Churches Plan Music, Miracles to Mark Christmas
Grace Evangelical Free's production of 'Hometown Christmas' involves more than 100 congregation members. Here's a list of all the holiday happenings at Fridley churches.
Miracles still do happen.
Especially if you consider the creation of a successful musical production with amateur thespians working in their spare time to be a miracle.
That's just what they've done at Grace Evangelical Free Church, 755 73rd Ave. NE. The Rev. Scot Hintermeyer, pastor of administration and arts, is director of A Hometown Christmas, and about 100 members of the congregation are taking part in the play. Some act, many sing, and others play instruments, create sets, control lights and sound, and help organize. By the time the first performance came around on Dec. 12, the Hometown Christmas cast and crew were humming along.
But as colossal an undertaking the play is, the message is simple: Miracles still happen. The story takes place in a small town where the residents are in their own dress rehearsal for the annual Christmas pageant. "But dress rehearsals don't always go the way they are supposed to," Hintermeyer explained.
The production hits some roadblocks, which bring back memories of something that happened in the town years ago: A deaf kid came to town and needed a miracle operation. He is able to get the surgery only with the help of the townspeople.
Hintermeyer chose A Hometown Christmas for this year's production because of its message of everyday miracles and love. He didn't care for the music that came with the play, so he swapped out songs for others that he believed fit the church and the story better: a mix of traditional religious and secular holiday songs, along with numbers that will be new to many in the audience.
Two more performances of A Hometown Christmas remain: Dec. 17 and 18, both at 7:07 p.m. There is no admission charge, but reservations are needed. Call 763-784-7199. A dessert reception follows both performances. In addition, the church will hold its Sunday School Christmas Program at 9 a.m., Dec. 19. Its Christmas Eve Family Service will be at 4 p.m., Dec. 24.
Grace Evangelical is not alone among Fridley churches with Christmas events this year.
The Michael Servetus Unitarian Society, 6565 Oakley Dr. NE, will host a Holiday Brunch at noon, Dec. 19. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for teens 13-17, and free for children 12 and under. The society's Christmas Eve service will be at 5:30pm, Dec. 24.
Grace Lutheran Church, 460 75th Ave. NE, will hold a Candlelight Service at 7pm, Dec. 15. The church's Christmas Eve service will be at 6pm, and a Christmas Day service will be held at 10am.
St. Philip's Lutheran Church, 6180 Highway 65 NE, will hold its Christmas Pageant at 10:30 a.m., Dec. 19, and a Service of Light at 7 p.m., Dec. 19. St. Philip's has scheduled three Christmas eve services on Dec. 24: Family Service, 2pm; Candlelight, 4 p.m. and 10 p.m. Christmas Day service will be at 10am.
Fridley United Methodist Church, 680 Mississippi St. NE, will hold Christmas Eve services at 4 p.m., 7 p.m. and 11 p.m.
Redeemer Lutheran Church, 61 Mississippi Way NE, has scheduled its Christmas Eve services at 2:30 p.m., 4 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. The church's Christmas Day service will be at 10:30 a.m.
Emmanuel Christian Center, 7777 University Ave. NE, will have its Christmas Eve service at 5 p.m., Dec. 24.
Woodcrest Baptist Church, 6875 University Ave NE, will hold its annual Christmas Cantata at 6 p.m., Dec. 19.
The Russian Orthodox Church of the Resurrection of Christ will hold its Nativity Eve Festal Vigil at 6:30 p.m., Jan. 6, at St. Mary's OCA Cathedral, 1701 Fifth St. NE, Minneapolis, and its Nativity Day Divine Liturgy at 10 a.m., Jan. 7, at St. Mary's OCA Cathedral.