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The eighth-grade classes at St. Peter Catholic School in DeLand recently hosted Gerard Lob of Next Generations, an organization of children of Holocaust survivors dedicated to survivors and Holocaust education in Florida.

Lob is a renowned speaker, author, and professor at Florida International University, and is the son of two Nazi death-camp survivors, Marcel and Mana Lob.

Their experiences during the war, along with family members who did not survive, were discussed through a presentation by Mr. Lob to the students at St. Peter Catholic School.

Principal Charlotte Funston stated, “It is important to St. Peter Catholic School that our students have an understanding and comprehension of history that assures such atrocities will not occur again.”

Gerard Lob talked with the eighth-graders about the French Shoah, and his family’s experiences, as well as how he has been personally impacted by the horrors of the Holocaust.

THE RESISTANCE — This poster contains the photos and remembrances of World War II, the havoc caused by the Nazis, and the Resistance movement, which tried to thwart them as best they could.

“Teaching the Shoah is paramount to containing ever-growing anti-Semitism, racism, bullying, hatred, and other bias through education. It is essential to know about history in order to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past,” he said.

Lob recalled his parents’ unusual behavior toward food and other triggered responses due to post-traumatic stress disorder. He shared with the students how he learned about the crimes committed against his family. He stressed that the Holocaust didn’t start at Auschwitz; it ended there. … It began with hate.

Lob believes his speaking to the next generations of leaders is his way of making a small contribution to the Jewish concept of “Tikkun olam,” repairing the world

 ‘Love Is…’

As First Presbyterian Church of DeLand moves through the season of Advent, on Sunday, Dec. 20, Pastor Michael Bodger leads the congregation to the Fourth Advent Sunday, devoted to Love. Inspired by John 3:16-17, Pastor Bodger’s sermon, “Love Is…,” will focus on the culmination of Advent in the arrival of Jesus. “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world but to save the world through him,” (John 3:17) clearly tells us just what love is!

First Pres invites the community to attend the church’s two on-site Sunday services this week: the contemporary service at 9 a.m. in the fellowship hall, and the traditional service at 11 a.m. in the sanctuary. Both services include a celebration of Holy Communion.

For those who wish to remain distanced, both services offer livestreaming and recordings on Facebook and www.fpcd.org. All on-campus events require complete COVID protocols for the safety of all.

As Christmas Eve stands only a few days away, the church announces worship opportunities around that celebration. First Pres will offer more than one opportunity to worship on Christmas Eve, Thursday, Dec. 24, with its Service of Lessons and Carols.

First, at 4 p.m., the Family Worship Service will take place on the campus basketball court led by the Contemporary Praise Team. Please bring your own chairs and observe all COVID precautions, especially distancing and masks, even in this outdoor setting. We will welcome Christ under the Florida sky!

Then at 6:30 p.m., worshippers will gather in the sanctuary for the traditional Lessons and Carols. This candlelight service requires reservations due to limited space and COVID precautions. Call the church office, open 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. daily, to make the required reservations.

In accordance with First Pres tradition, attendees at both Christmas Eve services bring with them “White Christmas Gifts,” nonperishable food wrapped in white tissue or a monetary gift in white envelopes. This year, the church requests that worshippers use no white tissue or other wrappings due to COVID protocols. In this time of many community challenges — food shortages, financial deficits and other hardships — your contribution, no matter how minimal, will help allay the needs of fellow community members.

For families and children on Wednesday, Dec. 23, a live Drive-By Nativity Scene on Circle Drive on North Woodland Boulevard will offer a unique experience to add to the Christmas spirit. You’re encouraged to visit the manger scene in “Bethlehem” for a view of Christ’s birthplace, with Wise Men, animals, shepherds, and a living cast of believers as Jesus, Mary and Joseph. The event, for cars only, begins at 5 p.m. and closes at 7 p.m.

Clearly visible church members will guide the viewing procession and provide gift bags and candy canes to participants. Importantly, First Pres sponsors Children’s Discipleship and the Student Discipleship Team urgently request that cars approach from the north on Woodland Boulevard (the church sits at 724 N. Woodland Blvd., two blocks south of West Plymouth Avenue), then follow the signs to turn right into the front circular driveway of the campus. After circling and viewing the live Nativity scene, exit right onto North Woodland Boulevard and proceed south or turn onto West Pennsylvania Avenue, the next intersection.

First Pres will return to regular on-campus and recorded worship services Dec. 27 and Jan. 3.

While the church office, with the phone number 386-734-6212, will close Friday, Dec. 25, and Monday, Dec. 28, as well as Friday, Jan. 1, office hours from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. will resume Monday, Jan. 4. Please observe COVID precautions on campus. Church members thank you for your cooperation to ensure the safety of many.

