Coastal trimmings surrounded by antique nativity scenes are among the highlights of the decorations for the 10th annual Beaufort Homes for the Holidays Gala and Coastal Christmas tour fundraiser Nov. 18-20 in Habersham.
"It really is nice because it kicks off Christmas," said Elizabeth Dardes, who is co-chairwoman of the tour for the second year with Mary Cunningham.
The tours begin with a silver Coastal Christmas Anniversary Gala at 7 p.m. Friday in St. Peter Catholic Church's Walsh Palmetto Room on Lady's Island. The gala will feature a silent auction that opens at 7 p.m. with cocktails, music by The Headliners and food stations at 8 p.m.
This year's tour will return to Habersham, where it began 10 years ago. The tours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 19 and noon to 3 p.m. Nov. 20. Eight private homes will be open, with local interior and floral designers decking the halls.
Sand dollars, seashells, sea glass and local greenery are among the popular items being used in the decorations to illustrate the "Coastal Christmas" theme in each home. There will also be several decorative nativities on display. The nativity scene at Bob and Pat Sheehan's will feature a bisque infant Jesus from Assisi from Italy. Another nativity is a multifigure collection of Fontanini nativity scenes purchased in Rome by Cunningham and her husband, Jack.
Gala tickets are $75 a person and may be purchased by calling 843-522-6510. Tickets for the tour are $25, and are available in Beaufort at The Chocolate Tree, Sweet Bay on Bay and Tideland Realty. Since the tour began, $350,000 of money raised has benefited the St. Peter Catholic School Endowment Fund which covers tuition assistance and operation costs for the school.
OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD
The final packing party for Operation Christmas Child is from 12:30-5 p.m. today at 121 Okatie Highway, Okatie. Shoe boxes will be filled with toys, school supplies and necessity items that are hand-delivered to needy children around the world. Monetary donations are being accepted. Cost is $20 a box. About 2,000 boxes are expected to be packed. The goal for Beaufort, Jasper and Hampton counties is collecting 14,000 gifts this year.
WOMEN OF VICTORY CONFERENCE
A conference with topics for all women is at 9 a.m. today at Red Dam Baptist Church, 488 Red Dam Church Road, Hardeeville. Registration deadline is Monday. Suggested donation is $10.
Details: 843-784-6083, www.reddambaptistchurch.org
FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF HILTON HEAD ISLAND
"Diabetes University: Take Charge of Your Diabetes," a free diabetes conference in conjunction with Hilton Head Hospital will be held today in the Fellowship Hall. Registration is at 8 a.m.; conference from 9 a.m. to noon. Topics include: "Through Your Eyes Only: Love Your Sight" presented by Kenneth Farr, ophthalmologist; "Lifestyle Changes for the Long Haul" presented by Elizabeth Huggins, outpatient diabetes education coordinator; "Insulin Pump Technology is Improving Everyday" presented by Erin Rayfield, certified insulin pump trainer. Speaker Vonda Calcutt, board-certified endocrinologist, will present "Update on Treatment Options for Diabetes." Details: 877-582-2737
A Civil War and Gullah history program about the impact of slavery on Lowcountry African-Americans with Dr. Emory Campbell will be at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the sanctuary.
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. The performance is free and will be at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 16. Details: Dr. Russell 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
WESLEY UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
The church will celebrate its 178th anniversary at 3 p.m. Sunday. There will not be a 10 a.m. service. The theme is "The Great Commission: Go Forth With God." The Rev. Davie Sanders and his congregation from the Harleyville Parish will lead the service. The church is at 701 West St., Beaufort.
Details: 843-524-5918, 843-524-6123
THE CHURCH OF THE CROSS
Worship on the Bluff Concert Series will present a dedicatory concert, featuring the recently renovated pipe organ, at 5 p.m. Sunday. Featured organist and conductor is Scott Atchison from Peachtree Road United Methodist Church in Atlanta, with brass, timpani, violin and choirs from The Church of the Cross, St. Luke's Church on Hilton Head Island and The Parish Church of St. Helena in Beaufort. The free concert will be followed by the Office of Evensong service. The church is on Calhoun Street, Bluffton.
ORANGE GROVE BAPTIST CHURCH
The Youth Choir will celebrate its 40th anniversary at 4 p.m. Sunday. The church is at 189 Orange Grove Road, St. Helena Island.
THE CHAPEL WITHOUT WALLS
Dr. John McCreight, pastor of 64 years, will preach his final sermon at 9:30 a.m. Sunday at the chapel, which holds services at Congregation Beth Yam, 4501 Meeting St., Hilton Head Island, behind All Saints Episcopal Church. McCreight has been a part-time associate pastor in retirement at First Presbyterian Church on Hilton Head, the Lowcountry Presbyterian Church in Bluffton and at First Presbyterian Church in Beaufort. A pot-luck brunch in honor of McCreight will follow.
