Church Briefs

Program sends 1,751 shoeboxes

Operation Christmas Child for Fayette and Montgomery counties this year collected 1,751 shoeboxes for needy children around the world. That was an increase of nearly 240 boxes from last year's total of 1,512.
Jill Zimmer, who coordinated the local program again this year, said that a variety of participants helped make the program a success. Included in those participants were several individuals, a school class, four businesses and 30 churches.

Christmas movie this Sunday

“The Heart of Christmas,” a movie for all ages, will be shown at Brownstown First Christian Church this Sunday at 6 p.m.
It takes an entire community to make a little boy’s dreams come true in this heartbreaking yet hopeful film about a family faced with losing their child, and their quest to give him one last Christmas.
Based on the inspiring true story that gained national attention, “The Heart of Christmas” cast includes Candace Cameron, Jeanne Nielson, George Newbern and Erin Bethea.
The film received an Emmy nomination for outstanding lyrics and music, performed by Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter, Matthew West, who is also featured in the film.
For more information, contact Jamie Smith at [email protected] or 322-5027.

Church choirs plan cantata

The choirs of three churches in the St. Peter and Shobonier areas are joining together to perform a Christmas cantata on Dec. 8-9, with one performance being held at each church. The cantata is called "Behold the Star."
The first performance will be on Saturday, Dec. 8, at 2 p.m. at Augsburg Lutheran Church; the second performance will be on Sunday, Dec. 9, at 2 p.m. at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Shobonier; and the final performance will be Sunday, Dec. 9, at 6 p.m. at St. Peter's Lutheran Church.
This is the third year that the churches have performed the combined cantata.

Spaghetti supper in Mulberry

Columbus Baptist Church in Mulberry Grove will hold a spaghetti supper this Saturday, from 4-8 p.m., at the Mulberry Grove Community Center. The event is a fundraiser to finance an addition onto the church.
Cost of the meal is $8 for adults at the door ($6 if purchased in advance), $4 for children ages five and up, and free for children ages four and under.
For more information, call 425-3738 or 425-3917.

First Pentecostal's 95th events

First Pentecostal Church of Vandalia will celebrate the 95th anniversary of its founding this week.
The events begin this Thursday, with a program at 7:30 p.m., and continue on Friday, also at 7:30 p.m. The speaker for both nights will be the Rev. Jeff Arnold of Gainesville, Fla.
The anniversary celebration will continue this Sunday at 9:30 a.m. and 6 p.m., when the speaker will be evangelist John C. Carroll of Ft. Worth, Texas.
The church is located at 1009 W. Gallatin St. in Vandalia. It is pastored by the Rev. Daniel McDonald.
For more information, see the church's website: www.fpcvandalia.com.
Caring & Sharing starting up

As the Christmas season approaches, the annual Caring & Sharing program is beginning to gear up.
A cooperative effort between the Department of Human Services, CEFS, Catholic Charities, the Vandalia Ministerial Alliance and the Knights of Columbus Council 4630, the program provides a Christmas dinner and presents for needy families in Fayette County.
Caring & Sharing is chaired by Joelyn Collins.
Once again, Mother of Dolors will serve as the central collection and distribution site.
Churches, organizations or individuals may help by doing the following:
• Donate non-perishable food items (must be turned in by Monday, Dec. 10);
• Collect and donate new or like-new toys;
• Collect and donate mittens, hats, gloves, scarves and socks;
• Collect items for teens (hand-held games, hair accessories, etc.);
• Donate Christmas decorations and disposable dinnerware;
• Volunteer to help sort, pack and prepare baskets for distribution the week of Dec. 10-15. (For information, contact Michelle Kelly at 283-0271.)
• Make a monetary donation, which will be used to purchase perishable foods and special gifts. Cash donations may be made at First National Bank or First Bank in Vandalia.
Any funds remaining after the basket distribution is completed will be used to meet needs of families in crisis throughout the year.
For information or to volunteer, call Bob and Marlys Hayner at 283-4579, Jackie DuPlayee at 283-2651 or Pat Rhodes at 283-5372.

Winter Wonderland is Saturday

The 10th annual Winter Wonderland fundraising event will be held this Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., at St. Louis Parish Center in Nokomis.
The event includes a chance for children to visit with Santa and buy presents from Santa's Store, both from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Food will be available, and several items will be given away through a raffle. Several holiday gifts and crafts will be available for purchase.
Proceeds will go to St. Louis School and St. Louis CCW.
For information, call 217-563-7445.

Barn hosts Called Out Quartet

The Barn in rural Pana will host the Called Out Quartet from Nashville, Tenn., this Saturday. This Southern gospel concert ends the 2012 season; The Barn will reopen on April 6.
For more information, call Joanne Clark at 217-562-3526.
The Barn is located off of Ill. Route 16 between Pana and Tower Hill. From Pana go east on Ill. Route 16 for three miles, then turn south for two miles and then go east for .5 mile.

Bethel Christmas concert Dec. 8

Bethel Baptist Church in rural Vandalia will hold its annual Christmas concert on Saturday, Dec. 8, at 6 p.m.
The seventh annual event will feature several area musicians, including Ed Taylor, the FourGiven Quartet, Beth Hoffman and Megan Goodman, Marla Ainscough, Robert and Michelle Weaver, Shirley Eddy and the Bethel Praise Band.
Emcee for the program will be Norris Price.
The church is located seven miles northwest of Vandalia on Ill. Route 185. For more information, call 326-7451 or 283-2642.

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