Blue Mass

San Antonio Catholic Church in Port Charlotte honored local first responders — active, retired and volunteers — with a Blue Mass on Oct. 10. “We are well served by those folks who protect us and serve us,” said The Rev. Leo Riley, the pastor of San Antonio. “We need to give them thanks. When a disaster happens, or even when we have small tragedies, these are the folks who are ready and willing to assist us. Not only do we thank them for their service, but we ask God to bless them for what they do for us.” The Blue Mass (referring to the blue uniforms that many firefighters, law enforcement, and other first responders wear) dates back to 1934 and is a tradition in many churches especially after the 9/11 tragedy.


• Gulf Cove United Methodist Church: 3-5 p.m. Oct. 30 at the church, 1100 South McCall Road, Port Charlotte, in the Gulf Cove area. There will be free food, take-home crafts and lots of candy. For more info, call 941-697-1747 or or go to

• Sonrise Baptist Church: 4-6 p.m. Oct. 31 at 11050 Willmington Blvd., Englewood. The event is free and open to the public. At least 30 cars will be decorated and giving out goodies. There will also be hayrides as well as special treats. For more further information, call 941-475-5363.

• Fellowship Church of Englewood: 5 p.m. Oct. 31 at the church parking lot, 140 Rotonda Blvd. West. Admission is free and all are welcome. Wear your best costume. Visit or the church’s Facebook page or call 941-475-7447.


Concert seriesPianist Nada will perform “Contrasting Worlds” at the first of a concert series at First Presbyterian Church of Punta Gorda, 25250 Airport Road, Punta Gorda, at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 17. “I speak music” is the motto which best describes her charismatic personality and talent. A free will offering will be accepted. For more information call 941-639-1959 or go to

The 2021-2022 concert series include:

• Dec. 5: Rachel Cox and Judy Kaff, a Christmas concert

• Jan. 30, 2022: Ann Alton and Friends, a concert of romantic chamber music

• Feb. 27, 2022: Southwind Bluegrass Band, music ranging from the 1940s and 1950s to today’s bluegrass styles

• March 20, 2022: Two Pianos, Rozier and Kaff present classical to current musical styles

All concerts are at 3 p.m. at 25250 Airport Road, Punta Gorda. The suggested donation is $15. For more information call 941-639-1959 or go to

Coats for Kids driveKnights of Columbus Council 7672 St. Francis of Assisi will collect donations to provide coats for the children of Englewood and Vineland elementary schools. Volunteers will collect the donations from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Oct. 28-30 in front of Publix at Merchants Crossing, 1500 Placida Road, Englewood. Last year, the Knights were able provide 180 coats for both schools.

Food driveThe North Port Community United Church of Christ, 3450 S. Biscayne Drive, will hold its monthly food drive for the North Port Salvation Army from 10 a.m.-noon on Monday, Oct. 18. All food and hygiene donations are welcome. For more info, call 941-426-5580.

Make a Difference DayWintergarden Presbyterian invites all to join in Make A Difference Day from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Oct. 23 at 18305 Wintergarden Ave, Port Charlotte. The church will be working on various projects in the Garden of Eatin’ and Food Forest.

‘The Chosen’ seriesWintergarden Presbyterian, 18305 Wintergarden Ave, Port Charlotte, invites all for a journey through season 1 of the TV show “The Chosen.” All are welcome to join on Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. through Oct. 27 to watch the series together, eat a meal and join in discussion on the episode watched. This is a free event and bible study. Also, you can watch the show for free at home by downloading The Chosen TV app. Visit for more information.

Fall FestivalFirst Baptist Church of Punta Gorda, 459 Gill St., Punta Gorda, will hold its Annual Fall Festival at 5 p.m. Oct. 31. For more info, go to

First Monday SupperGulf Cove United Methodist Church, 1100 S. McCall Road, is offering free carry-out dinners on the first Monday of every month. The Nov. 1 menu includes shepherd’s pie, salad, roll and dessert. Dinners can be picked up between 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Nov. 1. You can reserve a meal at, by emailing, or calling 941-697-1747 from 9 a.m.-noon on Monday to Thursday. Although the meals are free, but donations are appreciated.

Patriotic concertBurnt Store Presbyterian Church invites all to a Patriotic Concert and Sing-Along to honor veterans at 3 p.m. Nov. 7 at the church, 11330 Burnt Store Road, Punta Gorda. The program includes patriotic anthems and songs and will feature the church’s Praise Team, Chancel Choir and special musicians. For more information, call 941-639-0001.

