Phil Anderson

phil anderson | FAITH AND VALUES

Phil Anderson has been covering the Topeka religious community since 1989. Always looking for a good story, Phil welcomes your ideas and suggestions.

Columnists reflect on religious seasons

February 8, 2013

Important seasons for both Christians and Jews are drawing near, and readers of The Topeka Capital-Journal will be in for a special treat in the weeks that lie ahead.

First, let’s look at the special holidays that are nearly upon us.

Christians on Wednesday will begin their 40-day Lenten journey, which leads them to the Easter celebration on Sunday, March 31.

For many Christians, Lent is a time of introspection: a period of fasting, prayer, sacrifice and repentance.

It is a time when many reflect on their spiritual condition, asking God to forgive them for their sins, and to help them follow Christ with renewed energy and enthusiasm.

For Jews, meanwhile, the seven-day Passover observance begins at sundown Monday, March 25.

Many Jews will begin their Passover observance by partaking of traditional Seder meals that are symbolic of the Israelites’ flight to freedom from their Egyptian captors some 3,300 years ago.

Passover entails special dietary restrictions, and many homes undergo an extensive cleaning prior to the holiday.

For the next few weeks, you’ll see someone else’s photo in this space and read the thoughts of guest columnists as these special seasons converge.

Seven clergy from Topeka have agreed to write columns based on their reflections of Lent, Easter and Passover.

The guest columns will begin next Saturday, when the Rev. Brad Walker, pastor of First Presbyterian Church, will share his thoughts on the first week of Lent.

Other contributors will feature: the Rev. Neil Buono, of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church; the Rev. V. Gordon Glenn III, of St. John African Methodist Episcopal Church; the Rev. January Kiefer, of University United Methodist Church; the Rev. Jerry Volz, of St. Matthew Catholic Church; Rabbi Debbie Stiel, of Temple Beth Sholom; and the Rev. Jim Congdon, of Topeka Bible Church.

I can’t wait to see what they have to say.

Parents, like children, also need to learn

February 1, 2013

In a family setting, children aren’t the only ones who grow and develop.

Parents do, too.

At least they should.

I can’t remember my parents ever making any mistakes as they raised me. Not that I was in the business of critiquing my parents, but, seriously, looking back, I’m amazed at the steady hand with which they raised their kids.

It probably didn’t hurt that I was the fifth of five children to come along.

I look at it this way: My parents either had mastered the art of child-rearing with their first four kids, or they were just too old and tired to waste a lot of energy with me.

Or maybe a little bit of both.

I was an older dad when I got started in this parenting business: 38 when my first son was born.

Yet even my advanced age didn’t qualify me as a wise, old parent.

Goodness knows I’ve made more than my share of mistakes and on many occasions have gone to my children to tell them I was sorry.

Thankfully, those days are few and far between anymore. Not too much really seems to get me hot and bothered these days.

I’ve learned to keep my mouth shut in instances where I would have opened it and said something I would later regret a few short years ago.

Little things that used to irritate me to no end a few years ago now barely faze me, if I even notice them at all.

I also have learned to bounce things off my wife before addressing a situation with my kids. She has the wisdom I so often lack and is able to give me just the right word that I need to hear.

Because of her wisdom and sound advice, I’m certain I have become a better parent — a better father and dad.

Nothing is more important to me on this earth than my family. I’m sure many people would say “amen” to that statement out of their own personal experience.

I am enormously blessed to have a wife and children whom I love — and who love me back, as well.

Time keeps going like an ever-rolling river, and it seems to pick up speed each year. My teenagers today will be out on their own in a few short years. My youngest will be filling their shoes.

I am thankful that I’ve learned from at least a few of the mistakes I’ve made through the years. The lessons are helping me cherish the moments I have with my loved ones each and every day.

Notes: New bishop named for Colly Creek

January 25, 2013

A new bishop has begun serving a local ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it was announced recently.

Dominic Bonadio began serving Jan. 13 as the new bishop of the Colly Creek Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which meets in the LDS meetinghouse at 3611 S.W. Jewell. He succeeds Scot Hirschi, who is now serving in the presidency of the LDS Topeka Stake.

Bonadio is a marketing manager for Payless ShoeSource. As bishop, he will minister to the members and oversee the programs and activities of the Colly Creek Ward, which covers southwest and south-central Topeka.

Like other LDS bishops, Bonadio will serve without pay and in the time he has free from his full-time job. Rick Crow and Rob Lane will serve as his counselors in the bishopric.

