Children and adults, amateurs and professionals will offer a variety of Advent musical programs in many Maryland locations Saturday and Sunday as Christians of all denominations usher in the week before Christmas.
Some examples in the Baltimore area that are free and to which the public is invited:
* At 7 p.m. Saturday at Kings- way Christian Center, 7403 Gum Spring Road off Rossville Boulevard in the Fullerton area of Baltimore County, the Power of Praise Singers of the Christian Home Educators Network (CHEN) will present a musical drama, "From Heaven's Throne," and selections from "Oh, What a Love." Information: 444-2858.
* At 11 a.m. Sunday at Hunting Ridge Presbyterian Church, 4640 Edmondson Ave. in West Baltimore, the pupils of the church school and the Children's and Cherub Choirs will present an Advent pageant as part of the worship service. Information: 566-2926.
* At 4 p.m. Sunday at Grace United Methodist Church, 5407 N. Charles St. in North Baltimore, the Chancel Choir and soloists, accompanied by an orchestra of 31 instrumentalists directed by Bruce R. Eicher, will present a concert featuring Rheinberger's "The Star of Bethlehem" and "Missa in Nativitate Domini."
The soloists are Alice Mack and Phyllis Burg, sopranos; Kathryn Arnold, contralto; Steven James, tenor; and Paul Redline, baritone. An offering will be taken. Information: 433-6650.
* At 5 p.m. Sunday at Shiloh Christian Community Church, 2500 W. Lombard St. in West Baltimore, the Chancel Choir and guest soloists will present Handel's "Messiah" as part of a candlelight service. There will be a free will offering and each member of the congregation and guest is asked to bring a candle.
A reception in the Lower Auditorium, sponsored by the Building Fund Committee, will follow the concert. Information: 945-8730.
A Noah's Ark petting zoo for children, a parade of local team mascots, kosher food, music and entertainment -- including concerts by the Kol Chayim Orchestra and a puppet show -- and demonstrations and displays of Judaica by regional and national exhibitors will be part of the Baltimore-Washington Jewish Food & Life Expo Sunday.
It is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Exhibition Hall of the Maryland State Fairgrounds, Timonium.
According to the sponsoring Etz Chaim Center for Jewish Studies in Baltimore, it is the largest indoor Jewish event in the Middle-Atlantic region. The festival drew more than 7,000 people last year. Tickets are $6.50 for adults, $5.50 for senior citizens, $3 for children. Information: 764-1553 or 653-4644.
Marching to church:
Fifty years ago, the congregation of St. John's AME Church at 810 N. Carrollton Ave. in West Baltimore rebuilt the handsome structure after a disastrous fire.
To celebrate that survival and the recent completion of extensive repairs to the church made during the last four months, parishioners will parade Sunday to St. John's from their temporary worship space in a school at Pennsylvania Avenue and Dolphin Street. The procession will begin at 8:30 a.m., led by the pastor, the Rev. Maurice T. Wilson.
The public is invited to join the celebration. Information: 523-5468.
Kosher food needed:
Jewish Family Services has issued an appeal for funds to supply kosher food to needy families in the Baltimore area, saying that contributions to the Kosher Food Pantry are down by 25 percent from last year's total at this time but requests for assistance are up.
About 150 families receive food each month from the kosher pantry.
Donations may be sent to Jewish Family Services, 5750 Park Heights Ave., Baltimore 21215. Information: 466-9200, Ext. 244.
The last in an Advent series of Roman Catholic Vespers services, conducted by the Conventual Franciscan Friars of Folly Quarter at 12290 Folly Quarter Road in Ellicott City, will begin Sunday at 7:30 p.m.
The Rev. Timothy Kulbicki will preach. Information: 988-9822.