When two churches of different faiths work together, it’s a beautiful thing.
That’s something that St. Mary’s Lutheran Church and St. Mary’s United Church of Christ have been doing for several years, holding their Christmas events on the same day because those who come to one usually attend the other. Each side-by-side church offers something new and different.
St. Mary’s Evangelical Lutheran Church will hold its annual Christmas Bazaar and Luncheon on Saturday, Dec. 14, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. with handmade crafts, Christmas-themed items, gifts and more. In addition, the kitchen will have soups and sandwiches, snacks, beverages and baked goods available for purchase.
“And there will be a large silent auction with a variety of items,” said church representative Brenda Meadows.
Proceeds of the bazaar will benefit the Silver Run Community Food Pantry, Carroll Lutheran School, the Missionary Fund, and the Delaware-Maryland Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Meadows, who has been involved with the pantry since its opening on March 7, 2012, spoke of its importance, noting that they recently served 28 families (about 100 people) in a single day.
“About two years ago we decided to add a meal immediately preceding the pantry. Last week, 55 folks joined us for a home-cooked turkey dinner. All told, roughly 300 families have been served since our opening. Many people have shared that they don’t know how they would have made it without the supplemental groceries. Many are in tears and very thankful when they share their struggles. Most … are working folks trying to make ends meet, or seniors trying to make it on a limited budget. It’s a blessing to be able to be there for folks in our community when they need it most.”
Both churches will accept donations for the food pantry at their event, but if you can’t make it there, Meadows encourages stopping by Brewer’s Market in Silver Run to pick up food items and drop them into the food pantry basket in the front of the store.
Meadows could not speak of her church’s event without mentioning the Cookie Walk hosted at the church next door.
“Come out and participate in both events,” she said. “Get your shopping and baking done, listen to beautiful music, enjoy lunch and very possibly get a glimpse of Santa.”
Right next door, St. Mary’s United Church of Christ, at 1441 E. Mayberry Road, will hold its Cookie Walk.
Church representative Debbie Hahn said, “Leave the baking to us.”
The Cookie Walk will be held from 9 a.m. to noon, or until they sell out. Look for dozens of varieties of homemade cookies, along with other baked items. Enjoy a hot beverage while filling a box with cookies of your choice. Two sizes are available for $10 or $14, with boxes provided.
“The aroma of cookies and sweet treats will tease your nose as you enter St. Mary's Vestry,” Hahn said. “There is a sense of excitement as you watch everyone looking for their favorite treats while they enjoy beautiful Christmas music softly floating through the air.”
Visitors can also take a chance on a winter-themed gift basket with a fleece throw, a snowman kit, soup and soup mugs, a family gingerbread cookie kit, a wine topper with wine glasses and wine glass charms, assorted candies, and other sweets, plus gift cards to local stores.
While there, visitors may also pick up a gift or two.
“Santa’s Gift Shop is a popular attraction because visitors can pick up small gift items for teachers, secret Santa exchanges, or maybe even a little something for themselves that won’t break the bank,” Hahn said. “For instance, coffee mugs filled with candies; hot chocolate spoons; mini-spa gifts; small holiday kitchen gifts; cookbooks; food-related gifts, [like] caramel popcorn, fudge, candies, and other small inexpensive selections."
Hahn said gifts will range from $3 to $15 in price.
“Visitors are invited to enjoy a hot or cold drink, talk to the man in red, and just enjoy some fellowship with others,” Hahn said. “Our organist, Mary Ann Driscoll, plays a lovely selection of Christmas music throughout the event. You can sit in our beautiful sanctuary and listen or sing along if it is one of your favorite tunes.”
Those who bring a nonperishable food item for the Silver Run Food Pantry will be included in a special basket giveaway. Hahn said this basket will be holiday themed with books, a candle, assorted candies, coffee, coffee mug, teas, hot chocolate, and a gift certificate or two.
For more information visit www.stmarysucc.org. All proceeds will benefit the ministry of St. Mary’s UCC, including the Silver Run Food Pantry, the Community Support Fund, the Silver Run-Union Mills Street Light Fund and other local organizations.
“We believe community involvement is very important,” Hahn said. “The St. Mary’s Cookie Walk and the St. Mary’s Lutheran Christmas Bazaar are ways to serve, support and celebrate our Silver Run Community.”
For more information on the Cookie Walk, call the church at 410-346-7977.
McDaniel College holiday concerts
It is said that music has healing magic. Come find your magic at a December concert on the campus of McDaniel College.
McDaniel’s Jazz Night will take place Thursday, Dec. 5, at 7 p.m. inside WMC Alumni Hall. Directed by music lecturer Tim Jenkins, the McDaniel Jazz Ensemble performs many diverse styles of jazz, including classic big-band swing, bebop, Latin, funk, jazz-rock and classic blues.
On Friday, Dec. 6, beginning at 7 p.m., the McDaniel College Band Concert will take place inside WMC Alumni Hall. Directed by senior music lecturer Linda Kirkpatrick, the College Band features nearly 50 musicians, including McDaniel students, McDaniel faculty members, band alumni, and community musicians. They’ll be performing everything from classical to pop music.
McDaniel students will perform with the Westminster Symphony Orchestra on Saturday, Dec. 7 at 3 p.m., in WMC Alumni Hall. Under the direction of Kirkpatrick, the Westminster Symphony Orchestra is composed of McDaniel students, as well as students from Carroll Community College and community musicians.
Then, on Sunday, Dec. 8, at 3 p.m. the McDaniel College Gospel Choir will take the stage inside WMC Alumni Hall. Under the direction of music lecturer Shelley Ensor, they’ll perform traditional and contemporary gospel music, as well as spirituals, rocking the house with their powerful vocals.
“All these concerts are free and open to the public,” said Vanessa Sanders, public relations coordinator at the college.
McDaniel College is located at 2 College Hill in Westminster. For more information, call 410-857-2599.
Carroll Children’s Chorus Concert
The Children’s Chorus of Carroll County comes together to perform two concerts annually. Join them for a concert full of holiday cheer at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 15, at Baker Memorial Chapel on the grounds of McDaniel College, at 2 College Hill in Westminster.
“The audience will enjoy hearing over 100 children sing in four different choirs performing holiday pieces,” said Jenna Daly, artistic director for the Children’s Chorus of Carroll County. “The audience even gets to sing carols in between the choir performances.”
Admission to the concert is free, but donations are appreciated.
“It is a joyful celebration of the children's hard work that they have been working on since September,” Daly said. “There is even a cash raffle during intermission.”