Bonadio was a LDS missionary in southern California. He has also served previously as an elders quorum president, counselor in a stake young men’s presidency and counselor to Hirschi. He and his wife, Becca, are the parents of four children.

In other religion news:

■ The 28th annual “Men in Song” program will be held at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 27, at St. John African Methodist Episcopal Church, 701 S.W. Topeka Blvd. Choirs from throughout the city will be featured in the program, which is sponsored by the men’s chorus of St. Mark’s African Methodist Episcopal Church. The master of ceremonies will be Shawnee County District Judge Joseph Johnson.

■ The Topeka City Mission Union will have its first meeting of 2013 at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 27, at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, 1100 S.E. Washington. The Rev. T.D. Hicks will bring the message, and the Antioch choir will render musical selections.

■ Kansas Avenue United Methodist Church, 1029 N. Kansas Ave., will have a chili and vegetable soup supper from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1. The meal will include cornbread, relishes, drinks and desserts. Attendees may dine-in or carry out. Hot dogs also will be available. The cost is $7 for adults and $3 for children.

■ The Sweeten Your Marriage annual workshop will take place Feb. 22 and 23 at the Capitol Plaza Hotel, 1717 S.W. Topeka Blvd.

Featured speakers will be Pastors Bill and D’Ann Johnson, of New Covenant Christian Ministries of Covington, Ga. Additional speakers will be from the Topeka area.

Sweeten Your Marriage was launched eight years ago from the couples ministry LOVE — Living Our Vow Eternal. Each year, Sweeten Your Marriage is host of an annual marriage workshop in February in Topeka.

The cost for the Friday and Saturday workshop is $15 per individual and $25 per couple. Saturday night’s candlelight dinner is $75 per couple, with evening attire.

No tickets will be sold at the door. Visit www.sweetenyourmarriage.com for more information or call (785) 235-0404.

■ The American Chamber Consort will perform a concert titled “Payton and Pipes” at 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 27, at Grace Episcopal Cathedral, 701 S.W. 8th. Selections will include Vivaldi’s “Stabat mater,” Aaron Copland’s “As It Fell Upon a Day” and selections from Ravel’s “Scheherazade.” A freewill offering will be received.

■ University United Methodist Church, 1621 S.W. College, will present its “Art and Spirit Cafe” with the theme “Mardi Gras” from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1. Crepes and cookies will be served, and attendees will be able to make masks, crowns and take part in face-painting. Fair trade items and jewelry also will be available. The event will be held as part of Topeka’s First Friday Artwalk.

Notes: Events in the faith community

January 18, 2013

■ True Vine Missionary Baptist Church, 307 S.E. Tefft, will sponsor a leadership workshop titled “Can You Roll With Your Role?” from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19. The cost is $10 for adults and $5 for those 18 and younger.

■ The women’s department of Faith Temple Church of God in Christ, 1162 S.W. Lincoln, will sponsor a program titled “Jump Start Your Praise!” from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19. The event will include a low-impact workout, a nutrition and fitness discussion and a high impact Zumba workout. The instructor will be praise and worship leader Evelyn Rivera. Donations will be accepted.

■ St. John African Methodist Episcopal Church, 701 S.W. Topeka Blvd., will conclude its winter revival at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, with special speaker Pastor Shirley Heermance, of St. Mark’s AME Church.

■ The monthly Eckankar worship service will take place at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 20, at the Clubhouse Inn and Suites, 924 S.W. Henderson. The topic will be “Stand Back for a Better Look.”

■ The next Cash Mob gathering will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, at Findables, 4032 S.W. Huntoon. The Cash Mob is a group sponsored by several local churches designed to support locally owned businesses.

■ Crestview United Methodist Church, 2245 S.W. Eveningside Drive, will offer the Alpha Course from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sundays from Sunday, Jan. 20, through March 24. Call the church at (785) 272-3676 for more information.

■ Greater Deliverance Missionary Baptist Church will have services at 11 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 20, at its new location at the Antioch Family Life Center, 1921 S.E. Indiana Ave. The church’s pastor, the Rev. T.J. Parker Jr., will continue to be host of the “Gospel Time” radio program from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Sundays on 580 WIBW Radio.

■ Interfaith of Topeka will have its annual meeting starting with a potluck dinner at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22, at Rochester Community Church of the Brethren, 3201 N.W. Rochester Road. A meeting and musical program will follow.

