministry she realizes that often the holiday season is a time that some people dread and, more importantly, that most of those people are reluctant to admit Christmas is hard for them.
"This service of readings, prayers, reflections, music and candle-lighting reminds us that the light of Christ came for all, especially those who walk in darkness," she says.
Following the service, to which the public is invited, refreshments provided by Brownson's Martha's Friends ministry will be served in the Atrium. For more information about the service, contact Cynthia Strickland through the Brownson church office at (910) 692-6252 .
The JCECA Ministries will observe its annual Singles' Conference 2011 from Thursday, Dec. 8, through Sunday, Dec. 11.
It begins Thursday night with a fellowship service. The guest speaker will be Evangelist Lil Ricky McDuffie, an associate of the Grace Temple Deliverance Church, of Wallace, and continues Friday at 7 p.m. with a birthday celebration honoring Chief Apostle Michael Dixon, to be held at Ron's Barn Restaurant in Sanford.
The conference will continue on Saturday evening at 6 p.m. with a Singles' Platform Forum Fellowship. The guest speakers will be Minister Veronica Douglas, an associate of the Now Faith Ministry Church, in Raeford, and Minister Jamal K. Brown, who is an associate of Temple of Deliverance Church, in Henderson. The Sunday morning message will be given by the presiding prelate Chief Apostle Michael S. Dixon at 11 a.m. The conference will conclude on Sunday evening at 6 p.m., when the speaker will be Minister Shann Alcorn, from Eden.
Services will be hosted at the Greater Glory Pentecostal Deliverance Temple, which is located at the corner of 1000 W. New Hampshire Ave. in Southern Pines. Contact Evangelist Vickie Kelly at (910) 281-0369 for more information on this event.
Surviving the Holidays
"Surviving the Holidays" is a helpful, encouraging seminar for people facing the holidays after a separation or divorce, or the death of a loved one. The seminar will be held on Sunday, Dec. 11, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Grace Church, 1519 Luther Way, Southern Pines. Child care is provided through fifth grade.
"There is no charge for this event, but we do ask that you register," says a spokesman.
Register at www.grace churchsp.org under events or contact the church at (910) 692-6711.
The "Surviving the Holidays" seminar features practical suggestions, guidance and reassurance through video interviews with counselors, experts in grief and divorce-related care, and people who have experienced the holidays after the death of a loved one or separation or divorce.
Topics to be discussed include "Why the Holidays Are Tough," "What Emotions to Expect," "How to Plan and Prepare," "How to Handle Uncomfortable Situations," and "Using the Holidays to Help You Heal ."
Love Grove FWB Church in the Jackson Hamlet community will be celebrating the Gospel Ensemble's anniversary Sunday, Dec. 11, at 3 p.m.
The Congregational Church of Pinehurst UCC will observe the third Sunday of Advent with contemplative music by the Women's Ensemble, made up of church members. They will sing a rendition of the Christmas song "Mary, Did You Know?" This recently written carol asks questions about what Mary really knew about the baby just born to her.
"We will also have a mission moment to prepare for our annual offering to the Christmas Fund, which provides financial aid to retired and active ministers and their surviving spouses and children, as well as the families of past employees of the church who face overwhelming financial demands," says a spokesman. "Traditionally received annually on the Sunday before Christmas, this is one of four special mission offerings of the United Church of Christ and is an important way of sharing our joy at God's renewing and life-giving grace. Of those who received checks in the past year, 20 are more than 100 years of age, with the oldest being 107. Our gifts are needed more than ever to help the growing number of retirees whose low income annuities make it difficult to meet increasing living costs. This is our opportunity to participate in God's promise of renewal by enabling this ministry of compassion and care."
Sunday school classes for children 3-5 and 6-8 years of age will be held this Sunday as they are the second and fourth Sunday of each month. Nursery care is provided each Sunday in the Butterfly Room by member volunteers, though children of all ages are always welcome at services. On the third Sunday of the month, the Rev. Brent Bissette presents a children's sermon especially for our young members.