BEAUFORT CHURCH OF CHRIST
The sixth anniversary Gospel Meeting-Revival begins Sunday with Family and Friends Day. Guest evangelist is Frank McElveen, minister emeritus of the Azalea Drive Church of Christ in North Charleston. Services for Sunday are: Lord's Day School for all ages at 10 a.m., morning worship service at 11:15 a.m. and afternoon worship service at 3:30 p.m. Services start at 7:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday at the church, 170 Robert Smalls Parkway, Beaufort.
Details: 843-524-4281, firstname.lastname@example.org
UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST FELLOWSHIP OF BEAUFORT
David Hudson will present "What Do You Mean by Faith?" at 10 a.m. Sunday. Hudson is an active member of the Unitarian Universalist Metro Atlanta North. The fellowship meets at 178 Sams Point Road, Lady's Island.
UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST CONGREGATION OF THE LOWCOUNTRY
Dr. Gordon Haist, professor of philosophy at the University of South Carolina Beaufort, will present insights into the Arab "Spring" at 10 a.m. Sunday. Details: 843-837-3330
A circle dance to traditional, seasonal and contemporary music for peace, reverence and joy is from 7-9 p.m. Tuesday at the church. No experience or partner needed. Details: Carolyn, 843-705-4915
The church is at 110 Malphrus Road, Bluffton.
CHRISTIAN SCIENCE SOCIETY OF BEAUFORT
"Mortals and Immortals" will be the subject of the Bible lesson at the 10:30 a.m. service Sunday,. The society meets at Temple Beth Israel, 401 Scott St., Beaufort.
ST. PETER CATHOLIC CHURCH
The church will celebrate the 165th anniversary of the dedication of original "St. Peter's Church" building on Carteret Street at 10 a.m. Monday. Deacon Ed Peitler will bless the recently documented and upgraded graveyard. St. Peter Parish has begun a major preservation project to reopen the doors of the oldest existing Catholic church in the area (1846). The chapel is at 710 Carteret St., Beaufort.
CENTRAL OAK GROVE MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH
The fourth annual Youth Gospel & and Dance Extravaganza revival services are at 7:30 p.m. Monday-Wednesday. Services continue at 4 p.m. Nov. 19. The church is at 161 Mathews Drive, Hilton Head Island.
ADAM STREET BAPTIST CHURCH
The church will hold its annual Harvest Revival at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday. The Rev. Van Gaines from the Samaritan Baptist Church in Varnville will speak. The celebration continues at noon Nov. 20. The Rev. Joseph Taylor of the Mount Tabar Baptist Church in Savannah will speak. The church is at 736 Lands End Road, St. Helena Island.
Details: Queen Orage, 843-838-2887
LUNCH HOUR OF POWER
Pastor Paul Graham of Laurel Bay 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.
SECOND JORDAN BAPTIST CHURCH
The Pastor's Aide Ministry will hold a special service at 7:30 p.m. Thursday honoring Our First Lady Yvonne Smoak. Speakers will be Missionary Julia Powell and First Lady Cecelia Griswold and the Israelite Baptist Church Family. Entertainment featuring local gospel singing groups begins at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 18. The celebration concludes at 4 p.m. Nov. 20 with Pastor Samuel Gregory and the St. Paul Baptist Church. The church is on County Shed Road, Burton.
CHURCH OF THE CROSS
The annual Christmas Bazaar is from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Nov. 19 featuring Christmas decorations and handcrafted items indigenous to the Lowcountry. Proceeds benefit the church and children's outreach programs. The church is at 110 Calhoun St., Bluffton.
Details: 843-757-2661, thechurchofthecross.net
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. There will be a Refining Christian Maturity Recovery meeting afterward. A food pantry is also available.
Details: Joy Kircher, 843-575-2200, email@example.com
HOLY TRINITY EPISCOPAL CHURCH
A limited number of tickets are on sale now Celebrating Christmas in the Village of Grahamville sponsored by Holy Trinity Episcopal Church. Cost is $35. The tour of seven decorated private homes and two historic churches on Bees Creek Road is from 5-7 p.m. Dec. 4. Tickets includes the tour, hors d'oeuvres and refreshments, entertainment and welcome packet with history of each home and church.
Details: 843-726-3743, firstname.lastname@example.org
For the third year, volunteers are needed to collect, distribute and deliver Thanksgiving food to homes throughout Beaufort County as a part of The Giving, a communitywide, multi-church effort to provide Thanksgiving meals to those in need. To volunteer, contact Heather Prince Doss at email@example.com, 843-525-0696.
Donations may be dropped off beginning at 4:30 p.m. Nov. 20 in the Beaufort High School auditorium. A community worship service will be at 5 p.m. Donated items will be taken to the YMCA in Port Royal, and meals will be delivered Nov. 21. Donations beyond the scope of The Giving will be turned over to HELP of Beaufort. Suggested donations are frozen turkeys, potatoes, canned yams, green beans, cranberry sauce and rolls.
Details: 843-592-1352, firstname.lastname@example.org