First Presbyterian DeLand welcomes all! “Come, let us adore Him, Christ, the Lord!” 

‘Waiting for the Mud to Settle’

First Unitarian Universalist Church of West Volusia in DeLand is continuing to host virtual services at 10:30 a.m. Sundays. Those wishing to attend are encouraged to join over Zoom from 10:15 to 10:25 a.m. for greetings before the service begins.

On Sunday, Dec 20, the Rev. Tiffany Sapp presents “Waiting for the Mud to Settle.” In a culture that demands our productivity, stillness can be revolutionary. Sapp will explore the whys and hows of stillness with the help of Tao Te Ching and Essayist Pico Iyer’s The Art of Stillness.

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

Regular group meetings continue on Zoom: The Book and Poetry clubs meet monthly, the Covenant Group meets every two weeks, and the Men’s Group meets weekly.

Unitarians are an open-minded, open-hearted spiritual community where all are welcomed to learn together. The church can be contacted through www.uudeland.org to learn more.

Activities at 1st UMC of DeLand

During all three Sunday-morning services at First United Methodist Church of DeLand, the fourth Advent candle will be lit. This is the candle of Love! In the publication The Upper Room – Love Living Among Us, the writer states, “The love in scripture Luke 1:39-56 is more than the love of a mother for her child. It’s the love of God who would come to dwell among us, demonstrating God’s great love for us.”

Pastor Owen Stricklin concludes the Advent sermon series “Characters of Christmas” Sunday, Dec. 20. The focus is on “The Character of Simeon,” and is based on Luke 2:22-35.

Simeon was a righteous man and very devout. He was filled with the Holy Spirit, who revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. He was present in the temple when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the law required. He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying, “Lord, now I can die in peace! As you promised me, I have seen the savior you have given to all people. He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel.”

There will be four Christmas Eve services, two Traditional Candlelight Services in the sanctuary and two Family Candlelight Services in the Life Enrichment Center. In each service, the Christ candle in the center of the Advent wreath will be lit. During the family service, there will be a live enactment of the Christmas story and birth of Christ. Each service will end with everyone holding a lit candle, the house lights will be turned down, and all will sing “Silent Night.”

Please call the church to let them know which service you would like to attend. This is requested so that all who wish to may attend and still maintain social distancing. Spaces are filling quickly, so contact the church as soon as possible with your preference. The services in the LEC will be at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. The services in the sanctuary will be at 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.

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

Festival of Lights

Mosaic Unitarian Universalist Congregation, while not meeting face to face, is meeting online every Sunday at 11 a.m. On Sunday, Dec. 20, we will celebrate the Festival of Lights and the end of 2020 with Mosaic’s traditional “Service of Holiday Songs and Stories.”

Congregants will share stories of their holiday experiences, interleaved with the joyful noise of traditional holiday music. Everyone is welcome!

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

Fourth candle is for love

The Rev. Elizabeth Carrasquillo of First Christian Church, Disciple of Christ, of DeLand lights the fourth candle in the Advent Wreath for “Love” at 10:45 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 20. The sanctuary will be open with masks required and social distancing. For those wanting to view from home, follow on Facebook: First Christian Church – DeLand Disciples live, or later by clicking on “video” tab or look at the newsfeed.

The Rev. Carrasquillo’s sermon is “Christmas From Joseph’s View,” based on Matthew 1:18-25. Open communion is available for all believers during the service using disposable elements.

As a part of the fourth Sunday Advent celebration, the mailbox will be opened, cookies will be shared, with Christmas caroling directed by Julie Rechner.

Lee Gartside is signing up greeters for 2021.

The Prayer Group meets at 3:30 p.m. Mondays in the sanctuary. Those wanting personal prayer or to make requests are welcomed.

Dr. Janet Raney is offering free tutoring (Homework Hotspot) in 2021 on Thursdays, 4 to 5:30 p.m., for elementary and secondary students. For a quiet and helpful atmosphere, parents may attend and work with their child.

Our Christmas Eve Service will be virtual on Facebook: First Christian Church – DeLand Disciples at 6 p.m. The sermon will be “What Christmas Did Not Do,” based on Matthew 2:13-23.

Christmas Eve at Emmaus

Emmaus Lutheran Church is offering Christmas Eve drive-in services. At 4 p.m., Pastor Mark Winkler will conduct the service of carols, and at 8 p.m. he will lead a candlelight service with carols.

All are welcome to participate via their FM car radio; by bringing a folding chair, wearing a mask and distancing; or by listening to the service livestreaming on the church website.

Emmaus is at 2500 S. Volusia Ave. in Orange City. Call the church office at 386-775-9676 for more information.

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