The Healing Springs of the Pines Sangha meets on Sundays from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Hearth Room for ongoing mindfulness meditation. All are welcome to participate. Call (910) 949-2623 for information.
On Monday, Matthew Bahr leads silent mediation at 12:30 p.m., followed by a "Course in Miracles" at 1 p.m. All are welcome to come. Call Bahr at (910) 639-0439 for information. The Drum Circle will meet on Tuesday at 4 p.m.
Also on Tuesday, the Titanium Whistles golf group meets to play a different course each week. Call Roger Nekton at (910) 245-7304 for information.
The Congregational Church of Pinehurst, United Church of Christ, is located at 895 Linden Road across from Elliott's restaurant. For information, call (910) 295-2243 or visit youarewelcomehere.org.
Bethesda Presbyterian Church in Aberdeen will hold a series of prayer services during the season of Advent on Thursday nights at 7 p.m. in the chapel. There will be singing, Scripture reading, prayer and the lighting of the Advent wreath. The community is invited to attend this special prayer service. A candlelight communion worship service will be held at 11 p.m. Christmas Eve, and an 11 a.m. worship service will be held on Christmas Day.
Bethesda Presbyterian Church will host a 13-week divorce care program beginning on Jan. 5 on Thursdays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. This is a warm, encouraging and helpful program that helps participants deal with the pain of separation and divorce. It is a video-based program followed by group discussion.
The cost is $25. Scholar-ships are available. Child care will be provided.
Call (910) 944-1319 for more information.
As an outreach ministry, First Baptist Church, of Carthage, will host its fourth annual free community breakfast Saturday, Dec. 31, from 9 to 11 a.m. in the fellowship hall.
The event includes prayer, food, music and fellowship.
For information, call (910) 947-2456.
Sandy Grove Bible Church of God will host Pastor Burgess, from Hamlet, at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9.
On Friday, Dec. 16, at 7 p.m., Minister Sarah Elliott will bring the message. On Saturday, at 3 p.m., Pastor Margaret Allen and the Wonderland Singers will lead a special service for Eldress Mary Hooker.
Temple Beth Shalom
Shabbat services will be held at Temple Beth Shalom Friday night, Dec. 16, at 7 p.m., led by Rabbi Ken Brickman. Torah study will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday morning, also led by Rabbi Brickman. Families with small children are also invited to join our Sunday school program on Sunday, Dec. 18 at 9:30 a.m.
Temple Beth Shalom is located at the corner of Jackson Springs and Hoffman roads in Foxfire Village. For more information, contact the Sandhills Jewish Congregation at (910) 673-5224.
The congregation of Pinehurst United Methodist Church invites the community to its annual Christmas concerts, on Saturday, Dec. 10, at 4 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 11, at 7 p.m. Admission is free of charge, and no reservations are necessary for the full-choir, brass and live orchestra event, which will take place at the church's sanctuary at 4111 Airport Road in Pinehurst, near Sandhills Community College. It will feature traditional and fun Christmas music for the entire family, under the direction of the new minister of music, Tracy Kerley. Attendees are encouraged to be in their seat 15 minutes prior to each concert.
The church will also hold Christmas Eve candlelight services at 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 24, and one Christmas Day service at 10:30 a.m.
For more information, see pinehurstumc.org or call (910) 215-4559.
Cypress Presbyterian Church invites the community to several events celebrating Christmas.
On Sunday, Dec. 11, at 5 p.m., there will be a covered dish supper in the fellowship hall and the Joy Gift program "Journey to Bethlehem."
The adult choir will present a Christmas cantata Sunday, Dec. 18, at the 11 a.m. worship service, and at 5 p.m., the Cypress Christmas party will be held in the fellowship hall.
For additional information on these and other events, call the church at (910) 245-4731 or visit the website at www.cypresspres.org.
Cypress Presbyterian is located at 2012 Cypress Church Road, Cameron.