■ The annual College Hill Chili Cook-Off will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, at University United Methodist Church, 1621 S.W. College. The contest starts at 4 p.m., followed by a chili feed at 5 p.m. The cost is $5 for adults and $2.50 for children.

■ A rehearsal for a community choir to sing at the annual Community Celebration of the Birthday of the Martin Luther King Jr. will be held at 6 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 20, at New Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church, 2801 S.E. Indiana Ave. Individuals from other congregations are welcome to participate.

■ Topeka Bible Church, 1101 S.W. Mulvane, will present a series of programs on Christianity starting next week. “Perspectives” will be offered from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Mondays from Jan. 21 through May 13. Child care, tuition reimbursement and college credit are available. Call the church at (785) 234-5545 for more information.

Notes: Church offers winter revival

January 11, 2013

Several local ministers will be featured guests when a downtown church holds its winter revival this coming week.

St. John African Methodist Episcopal Church, 701 S.W. Topeka Blvd., will have revival services at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 17, through Saturday, Jan. 19. The theme for the revival is “Moving Forward.”

Speakers will include the Rev. T.D. Hicks, of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, on Thursday, Jan. 17; Pastor Nicky Wickliffe, of Lane Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, on Friday, Jan. 18; and Pastor Shirley Heermance, of St. Mark’s AME Church, on Saturday, Jan. 19.

In other religion news:

■ The 20th annual Community Celebration of the Birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 21, at Grace Episcopal Cathedral, 701 S.W. 8th. The special speaker will be Lecia Brooks, director of outreach for the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala. A free soup supper will precede the program, with donations accepted. The event is sponsored by the Whose Dream Is It? coalition of religious and community leaders.

■ Catholic Charities has announced the opening of a new emergency assistance center at 234 S. Kansas Ave. Among the center’s offerings will be a food pantry, which is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Photo identification is required of those seeking assistance.

■ Topeka Bible Church, 1101 S.W. Mulvane, will present a series of programs on Christianity around the world starting next week. “Perspectives” will be offered from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Mondays from Jan. 21 through May 13. Child care, tuition reimbursement and college credit are available. Call the church at (785) 234-5545 for more information.

■ Interfaith of Topeka will have its annual meeting starting with a potluck dinner at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22, at Rochester Community Church of the Brethren, 3201 N.W. Rochester Road. A meeting and musical program will follow.

■ The annual College Hill Chili Cook-Off will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, at University United Methodist Church, 1621 S.W. College. The contest starts at 4 p.m., followed by a chili feed at 5 p.m. The cost is $5 for adults and $2.50 for children.

■ The Topeka High School Jazz Band, Topeka High Madrigal singers and Topeka West Singers will be in concert at 6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12, at First Congregational United Church of Christ, 1701 S.W. Collins. A $5 donation is suggested at the door. Treats and hot chocolate will follow the concert. The event is a fundraiser for the First Congregational church youth group’s trip to Germany.

■ Phil Keaggy will be in concert at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, at Topeka Bible Church, 1101 S.W. Mulvane. Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door. Advance tickets are available at LifeWay Christian Store, 2121 S.W. Fairlawn Plaza Drive, and the church.

■ Winter Jam 2013 will take place at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25, at Sprint Center, 1407 Grand Blvd., in Kansas City, Mo. Special guests will include Tobymac, Newsong, Red, Matthew West, Jamie Grace, Sidewalk Prophets and Royal Tailor. A prejam party will feature Jason Castro, Obb and Capital Kings. Nick Hall will be the speaker. Tickets are $10 at the door only. For information, call (816) 949-7100 or visit www.sprintcenter.com or www.jamtour.com.

Notes: Churches set Epiphany services

January 4, 2013

Christians in many Catholic and Protestant churches on Sunday will mark Epiphany, a celebration that commemorates the wise men following a bright star to Bethlehem, where they recognized the baby Jesus as the son of God.

Among special services in Topeka will be an annual program at 4 p.m. Sunday at Kansas Avenue United Methodist Church, 1029 N. Kansas Ave.

A pageant, special readings and musical selections will be featured in the service. Light refreshments will be served afterward.

Another special event will take place after the 10:30 a.m. Sunday service at Grace Episcopal Cathedral, 701 S.W. 8th, when the Cathedral Choristers musical ensemble will sponsor a luncheon featuring soups, salads, bread and a special “Epiphany King’s Cake.” The event is a fundraiser for the group’s singing trip to St. Louis.

