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Catch Christmas cantatas and plays this weekend at local churches

CHINA GROVE — The Campbell Women’s Circle will be hosting “Breakfast with Santa” from 9 to 10:30 a.m. today at the Church Hut. Rumor has it that Santa and two of his reindeer will be in attendance.
The Dale Martin family will be lighting the third Advent candle of peace during the 11 a.m. service Sunday.
Blankets are being received for the Outreach program, “Blankets Around the Baby Jesus” to be shared with Main Street Mission, Jeff Gordon Children’s Hospital and Meals on Wheels.
Mount Zion UCC is located at 1415 South Main St.
For more information, call 704-857-1169 or visit mtzionchinagrove.com

A special leadership training event is being held from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. today at Outreach East (Leadership Training and Worship Center), 2218 Statesville Blvd.
The topic will be “Leaders and the Power of Prayer.” It is free and open to the public.
Also, in cooperation with
Outreach East will also be hosting a coat giveaway at Bentley Community Center, 324 Wilmington Ave. in Statesville from 2 to 4 p.m. today.
Hall’s Chapel Primitive Baptist Church, 611 E. Monroe St., will have its annual “Coming Home for Christmas” banquet for Elder Richard Johnson at 4 p.m. today.
A $10 donation will be collected.
The speaker of the hour will be Elder Dwight Moore, pastor of the Disciples for Christ Ministries in Charlotte.
The banquet is sponsored by Hall’s Chapel Pastor’s Aid.
Cornerstone Church, 315 Webb Road, will present “All I Want for Christmas, ” a children’s musical, at 6 p.m. today and 11 a.m. Sunday.
All Lindsay wants for Christmas is — everything she sees. And while she’s pouting over her mother’s true words about why we celebrate Christmas, Lindsay finds some new cool “toy” friends that come alive to tell her the story of the first Christmas and discover the true meaning of the season.
There is no admission charge.
For more information, call 704-855-1218 or visit Cornerstone-church.net
KANNAPOLIS — The Christmas cantata “Everything Glorious” will be presented at 7 p.m. today at Centerview Baptist Church, 415 Walter St.
The show will go on again at 7 p.m. Sunday at Memorial Baptist on Dale Earnhardt Blvd.
First Presbyterian Church of Salisbury will celebrate the third Sunday of Advent Sunday during the sanctuary worship at 8:30 and 11 a.m. and in Lewis Hall at 8:50 a.m.
This week the 1st Kids’ choir will sing during the 11 a.m. service.
Dr. Jim C. Dunkin will preach at all services .
At The Cross Ministries will host a “Morning Worship and Luncheon Christmas Extravaganza,” a Christmas drama presentation by the A.T.C. Youth Ministry PIPs (“Power In Praise”) starting at 10 a.m. Sunday.
A.T.C. Ministries is at 1915-1917 West Innes St., Suite 103
CHINA GROVE — The Music Ministry of First United Methodist Church China Grove will present the Christmas Cantata, “Come Messiah King,” during the 10:25 service Sunday.
Special music will be provided featuring The Celebration Ringers, Jeff St., Andrew Beck, Wes Teeter, Devin DeBord, The Adult Choir, Bryan Crews, Dan Hamrick, Brianna Caraccio, Ron Holshouser and Alan Jones.
CHINA GROVE —Southside Church of God joins in the celebration of Jesus’ birth with the puppet ministry of Mustard Seed Moving Company under the direction of Joyce Ledbetter.
The Christmas program will include various Christmas songs and an original puppet skit titled “Look at the Trees.”
The service will begin at 11 a.m. Sunday at the church, 163 3rd Ave.
FAITH — Faith Lutheran Church, 205 S. Main St. will have a service of lessons and carols at 11 a.m. Sunday in the sanctuary.
The service will include 14 congregational carols, eight choir anthems and nine scripture readings.
Soloists will include Ginger Smith, Tony Herrin and Tim Williams.
Pastor Randy Conley will narrate. Don Deming will direct the choir with Daisy Bost accompanying. Stan Ludwig will add percussion.
KANNAPOLIS — The Chancel Choir of the First Presbyterian Church will perform its Christmas cantata, an original compilation of songs titled “Once Upon a Night,” which tells the Biblical story of Christmas.
It is under the direction of Dr. Don Simmons and will be presented during the 11 a.m. service Sunday.
The choral selections are drawn from several different cantatas.
Narration and brief soliloquies by Biblical characters will tie the music together. The congregation will have the opportunity to join in on favorite carols.
For more information, call 704-938-4623 or visit FirstPresb.org
KANNAPOLIS — Mt. Mitchell United Methodist Church, 6001 Old Salisbury Concord Road, will present a Christmas cantata called “Jesus, There’s Something About That Name,” arranged by Russell Mauldin.
The service is set for 11 a.m. Sunday.
Call 704-933-0155 for more information.
Henderson Grove Missionary Baptist Church will hold its Christmas celebration at 3 p.m. Sunday.
The drama department will present an original play, “They Followed His Star,” inspired by God and written by Brenda Rice McNeely.
Festivities will include a dance performance by Amber Gilmore and the Children of Praise.
Music will be provided by the GMX Choir.
KANNAPOLIS — The 12th annual Christmas holiday concert and food drive at Living Water Church of God, 66 N. Little Texas Road, will be held at 4 p.m. Sunday.
The Ecumenical Choir of Salisbury, under the direction of Dr. Phillip E. Burgess, will present its Glory of Christmas concert at 4 p.m. Sunday.
The annual event, hosted by St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, will feature nearly 80 choristers from the Salisbury/Rowan area representing more than 30 churches and civic organizations.
