Religion News: Reason for the season

Nativities set the scene for church's holiday celebration

charley@beaufortgazette.comNovember 26, 2011 

A nativity celebration display will feature almost 60 nativities from all over the world from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday and Dec. 3 in the First Presbyterian Church's Education Building in Beaufort.

The intricate pieces range from 1-inch to 1-foot tall, each with its own story. Many are family treasures handed down from one generation to the next. Some are more than 50 years old. A brochure that describes each nativity in the display will be provided to those who attend the show. The exhibit is sponsored by the ladies of the church's Mary and Martha Circle, some of whom are longtime collectors of nativities.

Charlotte Boe of Lady's Island has 42 nativities, many from her travels with her husband to Vietnam, Spain, Russia, China and Costa Rica. Boe will share her cherished blue-and-white, 20-piece nativity handmade in Port Royal, a gift from her daughter.

Traditionally, Boe sets up her nativities the weekend of Thanksgiving, but the baby Jesus can't come out until Christmas Eve. She also elevates the Jesus, Joseph and Mary from the rest of the nativity's characters by placing several books under the tablecloth under their perch.

"Nativities are Christmas for me. ... This is what Christmas is about," she said pointing to her nativity. "And I want it everywhere."

Before she married, Peggy Fryer of Beaufort had never had a nativity. Her mother-in-law gave her the first nativity, and now Fryer owns more than 50. She has some from Mexico, Africa and Chile.

For this display, Fryer has selected an Amish nativity she purchased in Pennsylvania several years ago.

"The idea of the different cultures and what they do in their crafts fascinates me," Fryer said. "The nativity takes on the culture of the people. The one from Africa has a little pot with a baby in the middle and the almost skeletal people are made of brass."

Details: 843-524-3051

ORANGE GROVE BAPTIST CHURCH

The Men's Ministry will host its Men's Day celebration at 11 a.m. Sunday. Minister Willie McDuffy of New Hope Christian Disciples for Christ in Burton will speak. The church is at 189 Orange Grove Road, St. Helena Island.

Details: 843-838-4128

JERICHO AME CHURCH

The Women in Ministry Program is at 3 p.m. Sunday. Speaker is the Minister Joyce Wright. The Soul Saving Revival is at 7:30 p.m. from Nov. 30-Dec. 2. The church is at 342 Broad River Blvd., Beaufort.

Details: 843-522-1648

UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST FELLOWSHIP OF BEAUFORT

"A Harvest of Gratitude" service begins at 10 a.m. Sunday. Those attending are encouraged to donate small box of non-perishable foods that would comprise a complete meal. The fellowship meets at 178 Sams Point Road, Lady's Island.

Details: 843-838-1399

UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST CONGREGATION OF THE LOWCOUNTRY

The Rev. Lynne Garner, newly appointed part-time minister of the Unitarian Universalist congregation in Brunswick, Ga., returns to speak at 10 a.m. Sunday. The church is at 110 Malphrus Road, Bluffton.

Details: 843-837-3330

CHRISTIAN SCIENCE SOCIETY OF BEAUFORT

The Christian Science Society, Beaufort joins with the Hilton Head and Savannah Christian Science churches to sponsor a weekly radio broadcast on WLOW 107.9 FM at 8:30 a.m. Sundays. Hear how people overcome illness, relationship difficulties, financial hardships and other trials through prayer.

"Ancient and Modern Necromancy, alias Mesmerism and Hypnotism, Denounced" is the Bible lesson at 10:30 a.m. Sunday. The society meets at Temple Beth Israel, 401 Scott St., Beaufort.

Details: 843-441-2262

CONGREGATION BETH YAM

The congregation will sponsor a live broadcast of the 92nd St. Y program, "Finding a Lost Tribe of Israel: The Bnei Menashe of India," at 8:15 p.m. Monday. The Bnei Menashe (Hebrew for "sons of Manasseh") of northeast India trace their roots to the ancient Israelite tribe of Menashe, one of the Ten Lost Tribes exiled by the Assyrian empire more than 27 centuries ago. Tickets are $10 for congregation members and $15 for non-members. For reservations, call 843-689-2178.

FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF HILTON HEAD ISLAND

Singers are invited to join the community choir for the annual communitywide presentation of the Christmas portion of Handel's "Messiah," hosted by the church's Sanctuary Choir. No auditions are necessary. Rehearsals will be held in the sanctuary at 7 p.m. Nov. 29, Dec. 6, 13 and 14, directed by Dr. Russell Floyd, minister of music. The performance is free and is at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16. Details: Dr. Floyd, 843-681-3696. The church is at 540 William Hilton Parkway between mile markers 5 and 6.

Details: 843-681-3696, www.fpchhi.org

The "Songs from the Heart" benefit Christmas Concert for the First Presbyterian Day School is at 7 p.m. Friday in the sanctuary. Proceeds go into programming and curriculum needs for the school. Tickets may be purchased from a school parent or at the school or call 843-681-3695. Reserved seating is $20; general admission is $15.

ST. LUKE'S UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

Recovery Services are held from 7-8 p.m. every Tuesday at the church in Bluffton/Okatie. The church near the back gates of Sun City Hilton Head is open to those seeking spiritual solutions to life's problems. The group meets at 6:30 p.m. with St. Luke's Pastor Richard Smith and other members and guests over coffee in the social hall. The service begins at 7 p.m. in the sanctuary with live contemporary Christian music.

Details: 843-705-7939

LUNCH HOUR OF POWER

The Rev. Paul Singleton, associate minister at Scottsville Baptist Church, will speak from noon-12:45 p.m. Wednesday in Helen Galloway's Memorial Chapel of Chisholm Galloway Home for Funerals, 808 Bladen St., Beaufort.

Details: 843-524-6634

BETH ISRAEL SYNAGOGUE

The Secrets of Chant with Rabbi Shefa Gold begins at 7 p.m. Thursday. Gold is a leader in Aleph: the Alliance for Jewish Renewal and received her ordination from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and from Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi. Requested donation is $5 and no one will be turned away. The synagogue is at 401 Scott St., Beaufort.

Details: 843-379-5234

THE ACCESS NETWORK

The Network will host an afternoon service at noon Thursday, Dec. 1 for World AIDS Day. There will be guest speakers, special health services and live music. The free event will be held at the Church of the Palms United Methodist Church, 1425 Okatie Highway on S.C. 170, Okatie.

Details: 843-379-1888

SHELL POINT BAPTIST CHURCH

A free, warm meal and friendly conversation is offered from 6-7 p.m. each Friday at the church, 871 Parris Island Gateway, Beaufort. Refining Christian Maturity Recovery meeting will be at 7 p.m. A food pantry is also available.

Details: Joy Kircher, 843-575-2200, joykircher028@gmail.com

HOLY TRINITY EPISCOPAL CHURCH

Tickets for Celebrating Christmas in the Village of Grahamville sponsored by Holy Trinity Episcopal Church are on sale for $35. The tour of seven decorated private homes and two historic churches on Bees Creek Road is from 5-7 p.m. Dec. 4. Ticket price includes the tour, hors d'oeuvres and refreshments, entertainment and welcome packet with history of each home and church.

Details:843-726-3743, htecgrm@embarqmail.com

ALL SAINTS GARDEN TOUR

The 2012 All Saints Garden Tour is seeking applications from local nonprofit organizations that would like to be considered as beneficiaries for next year's event. Applicants must provide services to the citizens of Beaufort or Jasper county as they struggle with the specific challenges presented either by hunger, homelessness or literacy. All profits from the 25th annual tour, which will be held May 19, will be donated to several local nonprofit organizations that meet the established criteria. For full criteria and an application form, call Mary Anne Gebler, chairwoman of the garden tour board, at 843-645-4111. All applications must be received no later than Wednesday at the church at 3001 Meeting St., Hilton Head Island, SC, ATTN: Mary Anne Gebler.

