MEMBERS OF St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church will celebrate the "Reason for the Season" with a live Nativity scene performed at 6 p.m. Sunday and Monday in the front of the church, 308 Oak Manor Drive.
The Rev. Richard Izzard will read the Christmas story, as told in the Gospel of St. Luke, accompanied by holiday music while members of the congregation re-enact the story. Live animals also will be used.
This is the second year for the event, said coordinator and church secretary Pat Reese. Reese was instrumental in getting the production started, drawing on her own childhood memories for inspiration.
"It's always been something I've wanted to do. I remember there was an old church in Pasadena, and my mom and dad used to take me [to see the live Nativity] when I was young," she recalled.
Reese said she regrets there was no similar pageant in the area for her family to enjoy when her two children were growing up. Now that her children are adults, she says, she hopes the program will be enjoyed by her grandchildren one day.
"This is such a meaningful time of year. It adds something when you can visualize the story," she said.
For additional information, call the church office, 410-766-2293.
Train garden at mall
For many people, it's not an official Christmas tree unless there's a toy train circling the trunk. And it's not really Christmas at Glen Burnie Mall unless the Winter Wonderland train garden is on display (which it is, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday).
Built by members of Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Pasadena, the 4-by-6-foot train garden is set up outside the mall entrance to Dick's Sporting Goods as part of a larger holiday display. The garden includes a Christmas train and trolley set within a holiday village.
Shoppers can purchase chances to win the garden or one of eight other prizes, including train sets and gift certificates. Tickets are $1 each or seven for $5. Proceeds go to the North County Emergency Outreach Network, a coalition of churches and community groups that provides year-round assistance to needy people in the North County area.
The success of this annual holiday project relies on the efforts of more than 100 volunteers, says Margaret Pugh, a member of Emmanuel Lutheran and of the network's board. The train garden was constructed in the basement of her Pasadena home. Initial design meetings began in February under the direction of Frank McDonald. Other volunteers who helped with the project were Jeff Adler, John Halajko, Ted Dzielski, John Keilholtz, Charles and Kathy Miller and their two children, Matt and Chris, who joined project coordinators Elaine Lee and John Quasney.
Pugh estimates that she and Pat Fornoff have scheduled close to 150 volunteers to operate the trains and sell tickets.
Ticket sales will continue until the drawing at 8 p.m. Dec. 23. Winners need not be present to collect their prizes.
Thanks to the Glen Burnie Volunteer Fire Company, Santa Claus will tour the Fox Chase community atop a fire engine, handing out candy canes, taking last-minute requests from children and collecting nonperishable food for food banks.
The tour begins at noon Saturday at the community entrance on Hospital Drive, then winds through the original Fox Chase neighborhood, reaching Foxwell Bend Road and Hospital Drive between 12: 30 p.m. and 12: 45 p.m. and continuing through Fox Chase Village, ending at Foxwell Bend Road and Foxwell Court between 1: 15 p.m. and 1: 30 p.m.
Residents who wish to donate food but are unable to wait for the parade can leave donations on their steps, porches or sidewalks in bags or boxes marked "GBVFD."
'A Very Special Christmas'
There's still time to catch a performance of "A Very Special Christmas," which will be presented by the Glen Burnie High School Dance Company at a benefit performance at 7 p.m. tomorrow at Pascal Senior Center, 125 Dorsey Road.
The admission of $3 plus one canned good will benefit the North County Emergency Outreach Network and Pascal Seniors Inc.
Selected performers from the school's dance program offer 17 dances in a variety of styles -- classical ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical and hip-hop.
Michelle Parsons, a 17-year-old senior and a featured performer in a duet with classmate Jackie Parton, says she enjoys the first number, a lyrical dance to "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas." Performed by the senior members of the company, the dance holds special meaning for the girls.
"It's our last Christmas dance as seniors, and we dance in a circle, looking at each other and reaching toward each other. It's very special because we're all really good friends," she says.
Other dances that merit special attention include a performance by senior Susan Sperduto to the song "Still Her Little Child." The music -- a favorite song of her mother's -- was a last-minute change for a recent performance at Glen Burnie Mall.
"Susan changed her music so she could surprise her mother," says Parsons. "It was awesome. She was so good. She puts so much emotion into the dance."
Other performers include sophomore Katie Knight and senior Cyra Miller.
For additional information on the program, call the Pascal Center at 410-222-6680.
Pub Date: 12/16/98