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.
Guest speaker: The Rev. David Owen Ritz of the Center for Positive Living will be speaking 10:30-11:30 a.m. Sunday at the center's 31st annual Christmas candle lighting celebration, at the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center, 709 N. Tamiami Trial, Sarasota. Contemporary music provided by David Hubbell, Carleton Flonnoy and Neopolitan. Refreshments and fellowship served following the service. Information: 941-366-0275.
Christmas Celebration: McMillan & Life, with Gail Boyce, will be in concert at 6 p.m. Sunday at Happy Gospel Church, 1915 53rd Ave. E., Bradenton. A love offering will be received. Information: 941-756-6942.
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Messiah sing-along: The Church of the Redeemer, 222 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota, presents its annual Messiah Sing-along at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 23. This festive, family-friendly event features members of the choirs of Redeemer singing along with the congregation, accompanied by a chamber orchestra and guest organist Michael Stuart. Ticket donations are $10 and may be made in advance online at www.redeemersarasota.org, or by calling or visiting the church. Subject to availability, tickets will also be sold at the door on the day the event. Information: 941-955-4263 or visit www.redeemersarasota.org.
n Temple Emanu-El, 151 McIntosh Road, Sarasota, will host a "traditional" Jewish gathering at 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve, featuring a Chinese buffet, followed by a homemade dessert extravaganza and night of board and card games. Reservations and pricing: 941-388-7899.
Christmas dinner for the homeless: Our Daily Bread, 701 17th Ave. W., Bradenton, will provide a Christmas Day meal 9:30-11 a.m. Congregation Ner Tamid members and friends will volunteer to serve in order so the regular staff can have the day with their families. Staff expects a record number of dinners to be served. Information: 941-745-2992 or 941-755-1231.
Holocaust Center grand opening: The Al Katz Center for Holocaust Survivors & Jewish Learning will celebrate its grand opening with an open house and brunch 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 25 at 713 South Orange Ave., Suite 105, in Sarasota. The center will provide a warm environment for survivors to meet and obtain services and advocacy for their increased needs as they age. The center will also conduct classes and programs each week for the Jewish community at large. Information: Beverly Newman at 941-313-9239 or 317-590-0876.
Fundraiser: The Manatee Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 322 15th St. W., Bradenton, will host a piano concert at 4 p.m. Jan. 6 presented by Eleonora Lvov. She is boldly emotive with staggering technique and emanates spirituality and ardent passion through her music. A reception will follow. Suggested donation is $15. Information: 941-746-0067.
Bible study series: Northminister Presbyterian Chruch, 3131 61st St., Sarasota, will begin a 13-week series at 9 a.m. Sundays, led by Dick Murphy on "The Gospels: The Life and Times of Jesus Christ. "
Epiphany celebration: The Church of the Redeemer, 222 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota, will celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany Jan. 6 marking the end of the Christmas season. Morning Mass will be offered at 7:30, 9 and 11 a.m. A Mass in Spanish will be offered at 1 p.m. Information: www.redeemersarasota.org or 941-955-4263.
"World Walk! Seed Talk!": A presentation by Hope Seeds Inc., a Christian, charitable organization that provides seed and agricultural support to missionaries and mission teams around the world, will be held 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. Jan. 12 at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 3011 19th Ave. W., Bradenton. Enjoy fun for all ages, food and presentations while touring exhibits and speaking with experts. Information: 941-228-5660 or www.hopeseeds.org.
christmas eve services
n Living Lord Lutheran Church, 11107 Palmbrush Trail, Lakewood Ranch will hold Christmas Eve services at 4, 7 and 11 p.m. Information: 941-753-9365.
n Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, 222 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota. Family Mass (Rite II) with a visit by St. Nicholas at 4 p.m., Choral Mass (Rite II) at 6:30 p.m. Each service is preceded by a half-hour of traditional Christmas carols. Musical celebration at 9:30 p.m. with organ and brass quartet. At 10 p.m., the choir will sing anthems heralding the High Solemn Mass (Rite I with incense) at 10:30 p.m. Babysitting for toddlers and infants is provided. Information: 941-955-4263.
n Bradenton First Church of the Nazarene, 1616 59th St., Bradenton, hosts a community Christmas Eve service for families at 5 p.m. The one-hour service of carols, communion and candlelight will consist largely of special seasonal music. Information: 941-794-1685.