Christmas concertThe Ditchfield Family Singers will present a Christmas Memories concert at 7:15 p.m. Nov. 29 at Burnt Store Presbyterian Church, 11330 Burnt Store Road, Punta Gorda. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. There is no reserved seating. Special entry for guests with wheelchairs or walkers is available by informing the parking attendant upon arrival.

The ensemble is led by patriarch Stephen Ditchfield who is known in the area for his performances at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Center, as a soloist with the Sarasota Concert Band, as the master of ceremonies at both the Sarasota and Tampa annual Barbershop shows and as host of the Homestyle Harmony Parlor Shows. The Ditchfields have often been referred to as, “Florida’s answer to the Von Trapp Family Singers.”

Tickets are $25. Seating is limited. Credit card processing fee of 3% will be applied. Tickets are available at Burnt Store Presbyterian Church on Sundays between worship services and from 9 a.m.-noon Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. For more information, call 941-639-0001 or by email to office@bspc

Concert series

Burnt Store Presbyterian Church, 11330 Burnt Store Road, Punta Gorda, will be offering a concert series:

• Jan. 24, 2022: John Charles, a musical variety show with a little comedy.

• Feb. 14, 2022: The Boys of D63, songs of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, and hits from the 1970s.

• March 14, 2022: Everly Set, a tribute to the Everly Brothers.

Season tickets for the three concerts are $60. Single performance tickets are $25. Tickets go on sale Dec. 19, if available. Performances will start at 7:15 p.m.

For more information, call 941-639-0001 email or go to

Men’s prayer breakfastFellowship Church of Englewood is having its monthly men’s prayer breakfast from 8-9 a.m. on the first Saturday of every month at 140 Rotonda Blvd., Rotonda. It’s open to all men and it’s free. For more information, call 941-475-7447.

Choir, bell ringersBurnt Store Presbyterian Church’s traditional choir meets at 5 p.m. Thursdays for practice at the church, 11330 Burnt Store Road, Punta Gorda. The contemporary choir meets at 6 p.m. Wednesdays. Bell ringers meet at 4 p.m. Wednesdays. For more information, call 941-639-0001 email or go to

Free food• Wintergarden Presbyterian, 18305 Wintergarden Ave, Port Charlotte, drive through food pantry is open from noon-4 p.m. Thursday.

• Free food will be given away from 4-5:30 p.m. every Thursday in a drive-thru manner at Community Life Center, 19048 Edgewater Drive, Port Charlotte. For more information, call 941-629-0999.

• Free baked goods, such as bread, muffins, buns, desserts, will be given away between 9:30-10:15 a.m. Tuesdays and Fridays at Praise Tabernacle, 18350 Edgewater Drive, Port Charlotte. For more information, call 941-766-9995.


Christ Community United Methodist Church Thrift Store, 27000 Sunnybrook Road, Harbour Heights, is open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Find household items, clothing for all ages, furniture. Mask required. Proceeds support outreach programs for the community. For more information, call the church office at 941-629-1593.

Closet of Hope at Gulf Cove United Methodist Church, 1100 S. McCall Road, Port Charlotte, offers free clothing for children and adults of all ages. The closet is open from 9:30 a.m. to noon every Saturday. Individuals must present a photo ID at the door which reflects their residence in Charlotte County or in Englewood, North Port or Venice in Sarasota County. Clothing donations are accepted when the Closet is open.

Crafty Ladies of Gulf Cove United Methodist Church, 1100 S. McCall Road, will sell their hand-crafted items from 9-11:30 a.m. Thursdays (except holidays) at Oak’s Cove, the small building behind the church. Call MaryEllen at 941-697-6384 to make an appointment for another day. Email; website

Jesus Loves You Ministry Thrift Store, 1734 Cedarwood St., Port Charlotte, is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Jesus Loves You Ministry provides mobile outreach to the homeless in the area.

St. David’s Thrift Shop, in the Beall’s Outlet shopping center, 485 Indiana Ave., Englewood, is looking for volunteers who have three hours a week. Store hours are 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9:30 a.m. to noon Saturdays. Volunteer hours are flexible. Call Helen Diaguila at 941-474-1047.

St. Vincent de Paul Resale Shop, 17753 Toledo Blade Blvd., Port Charlotte, is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Proceeds from the store support the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry. The shop now offers gift cards. The shop runs two special sales: the first and second Saturdays of each month.

To submit religious news, email Submissions will be edited for length. Announcements will run on a space-available basis. To purchase an ad to guarantee a spot in the paper for an event, call Display Advertising at 941-206-1000.To submit religious news, email Submissions will be edited for length. Announcements will run on a space-available basis. To purchase an ad to guarantee a spot in the paper for an event, call Display Advertising at 941-206-1000.


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