FELLOWSHIP CONCERT CHOIR OF BEAUFORT

The choir will present its annual Christmas concert at 6 p.m. Friday at Third Macedonia Baptist Church, 509 Broad River Road, Burton. The choir will render familiar and traditional Christmas spirituals and skits. The concert is free and open to the public.

Details: Scott Gibbs, 843-524-7230

LOW COUNTRY CHRISTIAN WOMEN'S CONNECTION

The women will host the annual Tour of Homes and Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Dec. 7 at the Hampton Hall clubhouse in Bluffton. The luncheon will include music by Rose Bacon and speaker Candace Pope with her topic "What a Great Ride." Prepaid reservations are required for the lunch and tour. Cost is $39. Lunch is $24 and must be prepaid by Friday. Make checks payable to "CWC Bluffton" and mail to Judy Murphy, 52 Hampton Circle, Bluffton, SC 29909. Details Judy 843-705-7950

GOSPEL CELEBRATION

The R.J.S. Voice of Praise Choir, First African Baptist Church of Port Royal is having a Gospel Celebration at 6 p.m. Dec. 3 at the church. The featured guests are W.E.C. Choir from Orange Grove Baptist Church on St. Helena Island and Xtreme Praise Choir from Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in Dale.

Details: Lue Jackson, 843-318-2582, Beverly Green, 843-263-5133

ST. FRANCIS BY THE SEA CATHOLIC CHURCH

The church's second annual holiday concert, "An Island Christmas," will be held at 7 p.m. Dec. 3 and at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 4 at the church at 45 Beach City Road, Hilton Head. The event features local choirs, Savannah and Charleston symphony orchestra members, and a 40-member children's choir from St. Francis School. Tickets cost $10 for adults, $5 for children and $30 for a family up to five.

Details: www.HHIFestivalChorus@gmail.com

ALL SAINTS EPISCOPAL CHURCH, HILTON HEAD ISLAND

The church's chapter of the Order of the Daughters of the King will sponsor an Advent Quiet Day Dec. 7, to focus on the role of the Advent season in preparing for the approaching Christmas season. Registration will begin and coffee will be available at 9 a.m. The program starts at 9:30 a.m. in the Hay Chapel, off of the church sanctuary. The Rev. Sandra Grant, deacon, will lead the Quiet Day's three meditations. The theme for the program is: "Be still and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10). At 11:45 a.m., Holy Eucharist will be celebrated, followed by a luncheon in Gordon Mann Hall. Advance registration is required to make preparations for the luncheon. To register for the luncheon, call 843-681-8333 by Dec. 5.

The church is at 3001 Meeting St., Hilton Head.

UNITY CHURCH OF HILTON HEAD

The Rev. Elizabeth Mora will present "If We Build It, They Will Come; An Exploration of Church Growth ... Dreaming Big and Growing Strong," an inspiring and interactive workshop from 10 a.m.-noon Dec. 3 at the Okatie Room in the Hampton Inn next to Sun City Hilton Head. Mora, candidate for the position of Senior Minister at Unity Church of Hilton Head Island, will also be guest speaker at the regular Sunday service at 10 a.m. Dec. 4 at Seaquin's Ballroom at 1300 Fording Island Road, Bluffton. She will discuss "We Live in Interesting Times."

Details: 843-682-8177, www.unitychurchofhiltonhead.org

ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN MISSION CHURCH

Beaufort's Newest Oldest Church Orthodox Christianity is coming to Beaufort from 6:30-8 p.m. Dec. 4 at the Baptist Church of Beaufort, 600 Charles St., Beaufort. Participants are invited to learn how Orthodox Christianity compares to the Christian presence that exists in Beaufort and how it complements and fulfills it.

Details: Father John Parker, 843-810-9350, frjohn@ocacharleston.org; Gary Burgess, 843-321-2365, gburgess102@yahoo.com; David and Laura Homyk, 843-379-0352, Lhomyk@aol.com

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