Religion Almanac, a roundup of local religious events open to the public, is published weekly in Faith & Values. Deadline for news releases is noon Monday for the Saturday edition. Email announcements to firstname.lastname@example.org.
"It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year:" Presented 7 p.m. Saturday, at Manatee United Methodist Church, 315 15th St. E., Bradenton. Information: 746-0101.
"It's a Wonderful Life:" Happy Gospel Church Christmas production, 7 p.m. Saturday, 1915 53rd Ave. E., Bradenton. Love offering. Information: 941-756-6942.
Joy to the World, A Celebration of Carols: 10 a.m. Sunday at Roser Church, 512 Pine Ave. Information: 941-778-0414, email email@example.com, go to roserchurch.com.
Promises of the Season: Christ United Methodist Church Choir, 9 a.m. Sunday. 5512 26th St. W., Bradenton. Information: 941-755-2722.
Handel's Messiah: First United Methodist Choir, along with guest singers from the community, harpsichord, soloists, and orchestra, 10:30 a.m. Sunday,, First United Methodist Church, 603 11th St. W., Bradenton, free parking. Information: 747-6619.
"Beautiful Star of Bethlehem" Christmas Cantata: 10 a.m. Sunday, at Braden River Presbyterian Church, 5150 Peridia Blvd. E., Bradenton. Information: 941-738-0202.
Carols on the Lawn: Christ United Methodist Church, 6 p.m. Sunday, cookies and hot chocolate after, 5512 26th St. W., Bradenton. Information: 941-755-2722.
Annual Christmas Concert and Community Carol Sing: 7 p.m. Sunday Dec. 15, church singers with brass quintet, organ and harp, freewill offering, parking available in Zenith garage, First Church, 104 S. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota. Information: 941-955-0935.
Suncoast Concert Band: Concert 3 p.m. Sunday, Northminster Presbyterian Church, 3131 61st St., Sarasota, in the Northminster Sanctuary. Tickets $5. RSVP: 941-907-4123.
Christmas With the Gulf Coast Flute Choir: Palma Sola Presbyterian Church, 6510 Third Ave. W., Bradenton, 7 p.m. Monday, directed by Kathryn Master Pendergrass. Open to the public with reception to follow. Freewill offering. Information: 941-792-3141 or pspchurch.org.
A Cowboy Christmas: Wes Adams Christmas program, 6 p.m. Wednesday, First United Methodist Church, 330 11th Ave., Palmetto, 5:30 p.m. fellowship dinner, 6 p.m. show. Dinner RSVP: 941-722-1812
Blue Christmas Service: 7 p.m. Wednesday, Living Lord Lutheran Church, 11107 Palmbrush Trail, Lakewood Ranch. Information: 941-753-9365.
International Shabbat Service: Rabbi Gary Bretton-Granatoor, vice president of the World Union for Progressive Judaism, will speak at Temple Emanu-El's International Shabbat Service Dec. 20. Information: 941-379-1997.
Havdalah Service: Guest speaker Rabbi Gary Bretton-Granatoor, vice president World Union for Progressive Judaism, New York, 5:30 p.m. Dec. 21. Information: 941-755-4900, 9 a.m.-noon Tuesday through Friday.
The Threefold Nature of Peace: 10:30 a.m. Dec. 22, 322 15th St. W., at Third Avenue, Bradenton, Manatee Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, speaker Don Thompson, choir singing "The Gloria" and other Christmas music. Information: 941-739-7103, firstname.lastname@example.org.
CANCELED Christmas Concert: Church of the Redeemer, 222 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota, 5:15 p.m. Dec. 22, with performance of Camille Saint-Saëns' Christmas Oratorio and Vivaldi's Gloria RV 588 under direction of conductor Todd Craven. Soloists: soprano Kira Gaillard, alto Deborah Suta, tenors David Kesler and Adam Bielamowicz and bass Daniel Cartlidge, Bass. Tickets are $10 at redeemersarasota.org or call 941-955-4263.
Christmas Eve Outdoor Candlelight Service: 6 p.m. Dec. 24, Manatee United Methodist Church, 315 15th St. E., Bradenton. Information: 746-0101.
Family Community Christmas Eve Service: Bradenton First Church of the Nazarene, 1616 59th St. W., 5:30 p.m. Dec. 24, candle-light communion, carols and seasonal music. Information: 941-794-1685. ext. 105.
