PHOTO COURTESY FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF DELAND GETTING READY — This manger scene outside of First Presbyterian Church of DeLand from years past is a reminder that churches in the area are currently having events for the Christmas season. On Wednesday, Dec. 22, First Presbyterian’s Youth Ministry’s Outdoor Drive-Thru Live Nativity Scene on the Woodland Boulevard circle drive begins at 5 p.m. From your vehicle, you can see this re-enactment of the Christmas story.

Dr. Timothy Peter, director of choral activities at Stetson University, and School of Music student-musicians will lead worship and offer special music during the 10 a.m. worship service Sunday, Dec. 12, at First Congregational Church of Orange City UCC, 201 W. University Ave. Everyone is welcome!

Gingerbread-house event at Trinity UMC

All are welcome to come to make a gingerbread house at Trinity United Methodist Church in DeLand at 3 p.m. or 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 12. The church will provide one kit per family, along with all the decorations needed to make a gingerbread house.

Space and kits are limited, so please call the church office at 386-734-4425 to RSVP. Reservations are required, but the event is free.

The church is at 306 W. Wisconsin Ave.

Advent Parish Mission at St. Peter Catholic Church

Tony Brandt and Chris Stewart of Casting Nets Ministries are coming to St. Peter Catholic Church in DeLand to present the Advent Parish Mission 7-8:30 p.m. Sunday-Wednesday, Dec. 12-15, and 9-10:30 a.m. Monday-Wednesday, Dec. 13-15.

Chris Stewart
Tony Brandt

Stewart and Brandt were the keynote speakers at the 2021 Stewardship Conference.

After each of their talks in the church, there will be fellowship in St. Teresa Hall. The church is at 359 W. New York Ave. Call 386-822-6000 for more information.

The DeLand Christmas Light Show

The DeLand Christmas Light Show is going on now at Stetson Baptist Church, 1025 W. Minnesota Ave. in DeLand. It’s a 30-minute light show of the Christmas story, set to different Christmas songs. You can stay in your vehicle or bring a lawn chair.

The light show is 5:30-8 p.m. every night through Dec. 30, with the exception of Dec. 9, 16, 24 and 25.

There is no cost to attend.

Concert by The Christmas Tenor, Aaron Odom

Aaron Odom

Aaron Odom, The Christmas Tenor, will present a concert at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 17, at DeLeon Springs United Methodist Church, at 265 Ponce DeLeon Blvd. Tickets cost $10.

Call 386-985-4325 for more information.

Monday Munchers Christmas Potluck Lunch

The Monday Munchers Christmas Potluck Lunch and program will be at noon Monday, Dec. 13, at Community United Methodist Church, 41 W. Highbanks Road in DeBary.

The event is open to all senior citizens.

Accordionist Corky Hall will play Christmas music.

Ham will be provided; please bring a dish to share and, if you wish, a friend with you to enjoy Christian fellowship.

There is no cost to attend.

For more information, call 386-218-4047.

Holiday Candlelight Service at Colby Memorial Temple

Southern Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp presents its annual Holiday Candlelight Service at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 17, at Colby Memorial Temple, 1250 Marion St. in Cassadaga. The service includes holiday hymns, solos, a Christmas story, meditation and a spirit greeting given directly after the service.

A spirit greeting includes a touch-in with the spirit (a loved one on the higher side of life) with evidence (i.e., relationship, way of passing, personality traits), life guidance and psychic information.

“We do this to give back to the community,” said the Rev. Louis Gates, the pastor of Colby Memorial Temple. “We do this to celebrate Christmas. All are welcome.”

Refreshments — cookies and beverages — will be served in the Andrew Jackson Davis Educational Building.

For more information, go to or call the office at 386-228-3171.

1st Christian Church activities

First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of DeLand celebrates the third Sunday of Advent on Dec. 12, by lighting the Advent Wreath Candle of Joy. Alex Velez will provide special music during the 10:45 a.m. worship service.

Elders offer open Communion for all believers present, with individual Communion chalices. Everyone is welcome at the Table of the Lord. Spoken and unspoken prayers are offered during the service.

At 3:30 p.m. Mondays, the Prayer Group lifts up the prayers received during the service, plus other requests. Individuals are welcomed to join the group in the church library.

First Christian’s adult Sunday-school class meets at 9:30 a.m. in the church library. The theme for December is “God Requires Justice.” “Justice and Kindness,” based on 2 Samuel 9:1-7, 9-12, is the topic for Dec. 12.

The Youth Group and tutoring under the leadership of Dr. Janet Raney will not meet until January. The Youth Group will meet Wednesday, Jan. 5, and tutoring will be on Thursday, Jan. 6.

Sue Brague, president of Disciple Women, encourages women 1-3 p.m. each Monday to receive donations and organize for the Feb. 5 annual Trash and Treasures Sale. The sale proceeds fund camp children/youth scholarships and contribute to community charities.

Christmas carols, the origin stories

First Unitarian Universalist Church of West Volusia in DeLand will host Bill Lazarus on Sunday, Dec. 12.

Have you ever wondered about the stories behind your beloved Christmas songs? Lazarus reprises this program, which was prompted by a member of the church and led to the publication of a book on this very topic.

Lazarus is a historian, writer and more. He’s a popular speaker at the church as he brings humor and often thought-provoking discussion on his topics. You are guaranteed to learn something and have fun with this service.