n First United Methodist Church, 104 S. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota. 5 p.m., Children and Family Service; 7 p.m. Traditional Candlelight Service of Lessons and Carols. Nursery is available at both services. Information: 941-955-0935.
n Manatee Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 322 15th St. W., Bradenton. 6 p.m. with music, candle-lighting and Christmas stories and carols. Refreshments to follow. Information: 941-746-0067.
n Manatee United Methodist Church, 315 15th St. E., Bradenton, 6 p.m. The children's choir will perform the musical drama "Away in a Manger" during the outdoor service. Information: 941-746-0101.
n Ellenton United Methodist Church, 3607 U.S. 301 N., candlelight service at 6 p.m. Information: 941-729-6802.
n Happy Gospel Church, 1915 53rd Ave. E., Bradenton, holds a 7 p.m. Christmas Eve candlelight service featuring carols and devotion.
n Northminister Presbyterian Chruch, 3131 61st St., Sarasota, plans a 7 p.m. candlelight Christmas Eve service. Special guest will be one of the shepherds from the Christmas story.
n CrossPointe Fellowship, 8605 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach, 7 p.m. Information: 941-778-0719.
Christmas dinner for the homeless: Our Daily Bread, 701 17th Ave. W., Bradenton, will provide a Christmas Day meal 9:30-11 a.m. Congregation Ner Tamid members and friends will volunteer to serve in order for the regular staff can have the day with their families. Staff expects a record number of dinners to be served. Information: 941-745-2992 or 941-755-1231.
"World Walk! Seed Talk": Hope Seeds, Inc., a Christian organization providing seed and agricultural support to missionaries and mission teams around the world, hosts a presentation titled "World Walk! Seed Talk!" 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. Jan. 12 at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 3011 19th Ave. W., Bradenton. Enjoy fun, food and presentations while touring exhibits and speaking with experts from here and abroad. Information: 941-748-2848.
Aglow International/Bradenton Aglow: meets 9:30 a.m. the second Saturday of the month at First Assembly of God, 1820 53rd Ave. W., Bradenton.
The Altar: 116 46th St. NW., Bradenton, a start-up Assembly of God congregation in Bradenton, meets 7 p.m. Thursdays and 5:30 p.m. Sundays with Pastors John and Gene McIntyre. Information: 941-748-5265.
Beth Israel Messianic Synagogue: holds Shabbat Service at 11 a.m. Saturdays with Hebrew and English Liturgy and Torah service followed by Kiddush and Oneg. Classes for children ages 7-12 are also offered. Services at Peridia Office Park, 3911 Golf Park Loop, No. 104, Bradenton. Information: 941-730-2136.
Braden River Presbyterian Church: "A Place to Belong" Summer worship at 10 a.m. at 5150 Peridia Blvd. E, Bradenton 34203. Information: www.bradenriverpc.com. of 941-739-0202.
Bread of Life Mission Inc.: is in need of houses, mobile homes, land, buildings, cars, vans, trucks and/or monetary gifts to assist and help get people off the streets. Information: 941-575-4440.
Center for Positive Living: 709 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, is a trans-denominational new thought spiritual community led by Rev. David Owen Ritz, meets Sunday 10:15-11:30 a.m. in the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center, Sarasota. Topics are based on the power-of-positive thinking to live healthier, happier and more spiritually connected lives. Contemporary music provided by David Hubbell with vocals by Neapolitan. Refreshments and fellowship immediately after service in David Cohen Hall. Information: www.sarasotacpl.com or 941-366-0275.
Centro Evangelistico Reflexiones Congregation: Centro Evangelistico Reflexiones Congregation, led by Pastor Daniel Rosales, holds Spanish language services at 10 a.m. Sundays in the classroom of Northminster Presbyterian Church USA, 3131 61st St., Sarasota. The congregation has resumed Bible study at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays.
Chabad of Bradenton: 9 a.m.-noon Sundays at Chabad of Bradenton, 5712 Lorraine Road,, Lakewood Ranch, led by Rabbi Mendy Bukiet. Chabad holds Talmud Classes 7:30 p.m. Mondays. Cost: $45. Torah Studies are held 9 a.m. Saturdays. Shabbat Services are held 7 p.m. Fridays and 9:30 a.m. Saturdays. Saturday services are followed by a delicious buffet Kiddush. Havdallah Ceremony & Video Showing on Saturday nights, one half hour after Shabbat's conclusion. Join Chabad for a weekly Havdallah Ceremony and Video demonstration featuring "Living Torah," clips of the Lubavitcher Rebbe's talks, timeless moments, and encounters. Information: 941-752-3030.