Christmas Eve Candlelight Service: Christ United Methodist Church, 7 p.m. Dec. 24, 5512 26th St. W., Bradenton. Information: 941-755-2722
Christmas Eve Services: 4 p.m., 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. Dec. 24, Living Lord Lutheran Church, 11107 Palmbrush Trail, Lakewood Ranch. Information: 941-753-9365.
Christmas Eve Candlelight Service: 7 p.m. Dec. 24. Sunday service at 10:30 a.m., Northminster Presbyterian Church, 3131 61st St., Sarasota. Information: 941-355-4729.
Christmas Eve/Christmas Day Worship: Church of the Redeemer, 222 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota, three Masses each day.Christmas Eve Masses, 4 p.m. preceded by half-hour of traditional Christmas carols, beginning at 3:30 p.m. Family Mass includes "live Nativity" scene with children playing shepherds, lambs, stars and angels, and Baby Jesus represented by newest parish infant, Liv Ferguson, with her parents, Sara and Nick Ferguson, as Mary and Joseph. Babysitting for toddlers and infants provided. Choral Mass begins at 6:30 p.m. At 10 p.m., the Redeemer choir will sing anthems and carols heralding the "Midnight Mass" beginning at 10:30 p.m. Christmas Day Masses: 7:30 a.m., Choral Mass at 10 a.m., and a Mass in Spanish at 1 p.m. Information: redeemersarasota.org, or call 941-955-4263.
Sunset Cruise and Dinner: Temple Beth El Bradenton Social Activities Committee boards the River Skipper II at 4 p.m. Dec. 28 at Regatta Pointe Marina in Palmetto. Cruise up the Manatee River and return to the Riverhouse Reef and Grill for dinner, $37.50 per person prepaid with reservation. Space limit 40 people. RSVP: 941-755-4900.
Famed Zionist historian: Thomas Hecht's opens lecture series, Al Katz Center, 713 South Orange Ave., Burns Square, Sarasota, 5:30 p.m. address Dec. 30 followed by reception, $12 per adult, $6 per student. Hecht is founder and CEO of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies. RSVP: 941-313-9239.
Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church: 7461 Prospect Road, Sarasota. Christmas services: 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Dec. 24, Christmas Eve Service; 10 a.m. Christmas Day Festival Service; and 4:30 p.m. New Year's Eve, Dec. 31. Information: 941-755-3798 or go to beautifulsaviorlcms.com.
Bible Baptist Church: 1720 Sixth Ave. W., Palmetto. Sunday school at 9:15 a.m. and worship at 11 a.m. each Sunday.
The Church of the Redeemer: 222 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota, will offer a midday Advent organ recital beginning at at 12:10 p.m. Dec. 11 with guest organist Neil Page, director of music at Siesta Key's Saint Boniface Episcopal Church. The 30-minute recitals will be each Wednesday throughout the season of Advent on Redeemer's massive 50-stop Nichols & Simpson pipe organ. Information: redeemersarasota.org or call 941-955-4263.
Ellenton United Methodist Church: Monthly breakfast at church at U.S. 301 and Ellenton-Gillette Road. Donation $4 for breakfast, including biscuits and gravy, pancakes, French
toast, scrambled eggs, sausage, juice and coffee is available. Held monthly year around from 8-10 a.m. on first Saturday in the Christian Life Center. Worship services are 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. Sunday. Information: 941-729-6802.
First Baptist Church of Palmetto: worship and Bible study 9:15 a.m. and 11 a.m. Sundays at First Baptist Church of Palmetto, 1020 Fourth St. W. Information: 941-722-7795.
Lakewood Ranch Ladies Devotional Hour: 10 a.m. Thursdays at Town Hall, 8175 Lakewood Ranch Blvd. Information: 941-727-3789.
Living Lord Lutheran Church: Our Daily Bread/Project 5,000 at Living Lord Lutheran Church, 11120 State Road 70 E., Lakewood Ranch, is collecting grocery bags filled with unbreakable containers to feed local families. Each bag will feed a family of four for two days or a family of two for four days. Quilters and Crafty Ladies meet 3 p.m. the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month to make lap robes and quilts for the needy in Manatee County.
Manatee Baptist Church: 1501 Seventh Ave. E., Bradenton. has 9 a.m. Sunday school, 10:15 a.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday worship services and 7 p.m. Bible study Wednesday. Every third Sunday a fellowship meal follows morning services with the Rev. Steve Aaron. Information: 941-748-2339 or 941-723-3454.
Manatee County Meditation Group: 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays at Manatee Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 322 15th St. W., Bradenton. Information: 941-915-1454.