In other religion news:

■ The Topeka Churches Singing Convention will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 5, and 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 6, at New Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church, 1018 S.E. 8th. Youth and adult choirs will furnish the music. The message will be delivered by Elder David Helm.

■ A rehearsal will be held at 6 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 6, at New Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church, 2801 S.E. Indiana Ave., for those wishing to take part in a community choir for the Whose Dream Is It? Community Celebration of the Birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Another rehearsal will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 11, at Grace Episcopal Cathedral, 701 S.W. 8th. People of all denominations and backgrounds are welcome to join the choir.

The 20th annual Whose Dream Is It? service will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 21, at Grace Cathedral, with special speaker Lecia Brooks, director of outreach for the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala. A soup supper will precede the program.

■ True Holiness Family Church of God in Christ, 1244 S.E. Republican Ave., will have a three-day revival at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 9, through Friday, Jan. 11, with special speakers each night. The revival is sponsored by the Kansas Central Jurisdiction Department of Evangelism of the Church of God in Christ.

■ Above All Books and Gifts recently moved from its location at the Plaza 21 shopping center to its new spot at the Antioch Family Life Center, 1921 S.E. Indiana Ave. The move was made to reduce operating costs so the independent Christian retail store could continue to serve the Topeka community.

The store is located at the west end of the Antioch Family Life Center. Entrance is through the doors nearest S.E. 20th and Washington streets. The store’s hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. The phone number remains (785) 266-6107. Visit www.aboveallbooks.com for more information.

■ Artwork by Michael Mize will be on display in January at the Cloister Gallery at Grace Episcopal Cathedral, 701 S.W. 8th. Mize, an art teacher at Washburn Rural High School, depicts biblical verses showing aspects of his Christian faith.

■ Phil Keaggy will be in concert at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, at Topeka Bible Church, 1101 S.W. Mulvane. Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door. Advance tickets are available at LifeWay Christian Store, 2121 S.W. Fairlawn Plaza Drive, and the church.

■ Winter Jam 2013 will take place at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25, at Sprint Center, 1407 Grand Blvd., in Kansas City, Mo. Special guests will include Tobymac, Newsong, Red, Matthew West, Jamie Grace, Sidewalk Prophets and Royal Tailor. A prejam party will feature Jason Castro, Obb and Capital Kings. Nick Hall will be the speaker. Tickets are $10 at the door only. For more information, call (816) 949-7100 or visit www.sprintcenter.com or www.jamtour.com.

Notes: Churches set Christmas programs

December 21, 2012

The birth of Christ and the meaning of Christmas in challenging times will be the theme of the sacrament service of the Sherwood Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 9 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 23, in the LDS Topeka Stake Center, 2401 S.W. Kingsrow.

Bishop Ralph Hoyos and his wife, Linnea, will be the speakers. Music will include songs by the church’s primary children and congregational caroling.

In other religion news:

■ Bethel Baptist Church, 4011 N. Kansas Ave., will have a special candlelight service at 6:30 p.m. Monday.

■ First Congregational United Church of Christ, 1701 S.W. Collins, will have a Christmas praise service at 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 23. Youths from the church will serve a macaroni-and-cheese dinner after the service as a fundraiser for their Germany trip.

■ The music and children’s ministries of the Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ will present a celebration of Christmas at 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 23, at the church, 2420 S.E. Bellview.

■ St. John African Methodist Episcopal Church, 701 S.W. Topeka Blvd., will present a Christmas program with the theme “Peace on Earth” at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 23. Music will be furnished by the St. John’s men’s ensemble and youths.

■ Central Presbyterian Church, 920 S.W. Huntoon, will have “A Musical Celebration of Jesus” at the 10:30 a.m. service on Sunday, Dec. 23.

■ Grantville United Methodist Church, 3720 South St. in Grantville, will have a living nativity from 7 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 22.

■ First Congregational Church, 326 W. 12th in Emporia, will present a Christmas cantata titled “Night of the Father’s Love” at 11 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 23.

■ Christian singer and guitarist Phil Keaggy will be in concert at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, at Topeka Bible Church, 1101 S.W. Mulvane. Advance tickets are available for $15 at LifeWay Christian Store, 2121 S.W. Fairlawn Plaza Drive, and the church. Tickets are $18 at the door.

Christmas Eve services will take place at the following times and churches on Monday, Dec. 24:

■ Noon and 7 p.m., Trinity Presbyterian Church, 4746 S.W. 21st.