Christ Community Church: 1803 57th Ave. W., Bradenton with Rev. David Carter as pastor has Sunday morning fellowship at 10 a.m., worship service at 10:45 a.m. Wednesday prayer service at 7 p.m. Information: 941-755-6162.
Christ Episcopal Church: thrift shop is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday at 401 42nd St. W., Bradenton. Information: 941-746-4906.
Church of Light Healing Center: 10115 Cortez Road, Bradenton, has services 11 a.m. Sundays. Information: 941-795-5683.
Church of the Trinity: 7225 N. Lockwood Ridge Road, southern Manatee County, has a traditional Sunday service 9:15 a.m. Sundays and a contemporary service with children's sermon at 11 a.m.
Congregation Ner Tamid: Jewish Living and Learning Sunday School for children ages 4-14 meets 9 a.m. Sundays by appointment, at Lakeside Clubhouse, 3817 40th Ave. W., Bradenton. Adult bar and bat mitzvah classes also are offered. Friday night Shabbat services, which are open to the public, are held twice a month. Information: 941-755-1231.
Congregational United Church of Christ: The church's thrift store, 5324 26th St. W., Bradenton, has expanded its store in Saddle Creek Plaza. A new furniture annex and expanded book store has been added. Hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday and 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. Saturday. Information: 941-739-1018. Also, a Transitions Support Group meets 5-6:30 p.m. every Sunday at the church to help those who have suffered the loss of a loved one, job, health or struggled with addictions or depression. A free-will offering is taken. Information: 941-739-7103 or 941-309 -0200.
Ellenton United Methodist Church: 3607 U.S. 301 N., Ellenton, has an all-you-can eat pancake breakfast 8-10 a.m. the first Saturday of the month. Adult Sunday School classes are at 9:45 a.m. Sundays in the Fellowship Hall, led by Pastor Bruce Ebert. Methodist Men meet 8:30 a.m. the second Wednesday of the month. A potluck dinner is held 5:30 p.m. the last Wednesday of the month. Information: 941-729-6802.
Emmanuel United Methodist Church: Prayer & Share is at 10 a.m. Wednesdays in the library at the church, 5115 Cortez Road. Information: 941-792-3497.
Faith Bible Church: Bible Study is at 9:30 a.m. Wednesdays at the church, 1511 Morgan Johnson Road, East Manatee. Preschool program available. Evening class is at 6:55 p.m. Tuesdays at Christ Episcopal Church, 4030 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton. School-age program available. Information: 941-722-0940.
Faith United Church of Christ: 4850 State Road 64 E., has worship and Sunday School at 10:30 a.m. Sundays.
First Congregational United Church of Christ: 1030 S. Euclid Ave., Sarasota, holds classes on keeping your balance 10 a.m. Mondays, taught by nurse Julie Pennella. Information: 941-953-7044.
Full Gospel Tabernacle: The church has a community sing the last Saturday of each month at 2903 11th St. Court E. Information: 941-746-3634 or 941-748-8102.
Gulf Coast Fellowship of Christian Athletes: conducts a tennis program for tots to teens (ages 4-18). All programs will be held at the Tennis Center at Palm-Aire Country Club, 5601 Country Club Way. The programs are geared to develop/enhance tennis skills as well as provide spiritual development. Information: 941-539-6083.
Heaven Cent Thrift Shop: 5858 44th Ave. E., East Manatee, is open 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Information: 941-745-1663.
Hope Lutheran Church: 4635 26th St. W., Bradenton, invites teens and young adults to participate in contemporary worship on 11 a.m. Sundays. More vocalists & musicians are needed for the Hope Lutheran praise band. Bring a friend and worship together; casual attire recommended. Information: 941-755-3256; or www.HopeLutheranFL.com. Also, Hope Lutheran offers fellowship for those seeking Christian friendship while playing cards and table board games in the Hands of Hope building at 1 p.m. every Monday. No reservations needed.
Hope Lutheran Church: 4635 26th St. W., Bradenton, offers free Narcotics Anonymous group meetings at 6:30 p.m. Saturdays in the Fellowship Hall. Information: 941-755-3256.
Lakewood Ranch Ladies Devotional Hour: is held 10 a.m. Thursdays at Town Hall, 8175 Lakewood Ranch Blvd., Lakewood Ranch. Information: 941-727-3789.
