12/25 - Religion Almanac

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. Send them to Faith & Values, Bradenton Herald, P.O. Box 921, Bradenton, FL 34206, fax them to 745-7097 or e-mail to


Combined service: Due to the Christmas holiday weekend, Happy Gospel Church, 1915 53rd Ave. E., Bradenton, will have one combined morning worship service 10 a.m. Dec. 26. Larry Ford will perform in concert at the 6 p.m. service. An offering will be received. Information: 756-6942

New Year’s: “New Year’s Eve Sing and Celebration!” with Ivan Parker and the Pickerings is set for 8 p.m. Dec. 31 at Happy Gospel Church, 1915 53rd Ave. E., Bradenton. An offering will be received. A covered dish dinner will follow the sing in the fellowship hall around 11 p.m., where the New Year will be rung in. Each family is asked to bring a dish to share, if possible. Everyone welcome. Information: 756-6942.

Christian concert: Brian Bates, a Contemporary Christian artist from California, will be featured in concert 6 p.m. Jan. 2 at Bradenton First Church of the Nazarene, 1616 59th St. W. A free-will offering will be received.

Epiphany Eve: The third annual Epiphany Eve service will close the Christmas season at Gloria Dei Church, 6608 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach 7 p.m. Jan. 5. This ecumenical celebration, which concludes the 12 days of Christmas, is sponsored by Inquiring Minds, inspired by All Island Denominations, and will again include the traditional blessing of chalk.

Church Women: Church Women United in Manatee County will meet Jan. 7, at the Gethsemane Missionary Baptist Church, 501 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. W., Bradenton with fellowship at 9:30 a.m. and the program at 10 a.m. All persons are welcome to attend.

Tot Shabbat: Due to a change in scheduling, there will be no Tot Shabbat at Temple Sinai, 4631 South Lockwood Ridge Road, Sarasota, on Jan. 7. Information: (941) 926-9462.

Shabbat service: The first family Shabbat service of 2011 at Temple Emanu-El, 151 McIntosh Road, Sarasota, will be held 7 p.m. Jan. 7. Information: (941) 371-2788.

Work retreat: Northminster Presbyterian Church, 3131 61st St., Sarasota, plans a volunteer work retreat at Cedarkirk Camp on Jan. 7 - 8. Help prepare the facilities for the celebration of their 40th Anniversary. The retreat is free, but an RSVP is required. A form may be picked up at the church, or online at

Final preparations: “What To Do Before You Die” is a free seminar hosted by Christ United Methodist Church, 5512 26th St. W., Bradenton 9:30-11:30 a.m. Jan. 8. Presentations will be made on legal matters, funeral preparation, planned giving, and spiritual preparation. Information: (941) 755-2722.

Pancake breakfast: Due to the New Year’s Holiday, Ellenton United Methodist Church will hold its monthly pancake breakfast 8-10 a.m. Jan. 8 at the Christian Life Center, 3607 U.S. Hwy. 301 N. The public is invited. For $4 per person, breakfast includes pancakes, biscuits and gravy, sausage, scrambled eggs, juice and coffee. Information: (941) 729-6802.

World peace: A World Peace Day observance is set for 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Jan. 8 at Unitarian Universalist Church of Sarasota, 3975 Fruitville Road. Michael D. Knox, chair of the U.S. Peace Memorial Foundation will be the keynote speaker. Free and open to the public. Information: Trudy Pratt at (941) 755-6926.

Senior drivers: Temple Sinai, 4631 South Lockwood Ridge Road, Sarasota, is hosting an AARP Driver Safety Program 9 a.m.- noon Jan. 10 and 11. The cost for the program, known as “The Nation’s First and Largest Classroom Refresher for Motorists Age 50 and Older,” is $12 for Temple members or $14 for non-members. Some auto insurance companies give a discount to those who take the course. To register, call Sandra Coran at 383-9121.

World religion: World Religion Day Concert is set for 7:30 p.m. Jan. 15 at Fellowship Hall of the First Presbyterian Church, 2050 Oak St., Sarasota. The Local Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Sarasota County is celebrating World Religion Day with a free concert at the First Presbyterian Church. Free and open to the public.

Coffee house: The Manatee Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 322 15th St. W., Bradenton, will hold its new year’s coffee house 7 p.m. Jan. 15 with folk singer Tom Neilson. There will be an open mic and refreshments available. Donations of $10 for adults and $3 for students are requested. Information: (941) 746-0067.

Membership meetings: Northminster Presbyterian Church, 3131 61st St., Sarasota, will have an adventures in membership class for all who wish to explore membership at Northminster. Classes will be held Sundays at 9 a.m. Jan. 23, Jan. 30 and Feb. 3. Information: (941) 355-4729.