Many Severna Park residents look forward each December to the live Nativity enacted on the front lawn of the Severna Park Baptist Church. Pastor the Rev. Lawrence Baylot and associate pastor the Rev. Bill Brazell have invited everyone to experience the Nativity from 7 to 9 p.m. Sunday, weather cooperating. At 7 p.m. on Christmas Eve, there will be a candlelight service at the church.
Christmas worship at Our Shepherd Lutheran Church on Benfield Road, led by pastor the Rev. C. Frederick Eichner and music director Mary Jo Bedsworth, includes two Christmas Eve services: a family service at 7 p.m., with music by the primary and chorister choirs; and a candlelight service at 11 p.m. (the musical prelude begins at 10:30 p.m.), with music by the adult and youth choirs, hand bells and brass. At 10 a.m. on Christmas morning there will be a service of Holy Eucharist.
At Severna Park United Methodist Church, pastors Dr. Warren Ebinger and the Rev. Sandra Taylor and choir director Marge Ingalls invite all to attend one of two Christmas Eve services: the family service at 5 p.m., with music by the junior and primary choristers; and at 11 p.m. the candle and carol service, with hand bells, soloists and youth and adult choirs.
There will be four Christmas Eve Masses at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church on Ritchie Highway, with Monsignor Edward F. Staub and associate pastors the Rev. Frank McFadden and the Rev. Lawrence Waudby: at 4 p.m. (usually very crowded); at 5 p.m.; at 7:30 p.m., with contemporary music; and at midnight with a candlelight procession and choir with guest musicians.
St. Martin In The Field Episcopal Church will offer three Christmas Eve services: a family service at 4 p.m. led by the Rev. John David VanDooren; a pageant at 7 p.m.; and an 11 p.m. service preceded by a half hour of carols. The last service will be conducted by the Rev. Canon John Kitagawa.
There will be an 11 a.m. Christmas Day service. Choir director is Michael Menne.
There will be four Christmas Eve services at Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church on Baltimore and Annapolis Boulevard. The Rev. Terry Schoener and associate pastors the Rev. Tim Stern and the Rev. Peg Ferguson extend invitations to join them at 6 p.m. for the children's service, at 8 p.m.
and 9:30 p.m. for lessons and carols with the adult choir, and at 11 p.m.
for lessons and carols with the youth choir. Ann Cooper Turpin is musical director.
* The excitement and spirit of Hannukah and Christmas is being felt at our local schools. At Chesapeake Academy, Gary Kelman, whose son Graham is a student there, visited the school to talk about the traditions of Hannukah.
He spoke to each group of children, from kindergarten to fifth grade, sharing with them the traditions of the menorah and the dreidel.
During the holiday season students at Belvedere Elementary School put the emphasis on caring and sharing. In addition to the Mitten and Sock Tree -- a collection of mittens, socks, hats and gloves for the needy -- the children presented a holiday concert for nursing home residents and senior citizens, honoring each guest with a small gift.
Arnold Elementary School families were invited to a holiday pancake breakfast cooked up by the PTA. Children were treated to photos with Santa, face painting and a chance to purchase Christmas and Hanukkah gifts in the special Secret Shop. Moms and dads bought goodies in Mrs. Claus's Bake Shop.
The December calendar at Oak Hill Elementary School included Santa's Secret Workshop on a Friday evening and a Saturday morning with holiday gifts, baked goods, a book fair, and instrumental and choral music programs.
* It's time again for the Severna Park YMCA's annual Van Vandenberg Swim-a-thon. "Catch the Wave" will take place in the Y pool from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 5 and 6.
You can get into the swim of things in several ways: You can obtain pledges for laps that you will swim or for time spent in water exercise classes (swimnastics, arthritis swim, and aqua workout); or if you prefer to remain high and dry, volunteer to count laps, sell baked goods, cheer swimmers on or sign a swimmer's pledge sheet.
Participation is the key to the success of this event; money raised is used to maintain the facility, improve programs and offer more financial assistance. An additional goal this year is to raise enough money to refurbish the women's locker room.
The event is named in honor of Vandenberg, who in 1988 was named YMCA Volunteer of the Year. This popular senior doesn't miss a day in the water or a chance to encourage others to join him.
Pledge sheets may be obtained at the YMCA, located on the corner of Baltimore and Annapolis Boulevard and Cypress Creek Road. For more information, call 647-3800.
* Someone on your holiday gift list probably would be very happy to receive tickets to the Severna Park Rotary Club's professionally narrated travelogues on the South Pacific, Nepal, Greece and the Caribbean.