Living Lord Lutheran Church: Our Daily Bread/Project 5000 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. Also, the 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. Experience quilting is not necessary, just willing hands. Information: 941-753-9365.
Longboat Island Chapel: As part of its Aging in Paradise Resource Center, which addresses the issues of aging, introduces its memory loss support group to the communities of Sarasota and Manatee. The group meets 11 a.m.-1 p.m. every other Wednesday. Information: 941-383-6491.
Manatee County Meditation Group: meets 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, has 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, 3131 61st St., Sarasota, has Sunday worship service at 9 and 11 a.m. with a coffee hour following. Bible studies are held at 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Tuesdays in the Fellowship Hall with Pastor Chris Carlson.
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 Very 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.
Our Lady of the Angels: Grief support groups meet at 6 p.m. the second Thursday of the month at Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church, 12905 State Road 70 E., Lakewood Ranch. Information: 941-752-6770.
Palmetto First Baptist Church: 7:30 and 9 a.m. Sundays at Palmetto First Baptist Church, 1020 Fourth St. W., Palmetto. Information: 941-722-7795.
Parrish United Methodist Church: Sunday worship times are 8:30 and 11 a.m. Sunday school is at 9:45 a.m. at 2180 U.S. 301 N., Parrish. The church's thrift cottage is 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 a new location in Lakewood Ranch, in the Manatee Board of Realtors building, 10910 Technology Drive. Sunday services are at 9:30 a.m. Information: 941-753-7778.
Quakers: Sarasota Friends Meeting is at 10 a.m. Sundays at 3139 57th St., Sarasota. Information: 941-358-5759 or visit http//sarasota.quaker.org.
Revelation Ministries: "Prayer Time" at Revelation Ministries, 1919 14th St. W., Bradenton, will be 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.
Stillpoint House of Prayer: Intercessory-prayer workshop groups are forming at 1608 14th St. W. For a schedule, call 748-6835. Contemplative-prayer groups meets at 11 a.m. every Wednesday and Thursday. A 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. every Friday evening and Shabbat Services with Torah study at 10 a.m. every Saturday morning at 4200 32nd St. W. The temple also conducts religious school classes three Sunday mornings a month and Hebrew school classes Wednesday afternoons by Susie Konicov. For more information, call 941-755-4900, 9 a.m.-noon Tuesday through Friday.
Temple Beth Israel: The Social Action Committee of Temple Beth Israel collects donations for the Bill Galvano One Stop Center. Needed: funding for medication, socks, mosquito repellent, toilet articles and soap, shoes, jeans, baby diapers and formula, reading glasses and bicycles. Donations can be given directly to the One Stop Center, 701 17th Ave. W., or dropped off at Temple Beth Israel, 567 Bay Isles Road, Longboat Key.
Temple Emanu-El: Under the direction of its Social Action Committee, Temple Emanu-El, 151 McIntosh Road, Sarasota, continues its food drive for those in Sarasota-Manatee who go hungry. Nonperishable boxed and canned foods may be placed in a marked bin in the Temple lobby during business hours and before and after Shabbat worship services. All donations benefit the kosher food pantry at Jewish Family and Children's Services or All Faiths Food Bank. Information: 941-966-9561.
Trinity Lutheran Church: 2200 26th St. W., Bradenton, hosts recovery group meetings. The schedule: Alcoholics Anonymous: 8 p.m. Mondays and 8:30 p.m. Wednesdays; Overeaters Anonymous: 7 p.m. Mondays and Fridays.
Trinity United Methodist Church: 3200 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton, weekly Bible study is at 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays. Information: 941-737-3704.
Vessels Unto Honour Ministries: has moved to 3517 15th St. E., Bradenton, Sunday worship service is at noon and Life Enrichment service is at 7 p.m. Tuesdays.
Wildfire Ministries Bible study classes: will be 7:30 p.m. Fridays at the Hampton Inn, 5810 20th Court E., Ellenton.
Zen Zone: American Buddhist nun Gen Kelsang Demo is teaching meditation 12:30-1:30 p.m. Monday at the Zen Zone, San Marco Plaza, 8209 Natures Way, Suite 217, Lakewood Ranch. The class consists of a guided meditation, a short talk and an opportunity for questions and answers. Each talk is part of a series, yet is self-contained. This means participants can drop in at any time. Cost: $10 per class ($5 for students/seniors). For more information, call 941-373-1600 or e-mail info@MeditationInSarasota.org.