Christmas fundraiser

Jesus Loves You Ministry will hold its annual Christmas fundraiser event today at First United Methodist Church, 507 W. Marion Ave., Punta Gorda. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with dinner served at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $30 per person and proceeds benefit the homeless of Southwest Florida. Live auction by Phil Wilson. For more information, call 941-661-8117.

Christmas shows

Peace River Baptist Church will present their 4th annual Christmas show and musical. There will be three shows this year. First is at the William H. Wakeman III Cultural Center Theater, 2280 Aaron St., Port Charlotte at 7 p.m. today. No tickets are required. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. The second will be held at Charlotte Performing Arts Center, 701 Carmelita St., Punta Gorda, at 7 p.m on Monday (Dec. 10). No tickets are required and the doors open at 6:30 p.m. The third will be held at Peace River Baptist Church, 478 Berry St., Punta Gorda, at 7 p.m. on Dec. 14. No tickets are required, seating is limited and the doors open at 6 p.m. Call the church for more info at 941-637-6768 between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday through Friday or Jim Reuter, music director, at 941-628-9789.

‘Heart of Christmas’

“The Heart of Christmas” will be performed at Murdock Baptist Church, 18375 Cochran Blvd., Port Charlotte, at 6:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are free. Contact the church office at 941-627-6352 or email Office@murdockbaptistchurch.com.

Faith Lutheran Cookie Walk

Faith Lutheran Church, 4005 Palm Drive, Punta Gorda, will host its annual Cookie Walk from 8 a.m. until noon on Saturday. Cost is $7 per pound. All proceeds will be for Back Pack Kidz and local charities. For more information, call Linda at 941-628-2250.

United Methodist Cookie Walk

First United Methodist Church, John Bryant Building, 507 W. Marion Ave., Punta Gorda, will host its annual Cookie Walk from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday. Cost is $8 per pound. For more information, call 941-639-3842.

Chanukah celebration

The public is cordially invited to join for the holiday celebration of Chanukah at 7 p.m. Saturday, (seventh night of Chanukah) for the lighting of the Menorah in front of the main entrance to Fishermen’s Village, 1200 W. Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda. Chabad of Charlotte County, Rabbi Jacobson will be among those who will light the candles. Children participating will receive Chanukah treats. For more information, call 941-833-3381 or www.chabadofcharlottecounty.com.

Car show

San Pedro Catholic Church Quarterly Car Show will be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at 14380 Tamiami Trail, North Port. Registration starts at 9:30 a.m. and is open to all vehicles. $10 donation per entrant and public viewing is free. Door prizes for entrants, 50/50 drawing, music and food available for purchase at Mary’s Kitchen in the Activity Center. For more information, call Steve 941-423-6690.

‘Bethlehem’ Cantata

The Englewood United Methodist Church Music Ministry Concert Series will present the “O Little Town of Bethlehem” Cantata, at both the 9:15 a.m. and 11 a.m. services on Sunday, in the Sanctuary at 700 E. Dearborn St. Children’s programs and nursery services are provided. For more information, see www.englewoodumc.net or call 474-5588 weekdays.

Pancakes and Santa

Come join the members of the Knights of Columbus Council 7672 at the St. Francis of Assisi Parish Center, 5265 Placida Road, Grove City, as they prepare a yummy breakfast of pancakes, scrambled eggs, biscuits and gravy, sausages juice and coffee from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Sunday. Cost is $6 per person and kids eat free. Sources have reported that Santa will be making a special visit and will be available for photos with children of all ages. Tickets are available at the door.

Spaghetti dinner

The public is invited to a spaghetti dinner fundraiser hosted by Boy Scout Troop 776 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Dec. 15, at Gulf Cove United Methodist Church, 1100 McCall Road, Port Charlotte (Gulf Cove area). The menu will include spaghetti, meatballs, sausage, salad, dessert and a beverage. Tickets for adults and youth age 12 and older are $8, and tickets for children 11 and younger are $6. Tickets can be purchased in advance by calling Larry Davis at 770-869-5618. For more information, contact Larry at the above number, or the church at 941-697-1747.

‘Blue Holiday’

The Congregational Care Ministry of Christ Lutheran Church, Englewood, will be providing a comforting Blue Holiday Service from 3:30-4:30 p.m. Dec. 15, at 701 N. Indiana Ave., Englewood. For many who are feeling some kind of loss, Christmas season can be the hardest season of the year. The service will provide an opportunity to have one’s losses acknowledged. RSVP to 941-474-1989 or office@christlutheranfleng.org.

Christmas concert

Sonrise Baptist Church, 11050 Willmington Blvd., Englewood, will hold a Christmas Concert, “Jesus is the Reason for the Season” at 6 p.m. on Dec. 16 and a pre-Christmas Eve Candlelight Service at 6 p.m. on Dec. 23. For more information, call 941-475-5363.

