Faith Focus: Cherry Grove to host ‘Blue Christmas’ service

December 17, 2018

Cherry Grove to host ‘Blue Christmas’ service

Cherry Grove United Methodist Church will host the second annual Blue Christmas service at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21, for anyone in the area who might be feeling “blue” this Christmas.

Christmas is considered to be a joyful time, but there are persons for whom the holidays are not entirely joyful: persons who are lonely, grieving, separated from family and friends or carrying burdens of sadness, anger, pain or fear. This service offers a way to claim those feelings and still know the compassionate love of God.

This special service of Scripture, music, candlelight and prayer acknowledges, in the midst of our varied thoughts and emotions, God offers us hope and healing.

Cherry Grove church is at 18183 160th St. in the small community of Cherry Grove, rural Spring Valley. The church is handicapped accessible.

First Presbyterian holds traditional English service

The tradition of the “Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols” was established in England — as the adaptation of an earlier service — on Christmas Eve 1918, in the chapel of Kings College, Cambridge University, for the university community and for the City of Cambridge.

The Kings College service was first broadcast by radio in 1928, and, excepting the year 1930, these broadcasts have continued (for 70 years internationally) to this day. This wonderful tradition, moreover, has been duplicated in cathedrals and churches throughout America.

Join First Presbyterian Church, 512 Third St. SW, Rochester, for its inspiring worship service based on the English tradition at 8:30 and 11 a.m. Dec. 16.

Worship will be led by the Calvin, Chancel and Youth Choirs with orchestra, handbells, and organ. The service includes the reading of nine lessons, carols and anthems. The service has a profound dignity and is breathtakingly beautiful.

Concordia Christmas concert to have local broadcasts

The Concordia College Christmas Concert, “Gather Us In, O Child of Peace,” will be broadcast this holiday season at 10 p.m. Dec. 24 on TPT2 (channel 2 on Charter Communications in Rochester and channel 2-1 over the air) and at 2 p.m. Dec. 25 on TPT MN (channel 199 and 2-2).

During this hour-long event, more than 400 student musicians in five choirs and a full orchestra perform in front of a panoramic mural. The themes of worship service in song explore the virtues of community, tolerance, compassion, and unity, all made possible by the incarnation of Jesus, the true Child of Peace.

The concert was videotaped by Twin Cities Public Television during the performances at Concordia College in Moorhead in 2016. The Concordia Christmas Concert draws more than 20,000 people annually to the concert in Moorhead and in Minneapolis.

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