The Island Packet
The Christmas spirit is alive in the Lowcountry.
And that’s good news, considering needs also are high, according to two nonprofit organizations supported by area churches.
Bluffton Self Help expects to receive close to 1,000 requests from needy children for toys. So far half have been adopted by the community. But Jenny Haney, Bluffton Self Help executive director, has faith the spirit will prevail.
“You kind of get caught up in all of the generosity of all the people,” Haney said. “It is very rewarding.”
Monday is the final day for people to adopt children for Christmas through Self Help, which coordinates the delivery of toys to the families on Friday.
HELP of Beaufort President Steve Curless said while donations are increasing, the down economy has caused requests for help to grow, as well.
“I know the spirit of Christmas is alive and well,” Curless said. “Our pantry two to three weeks ago was just getting so low we didn’t have much food at all.”
Curless said eight schools are holding canned food drives to help fill the void in HELP’s pantry. Each month, HELP provides food to as many as 150 people, referred by the Department of Social Services or another nonprofit group.
“These people who come in with needs still come in with a smile, and are so thankful for what we do and for all the nonprofits,” Curless said.
Michael Green, pastor of The Link, looked back on his church’s effort at Thanksgiving called “The Giving.”
“It is always amazing to me how much the mood changes at Christmastime,” Green said. “There just seems to be more joy and generosity in the air. People seem more upbeat, friendly and considerate. There really is something real to the idea of the ‘Christmas Spirit.’<2009>”
Through “The Giving,” an effort to provide food for people in need, the church provided all the Thanksgiving fixings for more than 200 families. They also made donations to HELP of Beaufort and raised $2,200 for World Hunger Relief.
Individuals also are finding a little help from special people. A 72-year-old Hilton Head Island recently found herself the benefactor of the holiday spirit. She had been sharing concerns of paying her electric bill and being able to buy shampoo or soap with another woman in a doctor’s office waiting room. “I noticed she had taken out her check book. I was sure she was writing a check to pay the doctor,” the woman wrote in an e-mail. “Then, like Santa Claus, she reached over and put a folded check in my purse. A miracle. The Christmas spirit is alive and well in South Carolina.”
PENTECOSTALS OF BEAUFORT
Pentecostals of Beaufort’s Revival and “Singspiration” continues at 7 p.m. today and at 10:30 a.m. Sunday. The church is at 206 Sea Island Parkway, U.S. 21, Tidewatch Business Center, Lady’s Island. Transportation is available.
ST. JAMES BAPTIST CHURCH
St. James Baptist Church Gospel Chorus will hold its 16th anniversary Celebration Pre-Christmas Concert featuring the St. James combined choirs at 6 p.m. today. Tickets are $10 and available by calling Kerrie Brown, 843-816- 2036; Jeannette Young, 843-689-2310; or Louis Rivers 843-683-5008. The church is at 209 Dillon Road, Hilton Head Island.
CONGREGATION BETH YAM
Neil Yerman, Torah sofer, continues his series of workshops at Congregation Beth Yam. The sofer is a person who writes and restores Torah scrolls. He will lead a Torah study at 10 a.m. today. Yerman will demonstrate his art and conduct a writing workshop beginning with a havdalah dessert at 7 p.m. today. He will lead activities with the religious school children at 9:30 a.m. Monday.
“Policy & Politics After the November Elections: The Future of U.S.-Israel Relations” will be presented by Dr. Jonathan Adelman and Jeremy Becker at 7 p.m. Thursday. The congregation meets at 4501 Meeting St., Hilton Head Island.
LOWCOUNTRY CHILDREN’S CHORUS
The LowCountry Children’s Chorus annual holiday concert is at 3 p.m. today at the Baptist Church of Beaufort, 600 Charles St., Beaufort. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for seniors and children.
BETHESDA CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP
Bethesda Christian Fellowship’s 23rd annual senior citizens banquet and concert honoring senior citizens of Beaufort County is from 2-4 p.m. today at Lady’s Island Middle School gymnasium, 30 Cougar Drive, Lady’s Island.
For transportation, call Deacon Benjamin Fields, 843-846-6769; or Lynetta Pollock 843-986-0910.
FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF BEAUFORT
The Chancel Choir of the First Presbyterian Church of Beaufort will perform the Camille Saint-Saens’ “Christmas Oratorio” at 8:30 and 11 a.m. Sunday. The church is at 1201 North St., Beaufort.
Details: 843-524-3051, email@example.com
SEA ISLAND CHAPEL
Sea Island Chapel’s Christmas musical, “O Holy Night,” will be performed by the Sea Island choir at 10:15 a.m. Sunday. The chapel is at 4 Cardinal Drive, Beaufort.
PINE LEVEL BAPTIST CHURCH
The adult cantata, “The Heart of Christmas,” will be performed at 6:30 p.m. Sunday at Pine Level Baptist Church. A churchwide family Christmas dinner will follow. The children’s program, “The Present is the Future,” begins at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 19. A cake and ice cream social will follow. The church is at 2009 Pine Level Church Road, Early Branch (on U.S. 278).
FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF HILTON HEAD ISLAND
The Sanctuary Choir hosts the communitywide presentation of Handel’s “Messiah” accompanied by a chamber orchestra at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the First Presbyterian Church on Hilton Head Island.
New Voices presents “Once Upon a Night” by Pepper Choplin, with narrator and chamber orchestra, at 8:30 and 11 a.m. services Sunday at First Presbyterian.
A gingerbread house decorating party is from 10 a.m.-noon Dec. 18 in the Fellowship Hall. Music and refreshments are provided. The cost is $10 a house for the kits. The church is at 540 William Hilton Parkway, Hilton Head Island.
Details: 843-681-3696, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.fpchhi.org
CARTERET STREET UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
Each Monday in Advent, Carteret Street United Methodist Church will have a guest preacher for a 30-minute worship service at noon followed by a soup luncheon. Speakers are: Monday, the Rev. Dr. Patrick Perryman, First Presbyterian Church; and Dec. 20, the Rev. David Norrell, Church of the Palms United Methodist Church. The Chancel Choir will present the Christmas cantata, “I Hear the Prophet Callin’,” at 6 p.m. Dec. 19. The church is at 408 Carteret St., Beaufort.
ISLAND LUTHERAN CHURCH
Island Lutheran Church will host a festival of lessons and carols at 6 p.m. Wednesday. Songs and readings will tell the story of Christmas.
The congregation welcomed 20 new people Sunday as part of a day of rededication: Patty and Ed Zensinger; Rich and Ann Walton; George Clawson; Patti Lee; Roger and Pat Jinkins; Cheryl and Andrew Meneely; Bobbie Swanson; Terry and Mary Nickerson; Jane and Dick Miller; Karen O’Malley; Ron and Mary Shirmer; and Phil and Brenda Burden.
The church is at 4400 Main St., Hilton Head Island.
LUNCH HOUR OF POWER
Minister Rosie Washington, associate minister of the Ebenezer Baptist Church, will speak from noon-12:45 p.m. Wednesday at the Lunch Hour of Power in Helen Galloway’s Memorial Chapel of Chisholm Galloway Home for Funerals, 808 Bladen St., Beaufort.
ST. HELENA BAPTIST CHURCH
The children from St. Helena Baptist Church will perform the Christmas musical, “Christmas Hang-Ups,” at 6 p.m. Sunday in the multipurpose building at 1610 Sea Island Parkway, St. Helena Island. Light refreshments and fellowship will follow the program. Child care for infants will be provided.
BLUFFTON UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
Bluffton United Methodist Church’s upcoming Advent presentations of “Messiah” featuring the chancel choir and soloists will be at 8:45 and 11 a.m. Sunday at the worship services. The church is at 101 Calhoun St., Bluffton.
Details: 843-757-3351, 843-379-5241, www.blufftonumc.org, email@example.com
FIRST BAPTIST HILTON HEAD
First Baptist Church of Hilton Head’s Sanctuary and Children’s choirs present, “Joy, Joy, Joy: Celebrating the Season, the Story, the Savior,” at 7 p.m. Sunday. A Christmas fellowship will follow in the Family Life Center. Admission is free. The church is at 100 South Forest Beach Drive, Hilton Head Island.
UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST FELLOWSHIP OF BEAUFORT
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Beaufort will celebrate the winter solstice with the Rev. Nan White and Stephen Burton leading the service at 10 a.m. Sunday. The fellowship meets at the Wardle Family YMCA, 1801 Richmond Ave., Port Royal.
CAMPBELL AME CHURCH
The Hallelujah Singers will present “A Gullah Christmas” at 6 p.m. Dec. 19 at Campbell AME Church, 25 Boundary St., Bluffton.
FIRST EUHAW BAPTIST CHURCH
A Christmas musical with special guest Aunt Pearlie Sue and Gullah Kinfolk begins at 4 p.m. Dec. 19 at the First Euhaw Baptist Church.
The church is at 7855 Lowcountry Drive, Ridgeland (S.C. 462 in the Old House section of Ridgeland).
BAPTIST CHURCH OF BEAUFORT
“The Mystery and the Majesty,” a cantata by Joseph Martin, will be performed at 9 and 11:15 a.m. Dec. 19 by the Covenant Choir of the Baptist Church of Beaufort. The church is at 600 Charles St., Beaufort.
ST. MARK’S CHAPEL
St. Mark’s Chapel’s Sunday School children will present the pageant, “The King’s Birthday,” at 10 a.m. Dec. 19. The fellowship meets at Historic Union Church, 1004 11th St., Port Royal.
Details: 843-522-9636, info@ stmarks.org, www.stmarksc.org
INDIAN HILL BAPTIST CHURCH
Indian Hill Baptist Church will offer the Christmas cantata, “The Story of Love,” at 7 p.m. Dec. 19, followed by a birthday party for Jesus. Admission is free. The church is at 389 Fording Island Road, Bluffton, between Eagle’s Pointe and Berkeley Hall.
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