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St. Barbara’s Philoptochos is pleased to present its annual Taste of Greece, a social-distancing drive-up event 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11, and Saturday, Dec. 12, at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Daytona Beach.

In keeping with COVID-19 social-distancing recommendations, you can place an order at the event, or preorder via the online website, park at the church and relax while your order is delivered to your car.

Taste of Greece will offer favorite traditional Greek food items like pastitsio, tiropita, gyros, pastries and spanakopita for purchase, all ready to eat. Frozen items like the offerings above or moussaka will also be available for purchase.

To preorder food, visit Philoptochosdaytona-beach.com or stop by the church at 129 N. Halifax Ave. in Daytona Beach. Please note that all orders must be paid by credit card.

For more information, email to philoptochosdaytonabeach@gmail.com.

Choral group Helena to sing at Emmaus Lutheran

The Central Florida choral group Helena will sing at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6, at Emmaus Lutheran Church in Orange City. The community is invited to attend.

Helena will perform several genres of music.

This will be an outdoor concert, and you have the option of sitting in your vehicle to listen or bringing your own lawn chair and enjoying the concert in your own socially distanced space. Masks are required, and all safety precautions will be in place.

There will be a freewill offering, but no tickets are required.

Emmaus Lutheran Church is at 2500 S. Volusia Ave. in Orange City.

Inez Bracy to speak about hope

Mosaic Unitarian Universalist Congregation, while not meeting face to face, is meeting online at 11 a.m. every Sunday. The Sunday, Dec. 6, sermon is titled “Hope.”

Award-winning author Inez Bracy will share how hope gives us the energy to keep going, how it helps to keep us healthy, reduces anxiety, and supports us in embracing opportunities to change.

Worship leader Teresa Leary will guide the congregation through the service.

For instructions on how to join the virtual service, email to mosaicuuc@gmail.com.

Activities at 1st UMC of DeLand

On Sunday, Dec. 6, Pastor Owen Stricklin of First United Methodist Church of DeLand continues the Advent sermon series “Characters of Christmas.” This Sunday, the focus will be “The Character of Mary,” based on Luke 1:26-38.

We read in these verses that “God sent the angel Gabriel to a virgin named Mary.” He told her, “Do not be frightened, God has decided to bless you. You will become pregnant and have a son, and you are to name him Jesus.”

Holy Communion will also be observed this Sunday by issuing individual Communion kits to each person as they enter either the sanctuary or the Life Enrichment Center.

Those who wish to see a live Sunday-morning service may continue to view it on the internet. The 8 a.m. drive-in service will continue through December in the parking lot of Building 6. The in-person 9:30 a.m. contemporary service in the LEC and the 11 a.m. traditional service in the sanctuary are being livestreamed. Those who wish to view online should go to the church website at Firstchurchdeland.org; once there, click on sermon/media during the time of the service. The services may also be viewed anytime after the hours they are premiered.

All protocols for in-person worship will be followed: Masks are required, and there will be temperature checks and social distancing. Hand sanitizers will also be used.

At 2 p.m. Dec. 6, the Rodriguez brothers will entertain in the sanctuary. The brothers, Brian, Manuel and Michael, are Stetson University graduates and renowned in this area for their marvelous tenor voices. They will sing a variety of Christmas holiday music, both solemn and popular.

The Sarah Vaser Women’s Group will meet at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 7, in Building 6 for their final meeting of the year. All women are invited.

On Sunday, Dec. 13, there will be a Gingerbread House Decorating Contest in the LEC. It will be at 4 p.m., and reservations are required.

There will be a “Giving Tree” set up in the sanctuary and also the LEC, with proceeds going to Florida United Methodist Children’s Home in Enterprise. The donations will be used to purchase gift cards requested by the Children’s Home. The deadline for donating is Sunday, Dec. 13.

The Gift Card Program, under the sponsorship of the United Methodist Men, meets each Sunday morning in the sanctuary and the LEC. This is an opportunity to purchase gift cards to many businesses and restaurants, which will in return refund the church a small percentage of the cost of the gift card.

The church office is open 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday. Call the office for more information at 386-734-5113.

‘Vulnerability in the Dark’

The Rev. Tracie Barrett will present “Vulnerability in the Dark” during a virtual service at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 6, at First Unitarian Universalist Church of West Volusia in DeLand. Those wishing to attend are encouraged to join over Zoom 10:15-10:25 a.m. for greetings before the service begins.

In time for the upcoming winter solstice, the Rev. Barrett explores the themes of vulnerability in this time of lengthening darkness and quiet. How might we open ourselves to be more vulnerable?

The Rev. Barrett is a minister of ritual and liturgy.

Visit Soul Fire, a Unitarian Universalist ministry on Facebook, at facebook.com/soulfireuu.

The Zoom ID for Sunday services will be the same every week: Zoom ID: 927 1881 9188.

Regular group meetings continue on Zoom: The Book and Poetry clubs each meet monthly, the Covenant Group meets every two weeks, and the Men’s Group meets weekly. The church can be contacted through www.uudeland.org to learn more.

Unitarians are an open-minded, open-hearted spiritual community where all are welcomed to learn together.

Advent

First Presbyterian Church of DeLand on Sunday, Dec. 6, the second Sunday in the Liturgical season of Advent, will continue to prepare congregants to greet the Christ child.

The Rev. Harland Merriam will preach from Mark’s Gospel, Chapter 1:1-18. Under the title “A Christmas Cry,” Pastor Merriam will examine the diverse meanings of the word cry.

Here in Mark, John the Baptist cries out, “Prepare ye the way of the Lord!” Other humans’ cries come out of sadness, pain, protest, joy, happiness or expectation, as a town crier of old may have broadcast. How will we Christians cry out at Christmas?

With all COVID precautions in place, people may attend services in person at 9 a.m. in fellowship hall for contemporary worship and 11 a.m. in the sanctuary for traditional worship. Additionally, at the www.fpcd.org website or on the Facebook page, the church offers both recorded services, which include Holy Communion.

Among the joyful feelings of the Christmas season, many people experience more difficult emotions. Those who do not particularly feel like celebrating can share in the Blue Christmas Service at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 9, in the sanctuary. Designed to provide solace and understanding, this quiet, peaceful time offers hope and comfort to people feeling anger, disappointment, sorrow, despair or loneliness. The church invites you to discover the warmth and spirit of this candlelit meeting and the pastoral message from Pastor Michael Bodger. During and following the service, available Stephen Ministers will pray with you.

The church invites members to use the annual Advent Devotional, illustrated this year by Jan Herr. With scriptural and hymnal readings, along with personal commentaries by First Pres members and staff, the text explores the hope, peace, joy and love spiritual themes during the weeks of Advent. The daily entries serve well to ready each heart and mind for the Christmas celebration. Members can find copies in the church office and on the church website.

On Sundays, children ages 4-11 can attend Advent Children’s Church at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. on the campus in the art room for stories, crafts and other activities.

This Dec. 6, the teachers invite children to come in their pajamas for special fun to celebrate Advent!

To remain in touch with others of FPCD, the church urges members and regularly attending visitors to call the office to register for ShelbyNext, the internet link to First Pres. In these times of separation, personal contact has become quite meaningful and important!

To get more information, call the church office at 386-734-6212 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Friday; or go online to fpcdeland.org or the Facebook page. 

The West Volusia Beacon will be publishing its annual religious and secular Christmas-event calendar. Please email the name of the event, date, time and location, along with a description of the event, as soon as possible to margie@ beacononlinenews.com.

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