Church plans Christmas GiftAway program

Agape Ministries will be giving away gift bags of toiletries, hats, scarves, socks and gloves to bless the community from noon to 1:30 p.m. Saturday at 1 Locust Lane in Westminster.
"We set up in the small area across the street from the library where the city Christmas tree is located," said the Rev. Phillip U. Daniels III, pastor of Agape Ministries Church of God in Christ in Westminster.
"We are hoping to give away at least 100 bags," Daniels said of this annual Christmas GiftAway program. "It's something we've been doing for the past three years. We've given away between 80 and 90 bags each year and this year we are hoping to do over 100 bags."
In addition, Daniels said, Agape Ministries has about eight bags of food and 20 boxes of cereal to give away.
While at the Christmas GiftAway program, join M.I.A for free hot cocoa and doughnuts. "M.I.A. is a missions ministry within the church," said Daniels. "It stands for Missions in Action, but it's actually named after my sister [Mia], who passed away in 1998."
Daniels said they'll have musician Tim Jenkins from the church playing guitar at this event. "Tim is also a music teacher at McDaniel College," Daniels said. "We'll have an iPod plugged in, too, to play more music."
Daniels said, "We are a small church. We are celebrating five years on Jan. 4 and we are here to minister to the community. Anyone who would like to donate toward this event or the ministry is welcome to donate, too."
For more information or to donate, call the pastor at 443-272-1463 or 443-900-2166 or email AgapeMinistriesCOGIC@verizon.net.

Breakfast with Santa
Bring the kids for breakfast with Santa Saturday in John Street Quarters at the Westminster fire company, 28 John St., Westminster.
Breakfast will be served from 7 to 11 a.m., according to Patty Corbin, executive administrative assistant at the firehouse. "It's been held for many years. It's a tradition with the firehouse," said Corbin.
Enjoy a meal of pancakes, eggs, sausage, fried potatoes, sausage gravy and biscuits, baked apples, coffee, tea, orange juice and milk. The cost is $7.50 for adults, $4.50 for 2- to 12-year-olds, and free for children younger than 2.
Santa will arrive at 8 a.m. and photos with Santa on an antique fire engine will be available for a fee. "We'll have a [professional] photographer here at the station," Corbin said.
Corbin said the photo will cost $15. Because the printed photo will not be ready before Christmas, the photographer will email the digital image before Christmas and have the print ready after the holiday.
All proceeds go toward supporting fire suppression, emergency medical services and fire prevention operations.
"It's a way that kids get excited about Christmas," said Corbin.
For more information, call the fire company at 410- 848-1800.


Holiday music
The Holiday Horns will perform a program of Christmas and holiday music from 1 to 2 p.m. Saturday at TownMall of Westminster.
Phil Hooks, music director and organizer of the Holiday Horns, has taught French horn in Carroll County for many years. "We started out as a quartet with me and three of my students," he said. "We'd set up on the street and play, and then at churches and the Ag Center."
Hooks said after his students graduated, it became a tradition for them to come back at Christmas to play music in Westminster. "The group grew and grew and grew," he said. "Then colleagues would call and ask to play. This year I think we will have 34 playing, the biggest group we've ever had, and we have [players] from middle school students to professionals in this group."
Les Douglas will conduct the French horn players.
Hooks sends out the music a few weeks in advance to the players, who come from several states and the Washington, D.C., area. He said the players are all well-schooled and well-rehearsed, even though they have just one rehearsal, the day before the presentation.
Look for one hour of music, with a diverse selection of holiday favorites.
"Most are Christmas songs you'd sing out of church hymn book, but this year we also have two Hanukkah songs," Hooks said. "This is like a family homecoming thing for us."
The mall is at 400 N. Center St., Westminster.
Call 410-876-2171 for more information.