My Father's House Church: 7215 U.S. 301 N., Ellenton, Bible study at 7 p.m. Wednesdays and 9:15 a.m. Sundays. Youth Bible study for all ages is at 9:15 a.m. Sundays. The thrift store is open 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Information: 941-776-9016.
Northminster Presbyterian Church: Sunday service, Pastor Christopher Carlson, 10:30 a.m. worship service, 3131 61st St., Sarasota, hearing assistance available, services at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Sundays. Carlson sermons online at npcsarasota.com. Dick Murphy will be the moderator on Bible study of the Resurrection for nine more weeks at 10 a.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesdays in Fellowship Hall. Information: 941-355-4729. Artists meet at 10:30 a.m. Wednesdays in Fellowhip Hall. Bring lunch and supplies or we can help.
Orthodox Catholic: The Synod of Governing Bishops for the Holy Orthodox Catholic Church announced the opening if their new church temporarily at 2700 S. Tamiami Trail, Suite 11B, Sarasota. The Rev. Archbishop Jacob J. K. Longacre was appointed first pastor. All seven sacraments will be available in the Orthodox Form by making an appointment with the pastor at 941-954-0330.
Parrish United Methodist Church: 8:15 a.m. Sunday worship, 9:45 a.m. CrossLight, 11:11 a.m. blended worship and 9:45 a.m. Sunday school, 2180 U.S. 301 N., Parrish. Thrift cottage open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays and Saturdays at 12140 69th St. E., Parrish. Information: 941-776-1539.
Peace Presbyterian Church: a congregation of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A, has moved to Lakewood Ranch, in the Manatee Board of Realtors building, 10910 Technology Drive, 9:30 a.m. Sunday services. Information: 941-753-7778.
Quakers: Sarasota Friends Meeting, 10 a.m. Sundays, 3139 57th St., Sarasota. Information: 941-358-5759 or visit sarasota.quaker.org.
Redeemer Lutheran Church: 6311 Third Ave. W., Bradenton, 9 a.m. Sunday School, service with communion 10 a.m. Sunday. Tutoring for students at Redeemer Learning Center, call 941-792-2936. Women of Redeemer meet 9-10:30 a.m. for breakfast and fellowship second Saturday of every month.
Revelation Ministries: "Prayer Time" at Revelation Ministries, 1919 14th St. W., Bradenton, 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays. Information: 941-726-3464.
St. Joseph Church: A caregiver/family support group meeting is set for 1-2:30 p.m. Mondays at the church, 3100 26th St., W., Bradenton. Information: Marianne Ridgell of Home Instead Senior Care at 941-739-3050.
St. Mary Magdalene Church: 7 p.m. Friday for fellowship, anointed worship, teachings, prayer and ministry at 11315 Palmbrush Trail, State Road 70 at Lakewood Ranch Boulevard. Information: 941-751-5048.
St. Mary's Episcopal Church: Father Glen Graczyk, 1010 24th Ave. W., Palmetto, 10 a.m. Sunday service. Attend Spanish service with Father Dick Lampert, 1 p.m. Sunday. Information: 941-722-5292.
Stillpoint House of Prayer: Intercessory-prayer workshop groups at 1608 14th St. W. Contemplative-prayer groups at 11 a.m. Wednesday and Thursday. Spanish Bible study and prayer and rosary group meets at 9 a.m. Tuesday-Thursday. Information: 941-748-6835 or 941-795-0130.
Temple Beth El: a reform congregation, conducts Erev Shabbat services at 7:30 p.m. Friday evening and Shabbat services with Torah study at 10 a.m. Saturday, 4200 32nd St. W. Religious school classes three Sunday mornings a month and Hebrew school classes Wednesday afternoons by Susie Konicov. Information: 941-755-4900, 9 a.m.-noon Tuesday through Friday.
Temple Emanu-El: Sisterhood Mitzvah Knitting Group, 10 a.m. second Tuesday of each month, 151 McIntosh Road, Sarasota. All knitters and crocheters welcome. Participants craft blankets, caps and booties for babies for local groups serving needy families or expectant mothers in Israel. Bring your own knitting needles or crochet hook. Patterns and yarn will be provided -- if desired. Information: leader Susan Bernstein at susanhope22 Transitions support group, 3700 26th St. W., Bradenton, helps you deal with traumatic changes, discover resources and chart strategies to achieve goals with the help of professional counselors, D. Ross Thompson and Dr. Don Thompson. Meets 5-6:30 p.m. every Sunday. Six sessions recommended. Information: 941-739-7103.