Mass at dawn

Mass at Dawn (Simbang Gabi or Misa de Gallo), at 6 a.m. Dec. 15-22, and 7:30 a.m. Dec. 16 and Dec. 23 at St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish, 1441 Spear St., Port Charlotte. Simbang Gabi or Misa de Gallo, “Midnight Mass” or “Mass of the Rooster” comes from the Catholic custom of gathering for the celebration of the Eucharist in the pre-dawn hours of each of the nine days before Christmas. This celebration is open to everyone. For more information, call 941-626-5046.

‘Festival of Lessons’

The Worship and Arts Ministry of Burnt Store Presbyterian Church will present “A Festival of Lessons and Carols” by Hal H. Hopson, featuring the Chancel Choir and Laudate Ringers at 7 p.m. on Dec. 16, at the church located at 11330 Burnt Store Road, Punta Gorda.

For more information contact the church office at 639-0001 during normal business hours, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to noon, on Friday or by email to office@bspconline.org.

‘Festival of Lessons’

Gulf Cove United Methodist Church, 1100 McCall Road, Port Charlotte, will offer special Christmas programs at the 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. traditional services, and at the 9:30 a.m. contemporary service on Dec. 16. For more information, contact the church at 941-697-1747 or GulfCoveUMC@gmail.com.

Blue Christmas Service

Not everyone is upbeat and cheery for the Christmas holidays. There are many reasons to feel blue – dealing with the death of a loved one, facing life after divorce or separation, coping with the loss of a job, living with cancer or some other disease that puts a question mark over your future. If you or someone you know is having a difficult time this Christmas season, please join at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 21. at Gulf Cove United Methodist Church, 1100 McCall Road, Port Charlotte, for a special service of remembrance and hope. The church can be contacted at 941-697-1747 or GulfCoveUMC@gmail.com.

Christmas Eve Services

The congregation of Gulf Cove United Methodist Church, 1100 McCall Road, Port Charlotte, invites the public to to join them at one of its three candlelight services on Monday, Dec. 24. The first service at 4:30 p.m. will be a contemporary service for the whole family. At 8 p.m.m a traditional worship service and at 11:30 p.m., partake of Holy Communion at a quiet, more meditative service. The church can be contacted at 941-697-1747 or GulfCoveUMC@gmail.com.

Free Christmas Dinner

Englewood United Methodist Church invited everyone to its 27th annual free Community Christmas Day Dinner on Dec. 25. Just show up at Fellowship Hall, 700 E. Dearborn, between noon and 3 p.m. for turkey with all the trimmings surrounded by Christmas cheer and music. Between 12-3 p.m. that day only and in-person, place and pick up take-out orders at the far end of Fellowship Hall. For transportation to and from the church or a homebound food delivery, call only the special number 941-544-1608 between now and Dec. 20 is preferred. However, calls to that number only made before 10 a.m. Christmas Day will be accepted. Donations are welcome but not required.

GriefShare Program

If you have lost a loved one or know of someone who has and have concerns/questions, we invite you to join our GriefShare Program beginning Jan. 6 and continuing weekly through March 31 from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 2565 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte. Contact Holy Trinity Lutheran office at 941-625-5262 with questions or sign up at griefshare.org.

Monthly breakfast

Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 2565 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte, will offer a premium breakfast to members and the community on the first Saturday of each month. The price is $8 for all-you-care-to-eat menu. Kids 9 and under eat for free. Join for breakfast and fellowship. Reservations for large groups are accepted. For more information, contact the church office at 941-625-5262.

At Ease, Veterans

During World War II, and the wars in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq, the percentage of American soldiers who shot their weapons with the intent to kill steadily rose from just 15 percent to almost 100 percent.

The Department of Housing & Urban Development estimates that in January 2017, more than 40,000 veterans are more likely to be homeless each night. These brave men and women need a listening ear, and they need to know that God’s grace is still with them. Combat veterans from Gulf Cove United Methodist Church are providing some of the support and discussion that our veterans deserve.

On the first Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m., they will be at the American Legion Post 113, at 3436 Indiana Road, Rotonda West. Veterans are invited and encouraged to meet with them there. For more information, call 941-697-1747 or email GulfCoveUMC@gmail.com and GulfCoveChurch.com.

Single parents

Offering a safe environment for both single moms and dads, the Single Parent Small Group meets at 5 p.m. on Sundays in the Life Center, room 5 of First United Methodist Church, 507 W. Marion Ave., Punta Gorda. This group is open to anyone in the area. For your convenience, Connect Kids and United 4 Him Youth Group is available for all children in pre-kindergarten to 12th grade. Over the next few weeks, the group will focus on the challenges facing today’s single parents, providing support, friendship and fellowship. If you know someone who is a single parent or know someone who would be interested in joining this valuable ministry, contact Janet Minerich, singleparentministry@whatis1st.com.

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