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Sharing the holiday spirit

Posted November 27, 2013 in Community Featured, Boone

If I were to ask 50 people on the street, “What is Christmas about?”, I highly doubt — fingers crossed — that the most common answer would be “shopping” or “gifts.” I am optimistically sure these strangers would spout out replies such as “family,” “togetherness” or “celebrating the birth of Jesus.” Because of the strong driving force of the holiday spirit and the inclusive events happening in the Boone area this winter, my opinion on this is soundly secure.

Pastor Ray Hoke and Garry Gardner share the responsibility of playing Ebenezer Scrooge in Bethel Church’s Christmas performance

Pastor Ray Hoke and Garry Gardner share the responsibility of playing Ebenezer Scrooge in Bethel Church’s Christmas performance

On Dec. 6 and 7 at 7 p.m. and on Dec. 8 at 2 p.m., the Bethel Church will perform its biannual presentation of “The Gospel According to Scrooge.” The 70-person cast includes those young, old and somewhere in between. A fully painted set and handmade costumes add to the visual element of the storyline, which is the gospel played out in the context of Charles Dicken’s classic 1843 novel “A Christmas Carol,” says Pastor Ray Hoke.

“We are so grateful that surrounding communities have supported this effort well over the past 25 years, and we expect full houses for these presentations,” he says. No reservations are needed to attend, and seating will begin an hour before each performance. No admission is charged, however a freewill offering will be accepted.

The First United Methodist Church embraces Christmas “giving.” On Dec. 22, with the help of the Boone Ministerial Association, the church will host a “Service of Hope.” For some, this season is a reminder of those whom they have lost and can result in a feeling of loneliness. The service will begin at 3 p.m., and offers a place for support and love during a time of need.

On Christmas Eve, First United Methodist is a part of two other special events. At 2 p.m., members from the church will read scriptures and sing carols at the Eastern Star Masonic Home chapel. Each attendee will also receive a gift.

“Several residents look forward to this special service,” says secretary Donna Sparks. Every year the church also participates in giving “hospitality gifts.” The congregation will make homemade cookies, bars and fudge. These treats are then arranged onto gift trays and delivered to local businesses open late that evening, resulting in a loss of time with their loved ones.

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