This annual holiday tradition will include seasonal holiday favorites, readings, carols and selections from Handel’s “Messiah.”
Soloists include Dr. Grant Harrison, Rebecca Stinson, Phyllis Partee and Teresea Moore-Mitchell.
The ensemble will be accompanied by a chamber orchestra and will feature Matthew Brown on organ and piano.
A reception will follow in the church’s parish hall.
St. Luke’s Episcopal Church is located at 131 W. Council St.
Outreach Christian Ministries International, 722 W. Horah St., will presents “A Night With The King,” a celebration of the birth of Christ in words and song and an evening of inspiration and worship at 5 p.m. Sunday.
Don’t leave the kids at home for there will be fun and surprises for them too.
This event is free.
For directions and information, call 704-637-9955 or visit facebook.com/ocmsalisbury.
The Jeff Morgan family will lead the liturgy and light the Advent candle of joy during the third Sunday of Advent at First United Church of Christ, 207 West Horah St., on Sunday.
Resident pastor Carol Hallman continues the Advent sermon series based on classic Christmas movies with the sermon titled “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas”.
A “Blue Christmas Service,” an informal service designed for people who feel they have nothing to be joyous about during the Christmas season, will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday in the fellowship hall.
The children of First United Church of Christ will share the story of Christmas and songs of the season at 6 p.m. in the fellowship hall.
World of Faith Outreach Ministry, 5370 Stokes Ferry Road, will present a special musical program titled ‘Cut Out Bullying” at 5:30 p.m. Sunday.
It will feature gospel music, Christian rap and praise dancing appropriate for kids and adults.
ROCKWELL — A children’s musical, “An Out-of-the-Box Christmas,” will be presented at Lyerly Evangelical Church, 1320 Crescent Road, at 6 p.m. Sunday.
Children from Mt. Hope Church will also participate in the musical.
The public is invited to attend. For more information, call 704-279-5152.
CONCORD — The Piedmont Singing Men will be present a free Christmas concert at 6 p.m. Sunday at Mount Olivet United Methodist Church, 301 Mt. Olivet Road
Trading Ford Baptist Church, 3600 Long Ferry Road, will present its Christmas play “The Road to Christmas” at 6 p.m. Sunday.
It is a play like you have never seen before — watch as we unfold the reason why we are in need of a Savior.
Calvary Baptist Church will present “A Christmas to Believe In” at 6 p.m. Sunday.
This is the annual children’s musical. Those participating include preschoolers and the children’s department of the Sunday school.
Immediately following the presentation, refreshments will be served in the fellowship hall.
Calvary Baptist is located on East Ridge Road just beyond Ellis crossroads.
For more information, call 704-633-2567 or visit calvarysalisbury.org
The United Ministerial Alliance will host its joint fellowship service at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Potter’s House Outreach Ministries at 119 A & B Clancy St.
The host pastors are the Revs. Reginald and Gena Long. Gena Long will bring the message and lead a time of praise and worship.
MOORESVILLE — The annual Christmas musical program started by the late Rev. F. L. Cornelius will be held Sunday at Sills Creek AME Zion Church.
Various groups are invited, as is the community.
SPENCER — The Spencer community of faith is offering a special worship service for people who have experienced great loss and are having a tough time emotionally this Christmas.
Some have lost loved ones, lost a job or have received devastating news from the doctor.
It is called a “Blue Christmas Service,” to be held in the Chapel Room of Central United Methodist Church, 200 Fourth St., at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 16.
Call 704-633-9412 or 704-636-2152 for details.
St. John’s Lutheran Church, 200 W. Innes St., will broadcast the seventh annual joint prayer service between Christmas Lutheran Church and the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 21.
This live event will include prayers, scripture reading, hymns and messages alternating between Washington and Bethlehem.
The service provides the opportunity to come together with Christians of different lands, languages and ethnic backgrounds in celebration of the birth of the Prince of Peace.
As part of global ministries, St. John’s has begun a partnership with the Rev. Mitri Raheb, pastor of Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem.
Last year, Raheb spoke at St. John’s on various intergenerational ministries offered in Bethlehem.
St. John’s is now supporting the Bethlehem youth music program, and a mission trip is planned to Bethlehem in January 2015.
For more information, call 704-636-3431.
Remnant in Christ Outreach, 627 Newsome Road, will host a free coat distribution for those in need Saturday, Dec. 21.
In addition, a chili lunch with bread and drinks will be served.
The drop off location for donations is at A Step Into Excellence Boutique, 1008 S. Main St.
Coats, hats, gloves, scarves, socks, sweatshirts and anything warm will be accepted up until the day before.
Call 980-233-0415 or visit onewarmcoat.com for details.
The play “Journey to the Manger,” will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 21 and 22 in the Fellowship Hall of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 205 St. Paul’s Church Road.
Accompany Mary, Joseph, the shepherds and the wisemen on their journey to Bethlehem in this presentation directed by music director Jared Gordon.
CONCORD — Poplar Tent Presbyterian Church, 6841 Poplar Tent Road, will present the Christmas cantata “Heaven’s Child” at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 22.
The chorus will be accompanied by a 12-piece orchestra. For more information, call the church office at 704-786-1603.
KANNAPOLIS — An advanced care planning workshop will be held from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25.
It will be hosted by HPCCC and Bethel AME Zion Church, 2219 Dale Earnhardt Blvd., in the fellowship hall with light refreshments to follow.
It will be led by Ric Durham and is open to all. Notaries public will be present, and no fee will be charged for anyone wishing to prepare a living will or health care power of attorney.
RSVP to Chiquita Knight or Joy Kennedy at 704-232-7963.