Religion calendar, Dec. 6, 2013
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25th annual Tagore Festival. 4:30 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Channing-Murray Foundation, 1209 W. Oregon St., U. Theme: Tagore: the Rebel from the East. Keynote lecture, Tagore the Feminist by Professor Kathi Kern of the University of Kentucky. Cultural program by East Central Illinois Bengali Association; performance by Mithya: The Indian Dramatic Society; and a catered dinner. Registration has passed for the dinner. Department of Religion, UIUC and Channing-Murray are among the sponsors. 344-1176, 806-252-8558.
Lessons and carols followed by St. Nicholas visit. 9 to 11 a.m. Sunday, Emmanuel Memorial Episcopal Church, 102 N. State St., C. Service of lessons and carols at 9 a.m., concludes with holy communion. Followed by a visit from St. Nicholas. The story of St. Nicholas will be told, and children can have their photo taken him. Cookies baked by the parish's children will be sold, and proceeds will benefit the Salvation Army Toy Drive. 352-9827.
— 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 2101 S. Prospect Ave., C. Seventh annual outdoor Nativity Walk. Live Christmas music, more than 100 unique Nativity sets from around the world; visit the Refreshment Cafe and stop at the nativity.
— 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Peace Lutheran Church, 200 W. Arnold St., Thomasboro. Outdoor performance of a nativity pageant. Free food, drinks and children's activities inside the church.
— 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Holy Cross Church Parish Center, 405 W. Clark St., C. Children's Live Nativity inside the parish center. Annual event put on by three families from Holy Cross. Children from 6 months to 12 years will portray the first days of Jesus' life in the stable in Bethlehem.
— 5 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Trinity Lutheran Church, 701 E. Florida Ave., U. Outdoors. Everyone is invited to come and experience the true meaning of Christmas.
Catholic Charities' Tolono Food Pantry. 10 a.m. to noon every Friday and 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. every Monday (excluding holidays) at St. Patrick Catholic Church's east entrance, 212 E. Washington St. Food distribution. May come twice per calendar month. Just need to be 18 or older and show a photo ID. No location restrictions. 689-1427.
Community Christmas feast. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Christ Lutheran High School, Crusader Hall, Buckley. Sponsored by the CLHS secret service. A Christmas dinner with all the trimmings: turkey, ham, potatoes, green bean casserole, rolls, desserts, etc. All proceeds donated to Buckley-area families in need, Schwer Church fire needs and CLHS. 394-2547.
Miracle of Christmas Program 2013. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 13 and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 14, Jesus is the Way Prison Ministry, 602 Liberty Ave., Rantoul. Jesus is the Way Prison Ministry's outreach to children in need. Toy drop-off, Dec. 13. Toy wrapping, 9 a.m. to noon, with toy distribution, 2 to 5 p.m. Dec. 14. 892-4044.
Bake sale. 9 a.m. to noon Dec. 14, Sadorus Community Center, 115 E. Market St. More than 100 dozen cookies and assorted holiday treats. All proceeds to benefit the Sadorus Community Food Pantry. Sponsored by Sadorus United Methodist Church, Parkville United Methodist Church and St. Paul's Lutheran Church.
SNUGGLES Stitch-a-thon. 3 to 5 p.m. Dec. 15, Bible Education Center — Lincoln Square Village, Urbana. SNUGGLES is a volunteer organization dedicated to providing knitted or crocheted 6-by-6-inch yarn squares that will be sewn together (in Africa) into small blankets and sweaters for the children in the neediest of the day care centers. Work at your own pace opportunity. 367-2100.
African Children's Choir. 3 p.m. Saturday, St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1617 E. Emerson St., Bloomington. The choir consists of children 7 to 10 years old from Uganda. The primary goal of the choir is to raise awareness of the need of destitute and orphaned children in Africa and to raise funds for continued development and support of the African Children's Choir program and its fundraising organization, Music for Life. Free-will offering. 309-827-6121, extension 205, firstname.lastname@example.org.
G.F. Handel's 'Messiah.' 6 p.m. Sunday, Canaan Academy, 207 N. Central Ave., U. Sponsored by The Canaan Foundation. Excerpts from the "Messiah," featuring The Canaan Victory Chorale; The Inter-Faith Singers from Champaign County; William Ogg, piano; Twin City Bible Church Orchestra; Urbana High School select orchestra members and school choir; and soloists Jackline Madegwa, Rebecca Wilson, Shandra Summerville, Davion Williams, Rick Rhodes, Adam Kosberg and Dae Kwang Kim. Free-will offering for Canaan Academy's Scholarship Fund.
A service of lessons and carols. 10 a.m. Sunday, First United Methodist Church, 210 W. Church St., C. Major Music Sunday. The Chancel Choir with full orchestra presents this traditional English worship service, singing some of the most well-known and beloved carols of the season. 356-9078.
Cookies and carols. 6:30 to 7:15 p.m. Tuesday, First United Methodist Church, 210 W. Church St., C. 356-9078.
Advent organ recitals. Noon Wednesdays, through Dec. 18, First United Methodist Church, 210 W. Church St., C. Presented by the music ministry of the church. Dec. 11: Michael Fisher, organist at Emmanuel Memorial Episcopal Church of Champaign. Join us for the half-hour concert and lunch. Bring a sack lunch or order a box lunch, $9, from the church, 356-9078, by noon Tuesdays.
Bellflower area Christmas cantata. "Mary, Did You Know?," 7 p.m. Dec. 14, Bellflower Community Center, 202 Center St. Sponsored by Bellflower United Methodist Church. The evening includes audience singing of Christmas carols, solos by area musicians and concludes with Christmas fellowship and refreshments. No admission or donation.
Workshops, seminars, classes
Bible studies. 7 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays, through Dec. 18, Bible Education Center, Lincoln Square Village, Urbana. Wednesday: Following a Message, a study on how the multitudes following Jesus is an example for the modern world. Dec. 18: The Compassionate, an in-depth look at compassion in scripture. 367-2100.
Christmas Bible School. 5 to 7 p.m. Dec. 17 and 19, First United Methodist Church of Urbana, 304 S. Race St., U. For kids first through sixth grade. Activities include a Bible lesson on the Christmas story, games, crafts, snacks and music. On Dec. 19, instead of a snack, the children's families are invited to join for dinner at 6:15 p.m. Register by Dec. 15. 367-8384, email@example.com.
Cancer Prayer and Support Group. 6:30 p.m. Monday, Fithian United Methodist Church, 101 Clinton St. Meets the second Monday of each month. Open to all; do not need to be involved with a church. 548-2416, 582-2517.
Blood drives. Noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday, McKinley Church and Foundation, 809 S. Fifth St., C. To schedule appointment: American Red Cross, 800-733-2767, http://www.redcrossblood.org.