Area churches prepare to make a joyful noise for holiday season

Free Christmas concerts scheduled this weekend

December 12, 2003|By Tawanda W. Johnson | Tawanda W. Johnson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Amid the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping, several area churches are sponsoring free Christmas concerts this weekend to help residents enjoy the real meaning of the season - the celebration of Jesus Christ's birth.

New Hope Lutheran in Columbia, Holy Trinity Lutheran in Laurel, Jennings Chapel United Methodist in Woodbine and Lisbon United Methodist all will feature Christmas carols, liturgical dancers and instrumentalists Sunday.

"We will have traditional music like `Deck the Halls,' ` O' Come Ye Emmanuel' and contemporary music like `Breath of Heaven' and `Born to Die,' " said Sharon Punte, music director at New Hope Lutheran.

Its concert is scheduled from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the church, 8575 Guilford Road. Punte said a handbell choir, a children's choir, a quartet and soloists are among the entertainment.

An offering will be taken to benefit the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Disaster Relief Fund.

At Holy Trinity Lutheran, the congregation will present "Waiting for the King," featuring music from the Advent, Christmas and Epiphany seasons.

The concert is scheduled from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the church, 7607 Old Sandy Spring Road.

The senior and JoyBells hand choirs are among those participating, as well as Jubilation! - the church's contemporary worship band.

The Moving Spirit dancers, soloists, instrumentalists, congregational carols and puppets, a new addition this year appealing to children, are also to be part of the festivities.

"If people want a respite from shopping, this is a [good place to be]," said Lynn Monkres, the church's music director.

An offering, which will benefit Laurel Advocacy & Referral Service, will be taken.

Monkres said those attending the concert can expect to hear a variety of songs, including "O Come All Ye Faithful" and "Joy to the World," and a reading from the Book of Isaiah.

"This is one way to have Christmas musically before everyone does their thing on Christmas," he said.

"The Best Gift of All - And It's for You" is the theme of the Christmas cantata to be presented by Jennings Chapel United Methodist; it is also to be featured at Lisbon United Methodist. The two churches collaborated on a communitywide choir of 50 singers.

"This is good, solid, four-part harmony," said Jan Gordon-Holt, music director for the event. "We're all volunteers, and it's a good Christmas [event]."

The first concert is to be held from 11 a.m. to noon at Lisbon United Methodist, 15875 Frederick Road.

The second concert is scheduled from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Jennings Chapel, 2601 Jennings Chapel Road. Among the songs to be heard are: "Waiting for a King" and "For Unto Us a Child is Born."

Light refreshments will follow the evening concert.

Information about the concerts: New Hope Lutheran, 410-381-4673; Holy Trinity Lutheran, 301-725-1666; and Jennings Chapel, 410-489-7185.

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