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GUEST PREACHER

The Rev. June Scott Nettles will serve as the guest preacher at the 9:30 a.m. service on the First Sunday of Advent, Dec. 2, at First Presbyterian Church, 716 College Ave. Nettles has served churches in Racine, Milwaukee and Union Grove prior to retiring in 2004.

LIFELONG LEARNING PRESENTATION

The Rev. Seth Raymond, director of the Hospitality Center and priest at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, will speak about the place of the poor in our community during the Lifelong Learning Presentation at 10 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, in Vogel Hall at St. Richard of Chichester Catholic Church, 1509 Grand Ave.

Learn how Christian charity might be transformed from a model of “doing for” to “being with” those who are vulnerable and how the Hospitality Center works to reveal the dignity inherent in each person.

“SILENT NIGHT” 200TH ANNIVERSARY

The first Sunday in Advent will celebrate the 200th anniversary of “Silent Night” during the 9:15 a.m. worship service Sunday, Dec. 2, at North Pointe United Methodist Church, 3825 Erie St. The North Pointe Bell Choir will perform “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.” During the offertory, the Chancel Choir will sing “We Need A Silent Night Here.”

ADVENT TAIZE PRAYER SERVICE

An Advent Taizé prayer service is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5, at St. Richard of Chichester Catholic Church, 1509 Grand Ave.

The ecumenical service includes silence, reflection on scripture and other meditative readings, simple chants, and a candle lighting ritual. Prayer and meditation will focus on slowing ourselves down and finding calm as we prepare for Christmas.

Coffee, cookies and cider will be served in the church hall after the service.

CHRISTMAS CONCERT

St. John’s Lutheran Church, 1501 Erie St., is scheduled to hold its annual Christmas Concert at 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9. The Senior, Children’s and Handbell Choirs will be directed by Arthur Preuss Sr. The Rev. Jack Gilbert will be the officiant and narrator.

Pre-concert preludial music beginning at 6:45 p.m. features organ selections by guest organist Frederik M. Bach. The trumpeters include Diane Andersen, Aaron Block, Leif Lovdahl and Eunice Matter. Kristina Beier will be the flutist. The crucifer and Children’s Choir flutist will be Sarah Seils.

St. John’s Senior Choir, Children’s Choir and Handbell Choir will join to present several carol arrangements by Preuss as well as F. Melius Christiansen’s arrangement of “Beautiful Savior.” The final number by the Senior Choir will be the majestic “And the Glory of the Lord” by G.F. Handel.

A reception will follow the concert in the school cafeteria. Donations will be accepted for the St. John’s music program.

COMFORT & JOY RETREAT

A Comfort & Joy retreat is scheduled to be held Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 24-25, at the DeKoven Center, 600 21st St. Susanne Sklar will lead this retreat featuring readings and responses meant to help people discover how and where to find comfort and joy at this time of year.

Sklar was born in Chicago and is a member of the Cumnor Fellowship in Oxford, United Kingdom, where she teaches and writes about religion and the arts including a recently-finished novel about Mary Magdalene. Before returning to Oxford where she earned her doctorate, she taught humanities and theater in Russia, China and Sweden, as well as at Northwestern University, Carthage College and Shimer College in the U.S. Sklar has written many academic publications and has also worked in public radio and television, and as a peace researcher/activist, a social worker, an actress and a cowmaid.

The retreat will open with registration at 2 p.m. Dec. 24, followed by the first session at 3:30 p.m., and will continue through breakfast on Christmas morning. Participants will also have the option of attending DeKoven’s Traditional Christmas Day Mass at 9 a.m. Dec. 25, as well as the Christmas Brunch following Mass.

Cost for the retreat, including accommodations and meals, is $100. For more information or to register, call 262-633-6401, ext. 110, or go to www.dekovencenter.org.

ADVENT SERVICES

These churches will hold Advent services:

Midweek Advent services are scheduled to begin at 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5, at Epiphany Lutheran Church, 2921 Olive St.

An Advent service is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5, at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, 4340 6 Mile Road, Raymond.

Midweek Advent services are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5, at Grace Lutheran Church, 3700 Washington Ave. The Advent series will focus on Luke 1:5-25, “The Child Who is Zechariah’s Hope.”

An Advent Vesper service begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec 5, at Christ the King Lutheran Church, 3350 La Salle St. “A Liturgy of Hope: The Benedictus, A Father’s Song” from Luke 1:57-80 is the topic.

The Gruhn family will light the first Advent candle on Sunday, Dec. 2, at Yorkville United Methodist Church, 17645 Old Yorkville Road, Yorkville. Rhythm & Praise will sing “Rise Up, Shepherd” during the 10:15 a.m. service. The sacrament of Holy Communion will be observed at the 8 and 10:15 a.m. services.

CHRISTMAS PROGRAM

A Look for the Light Christmas program is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, at Holy Communion Lutheran Church, 2000 W. Sixth St. Sunday School children, youth and all choirs are joined by animals to transform the sanctuary into a manger in Bethlehem and tell the story of Christmas through familiar hymns and compositions by Gregory Berg.

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Religion Today is a listing of special events held at Racine County churches and is published every Saturday in Community. Notices of regularly scheduled services and sermon topics are not used. Announcements must arrive by noon Tuesday to be considered for publication the following Saturday, as space permits. Submit information to The Journal Times Online Calendar at www.journaltimes.com/calendar and select Faith under sections; by mail to Sharon Knox, The Journal Times, 212 Fourth St., Racine, WI, 53403; email sknox@journaltimes.com or fax information to the attention of Sharon Knox at 262-631-1780.

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