Zoom services continue until further notice. The church’s virtual services begin at 10:30 a.m. Sundays. The Zoom ID is the same every week: Zoom ID: 927 1881 9188.

Unitarian Universalists are an open-minded, openhearted spiritual community, where all are welcomed to learn together. First Unitarian Universalist participates in Interfaith Kitchen and other community projects.

The Book and Poetry clubs and the Green Team meet monthly, the Covenant and Discussion groups meet every two weeks, and the Men’s Group meets weekly. Special educational programs for children are available.

The church may be contacted through to learn more.

Chrysalis Church activities

In His First advent on the road to Emmaus, the Lord “explained to (the two disciples) in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself” (Luke 24:27). In His Second Advent, He reveals all He told them then and more! We can now be mosquitoes in their ears!

During the Sunday, Dec. 12, gathering of Chrysalis Church, the Rev. Terry Schnarr will show how you can find out what Jesus told the disciples about the Scriptures and Himself and His life in the world. Learn, for example, how the lives of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob describe in parable how the Lord glorified the different levels of His mind and became Divine.

The gathering begins at 10 a.m. at The New Church, 148 N. Euclid Ave. in Lake Helen, followed by fellowship and light refreshments.

‘A Father Chosen by God’

Deltona Presbyterian Church continues its Christmas sermon series “Who’s Who in the Manger?” on Sunday, Dec. 12, with a sermon titled “A Father Chosen by God.”

Christmas caroling begins at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11. The time has changed from the original 3 p.m. Those participating will meet in the parking lot.

An Advent devotional and Daily Bread booklets are available for pickup for free.

The church is at 2300 Howland Blvd.

‘What Is Joy?’

At First Presbyterian Church of DeLand, on Sunday, Dec. 12, Pastor Michael Bodger will explore answers to “What Is Joy?”

Previously, Pastor Bodger has spoken about the Advent themes of hope and peace, but he now turns to explore joy.

From an earthly perspective, we have our own understanding of joy as we live; however, we easily and often mix the experience of happiness with joy. While happiness, a temporary feeling based upon our circumstances, can come and go, joy remains with us, defying changing fortunes.

Isaiah 12 prophesies, “A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse, from its roots a Branch will bear fruit. The spirit of the Lord will rest on Him … wisdom … understanding … counsel … power … knowledge … fear of the Lord.” Thus, we can find this transcendent joy in Jesus … not on who we are or what is going on in our lives.

The congregation welcomes all to share in the Lord’s Supper at all morning services: 8 a.m. in the chapel for traditional worship, 9 a.m. in the fellowship hall for contemporary music and worship, and 11 a.m. in the sanctuary for traditional choral music worship. COVID precautions will be observed.

On Saturday, Dec. 18, First Pres will celebrate “Gifts,” with an outdoor service at 4 p.m. that will include contemporary music.

‘What Is a Holy Day?’

Mosaic Unitarian Universalist Congregation, while not meeting face-to-face, is meeting online at 11 a.m. every Sunday. The title of the Dec. 12 service is “What Is a Holy Day?” The Rev. Tracie Barrett will explore this question.

It’s the time of year when there are various holidays from many traditions, both secular and sacred. What makes a day holy and why is it important as Unitarian Universalists seek to honor holy days, even if they’re not their own?

All are welcome. Worship leader Jan Holloway will lead everyone through this service.

For more information on Mosaic, see the website at For instructions on how to join the virtual service, email to

‘Jesus’ Birth Stirred Up the World’

The sermon series “Christmas Isn’t Canceled!” is continuing at First United Methodist Church of DeLand. The sermon on Sunday, Dec. 12, is titled “Jesus’ Birth Stirred Up the World.”

So many things about the birth of Jesus were not in keeping with what one might consider ordinary or normal for the time. It truly was a sensational occurrence and an event that would change the world. First United Methodist will be exploring the details of this miraculously amazing event this Sunday.

The church will also be hosting a special Blue Christmas service for those who are experiencing a sense of loss or loneliness during this holiday season. This service will be at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 19, in the sanctuary.

On Christmas Eve, Friday, Dec. 24, First United Methodist will offer three services: A traditional service will be at 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. in the sanctuary, and a Family Service will be at 5:30 p.m. in the Life Enrichment Center. This year’s family service will have a Grinch theme.

On Sundays, the church provides in-person traditional worship at 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. in the sanctuary, and a contemporary service at 9:30 a.m. in the Family Life Center. All three services are streamed live on Facebook on the First Church DeLand page, or they can be accessed through the website at

First United Methodist also offers small-group Bible studies at various times during the week. Young Adults Bible Study meets Sunday evenings, Youth Groups meet at different times during the week, and there’s a Men’s Bible Study on Saturday mornings.

If you’d like to get connected to a small group for fellowship and sharing, call 386-734-5113 for more details.

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Raised in Miami Beach, Margie moved to DeLand after graduating from Florida State University. She has a master's degree in community mental-health counseling, and retired after 12 years in substance-abuse treatment. Having worked at the DeLand Sun News during the 1980s, Margie came to The Beacon in 2002 in search of a second career. She helps the reporters; compiles obituaries, the calendar of events and religion news; and deals with a mountain of emails each day. Margie is the proud Nana to two grandchildren, Sophia and Alex.



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