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Arbutus and Lansdowne churches offer music and meals for the holiday season

It's that most wonderful time of the year: Sleigh bells ring while happy carolers sing. We deck church halls with boughs of holly, then follow a star to a manger in Bethlehem.

Experience the wonder of the season by attending one of these Christmas events at one an area church:

• A cluster of United Methodist churches present "Make Room for Jesus" at 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, at Arbutus United Methodist Church, 1201 Maple Ave. Choirs, soloists, instrumentalists, interpretive dancers and Bible narrators are tuning up in anticipation. A light fare reception will follow in the festooned social hall. Free to all.

Glean repertoire notes at 410-242-9029.

"He is Coming!" a pageant by children, takes travelers to the stable at 11 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 11, in Halethorpe-Relay United Methodist Church, 4513 Ridge Ave., with lyrical and dramatic praise. Nibble sugarplums and cookies with the cast in fellowship hall, free of charge.

Feed your curiosity at 410-242-5918.

Composer, guitarist and soloist Keith Grim performs in concert at this church at 11 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 18. "His Story" includes carols, contemporary pieces and his own compositions, all tied to specific Bible passages. No tickets required.

Call the church, 410-242-5918, for the repertoire or go to

• The cattle will be lowing when the baby awakens, 6-8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 10, at Christ United Methodist Church, 2833 Florida Ave. The live Nativity presents the Holy Family standing watch over the manger. A free reception with tasty tidbits follows indoors.

Reserve a seat for the church's "Festive Feast" at 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17. Savory entrees, luscious side dishes and rich desserts, served with notes of holiday cheer. Freewill offerings.

Hope Presbyterian Church's talented thespians present "A Child is Born" at 11 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 11, 4748 Shelbourne Road. A heavenly host welcomes the infant into this fellowship. Coffee hour follows.

At 11 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 18, a Christmas cantata, "There's Something About That Name," will soar through the sanctuary as Hope's choir and praise band perform together.

Tune in for particulars at 410-247-4673.

Christ the Solid Rock Baptist Church, 2611 Hammonds Ferry Road, invites music lovers to a choral presentation, "The Christmas Song," 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18. Special guests from pastor and TV reporter Tim Tooten's church lift voices, too. No reservations required. Free parking on the Corner Florist lot, 2619 Hammonds Ferry Road. No charge for the light fare reception.

Jackie Jones holds notes to share at 410-370-0784.

• Boys and girls may use their pocket change to buy gifts for loved ones from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Dec. 3, in Lansdowne United Methodist Church, 114 Laverne Ave. Adults provide gift wrapping services. Yummy treats will fill children's tummies.

Michele Shaffer unwraps the details at 410-247-8946.

Succulent aromas will waft from this church's kitchen, 5-6 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 14, at the community-wide Christmas supper that's open to all. No reservations or fee.

Menu tidbits rest with Betty Cain at 410-242-9156.

• Arbutus United Methodist Men dish up a "Silver Bells" breakfast in the hall 8-10:45 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 11, with platters of sweet and savory entrees. A lyrical worship hour follows at 11 a.m. with festive offerings from the choirs resonating joy.

Head over with bells on or ring 410-242-9029.

You'd better watch out:

• St. Nick arrives at Christ Deaf Church, 1040 S. Beechfield Ave., for the 6 p.m. holiday party in his honor Saturday, Dec. 10. Youngsters and adults alike may join in the games and nibble Christmas cookies. Guests are asked to take a holiday dessert to share.

Sign on at 410-242-6303 TTY/V.

•Dash over to Halethorpe-Relay United Methodist Church, 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Dec. 10, for a free breakfast with Santa. Good boys and girls receive treats and a photo with St. Nick to treasure. Walk-ins are welcome.

Call 410-242-5918.

• Join Santa from 9-11:30 a.m. in Ascension Church's Brewer Hall, 4601 Maple Ave., for a breakfast of pancakes, bacon, sausage, omelets and beverages of choice. Adults pay $6; children 12 and under, $3.50. Photo opportunities. Presents for youngsters.

Reserve a seat through Joe Herbert at or call the office, 410-242-2292.

• Santa doesn't stuff stockings with cash. But you can. Purchase a lucky Lottery ticket from Our Lady of Victory Parish for $5. This entitles the bearer to claim a month's worth of winning chances.

Call 410-242-0131 for December tickets now.

• Join St. Clement Church's holiday jaunt at the American Music Theater for a "U.S.A. Christmas" Friday, Dec. 9, and greet Santa there. A Hershey Farms banquet precedes the $93 show.

Eileen Kus reserves seats at 410-859-0988.

• Want to help Santa Okonski spread holiday cheer to families in our area whose merry Christmas depends upon Southwest Emergency Services' outreach?

Betty seeks gift cards to local stores, toys, warm hats and gloves for the giveaway, scheduled for Dec. 9.

She also needs cookie baking supplies and Christmas dinner staples to fill gift boxes.

Drop off the goodies at 1201 Maple Ave. weekdays, 9 a.m. to noon, or Wednesday, Dec. 7, 6-8 p.m.

Call 410-247-8154 and ask for Santa O.

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