West End UMC
Bread of Life Ministry at West End United Methodist Church meets every Thursday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. This ministry is for seniors (widows, widowers, and the elderly). It is a time of fellowship and devotion with a home-cooked meal provided at a charge of $5 per person.
There will be a Christmas party for the children and their families at West End United Methodist Church on Sunday, Dec. 11, from 12:15 to 1:30 p.m.
"We will have lunch, crafts, games and do a mission project related to the true meaning of Christmas," says a spokesman.
Sandhills Assembly will host a Christmas Dessert Theatre Thursday, Dec. 15, and Friday, Dec. 16, at 7 p.m.
Complimentary desserts and coffee will be served during the presentation, which features the Dickens Carolers, the children's choir of Sandhills Assembly, and a special appearance by Karen Jackson.
This event is free.
The church is located at 6481 U.S. 1 North in Southern Pines
The Christmas cantata at Beaver Creek Baptist Church will be held Saturday, Dec. 10, and Sunday, Dec. 11, at 6 p.m.
The children's Christmas play is Sunday, Dec. 18, at 6 p.m. Fellowship and soup and chili follow immediately afterward in the Family Life Center.
The church is located at 2280 Nicholson Road, Cameron.
For information, call (919) 499-9632 or (800) 681-860 2.
Culdee Presbyterian Church will host its children's Christmas play "The Light Before Christmas" at 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18, with a Christmas party following in the fellowship hall.
The "Senior Christmas Gathering" will be held at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, at the home of Larry and Beverly Furr.
A Christmas Eve communion and candlelight service will be held at 7 p.m. Dec. 24, in the sanctuary.
On Sunday, Dec. 25, at 11 a.m., the Culdee Chancel Choir will present the cantata "Majesty of Heaven" under the direction of Gail Meeks.
Southern Pines United Methodist Church presents Michael W. Smith's "A Manger Suite" at the 8:30 and 11 a.m. services Sunday, Dec. 11.
"This powerful and inspirational work is complemented with a full choir, vocal ensemble, children and youth choir, soloists, instrumentalists from throughout the region and narration," says a spokesman.
The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Sandhills will hold a holiday service Sunday, Dec. 18, at 10 a.m. at the Whispering Pines Community Building at 1320 Ray's Bridge Road.
There will be a pot luck luncheon following the service.
The regular services are on the second and fourth Sundays at the same address and time. To learn more about this progressive religion, visit the website www.uucsand hills.org.
Christmas can be a painful time for some. It may be the first Christmas without a loved family member who has recently died, or it may be a time that has always been difficult.
The constant refrain on the radio and television, in shopping malls and churches, about the happiness of the season, about getting together with family and friends, reminds many people of what they have lost or have never had.
The anguish of broken relationships, the insecurity of unemployment, the weariness of ill health, the pain of isolation - all these can make us feel very alone in the midst of the celebrating and spending. We need the space and time to acknowledge our sadness and concerns; we need to know that we are not alone.
For these reasons and more, The Chapel in the Pines will host a special "Blue Christmas: A Service of Tidings of Comfort and Hope" service Wednesday, Dec. 21, at 5 p.m.
For more information, contact Fran Stark at (910) 673-5493.
A series of nondenominational Bible talks will be held from 7 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays, Dec. 7-21, at the Train House, 482 E. Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines.
For information, call (828) 442-2928.
Women in Red
Fletcher's Chapel will hold its annual women's day program 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11.
The guest minister will be Pastor Brenda Roberson, of Belford Missionary Baptist Church, Jackson Springs.
All ladies are asked to wear red, representing the blood of Jesus.
The church is located on U.S. 1, Hoffman.
On Friday, Dec. 9, at 7:30 p.m., Our Saviour Lutheran Church will present its Christmas concert.
World-renowned tenor John Fowler, and an internationally acclaimed soprano, still to be decided, will join with the combined choirs of Our Saviour, the United Choirs of Rockingham, members of the Trinity Music Academy Chorus and Chamber Ensemble to perform Part 1 of Handel's "Messiah."
Accompanied by Sophia Pavlenko Chandley and under the direction of Paul Chandley, the choirs will also perform other selections from "The Messiah," including the "Hallelujah Chorus," and additional works related to the Christmas season.
A $10 donation is requested for admission.
Child care will be provided beginning at 6:30 p.m.
Our Saviour Lutheran Church is located at 1517 Luther Way, in Southern Pines.
Call (910) 692-2662 ext. 102, or click www.oslcsp.org for directions.
The Norman Clothing Closet, in Richmond County, is accepting good quality winter clothes, including coats, pants, shirts, dresses, shoes, baby clothes, sheets and linens.
It is located seven miles west of Jackson Springs in the white building at the caution light.
The Rev. Rose Highland-Sharpe's inspirational television and radio shows include "Town Talk" on Time Warner Cable 3 and "Good News Inspiration" on 990 AM-WEEB of Southern Pines (990 is on the Internet, too).
"Town Talk" is a service to the community spotlighting faith-based programs, nonprofit agencies and individuals with overcoming testimonies. Highland-Sharpe is the producer and host. The show airs daily at 11 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. (Pinecrest football pre-empts some evening programs.)
"Good News Inspiration" offers gospel music, preaching, church information and other public service announcements. Occasional guest DJs are welcome. Felton Capel is a veteran announcer. Other Sunday staff members are Minister Jason Hackett, Niniji Lloyd and Pastor Ren Lee. Highland-Sharpe is the Sunday program director and lead announcer. The show airs Sundays from 6 to 11 a.m. (other services air 11 a.m. - noon and 1-2:30 p.m.).
Those interested in being a guest or who have church and community announcements to share should contact Highland-Sharpe at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (910) 295-0013.
The Christian Science Reading Room, located at 173 NE Broad St., welcomes visitors weekdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Here Christian Science periodicals, including the Christian Science Monitor and books and CDs, are available for purchase or borrowing.
For further information, call (910) 692-7759.
UUC of Sandhills
The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Sandhills (UUCS) has moved to its new location, at the Whispering Pines Community Building, 1320 Ray's Bridge Road (behind the WP Rescue Squad Building). Services are held at 10 a.m. every second and fourth Sunday.
The UUCS was established five years ago and is an emerging member of the Unitarian Universalist Association and a member of the Universalist Convention of North Carolina.
To learn more, visit www.uucsandhills.org or www.uua.org.
David Bibey Ministries will have its world mission food wagon set up across from Matthews Market, at the intersection of Carthage-Vass and Niagara-Carthage roads, each Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., selling barbecue plates, with slaw, baked beans and roll, as well as barbecue sandwiches and hot dogs. "We hope that you will stop by and support our efforts," says a spokesman.
For information, call (910) 949-3971.
St. James Lutheran Church, on the corner of Gaines Street and New Hampshire Avenue, Southern Pines, is holding a Saturday morning prayer hour each Saturday at 10 a.m.
For information, call (910) 295-6735.
Martha's Place, a soup kitchen sponsored by Page Memorial United Methodist Church, offers a free hot lunch from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays.
Martha's Place is now accepting only new or gently used, clean winter coats, blankets and winter shoes/boots until further notice.
In addition to volunteers from Page Memorial UMC, there are now volunteers from Calvary Chapel, The Village Chapel, Pinehurst UMC, Aberdeen First Baptist, West End UMC, Bethesda Presbyterian, and First Baptist of Southern Pines. Currently, more than 80 people are representing these churches.
Martha's Place is in the fellowship hall of Page Memorial United Methodist Church of Aberdeen.
A healing service is held the second Wednesday of the month at 5 p.m. at The Village Chapel, Pinehurst.
The service includes the -reading of God's Word, -confession, prayer, the Sacrament of Holy Communion and the anointment with oil.
Sandhills Health Ministry meetings are held at 9 a.m. on the third Monday of the month, at Pinehurst United Methodist Church, Airport Road, Pinehurst.
Inquiries may be -directed to (910) 295-1577.
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