■ 2, 5, 8 and 11 p.m., Countryside United Methodist Church, 3221 S.W. Burlingame.

■ 3, 4:30, 6 and 7:30 p.m., Fellowship Bible Church, 6800 S.W. 10th.

■ 3, 5:30 and 11 a.m., First Christian Church-Disciples of Christ, 1880 S.W. Gage.

■ 3, 7 and 9 p.m., Highland Park United Methodist Church, 2914 S.E. Michigan.

■ 4 and 11 p.m., First Congregational United Church of Christ, 1701 S.W. Collins.

■ 4, 6 p.m. and midnight, in addition to 7:30 and 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 25, Most Pure Heart of Mary Catholic Church, 3601 S.W. 17th.

■ 4:30 and 7 p.m., Calvary Lutheran Church, 4211 N.W. Topeka Blvd. Also, 10 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 25.

■ 5:30 and 10 p.m., Grace Episcopal Cathedral, 701 S.W. 8th. Prelude for Christmas music precedes each service by 30 minutes; also, 10 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 25.

■ 5, 7 and 10 p.m., Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, 3625 S.W. Wanamaker.

■ 5:30 p.m., Grantville United Methodist Church, 3720 South St. in Grantville.

■ 5:30 p.m., St. John African Methodist Episcopal Church, 701 S.W. Topeka Blvd.

■ 6 p.m., North Topeka Baptist Church, 123 N.W. Gordon.

■ 6 p.m., Rolling Hills Christian Church, 4530 N.W. Hiawatha Place.

■ 7 p.m., Crestview United Methodist Church, 2245 S.W. Eveningside Drive.

■ 7:30 and 11 p.m., First Presbyterian Church, 817 S.W. Harrison.

■ 7 and 10 p.m., Shawnee Heights United Methodist Church, 6020 S.E. 44th.

■ 7 p.m., Tecumseh United Methodist Church, 334 S.E. Tecumseh Road.

■ 7 and 11 p.m., University United Methodist Church, 1621 S.W. College.

Notes: Drive-up light show this weekend

December 15, 2012

A Topeka holiday tradition continues this weekend when Topeka Bible Church presents its Drive-In Christmas Light Show on the south side of the church’s three-story building at 1101 S.W. Mulvane.

Presentations with live musicians will take place at 6, 6:45, 7:30, 8:15 and 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, and Sunday, Dec. 16.

Continuous automated shows will be presented from 5 to 11 p.m. Dec. 17 through Jan. 1. Admission is free, and no donations will be accepted.

In other religion news:

■ Victory City Church, 2622 S.E. 6th, will present “The Grinch Who Couldn’t Steal Christmas” at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14, through Sunday, Dec. 16. Admission is free.

■ Auburn Christian Church, S.W. 85th and Auburn Road, will present the play “A Silent Night” at 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16. Admission is with a canned or nonperishable food item.

■ Trinity Lutheran Church, 4746 S.W. 21st, will have an adult Christian eduction series titled “Music of the Season,” led by the Rev. Suz McIver, at 6 p.m. Mondays through Dec. 17. Dinner will be served at the program.

■ Calvary Lutheran Church, 4211 N.W. Topeka Blvd., will have its annual children and youth Christmas service at 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16. The service will include the congregational singing of Christmas hymns.

■ “What Bahai’s Believe About Jesus” will be the theme of Baha’i devotions at 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16, at the Topeka Friends Meetinghouse, 603 S.W. 8th. Refreshments and discussion will follow.

■ True Holiness Family Church will have a barbecue dinner fundraiser from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, at the church, 1244 S.E. Republican. Fried catfish dinners are available for $10, barbecue ribs for $8 and barbecue chicken for $7 (white meat) and $6 (dark meat). Call (785) 233-9545 for delivery to job sites, senior citizens’ homes and for orders of five or more dinners.

■ The Soul-Full Singers will present a Christmas concert of vocal jazz, swing and gospel music at 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16, at Countryside United Methodist Church, 3211 S.W. Burlingame Road. Admission is free.

■ The Cash Mob will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, at Scandinavian Imports, near S.W. 6th and Washburn. The group, sponsored by Central Congregational United Church of Christ, seeks to benefit locally owned businesses on the third Saturday of each month. New participants are welcome to attend.

■ Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, 3625 S.W. Wanamaker, will have a Blue Christmas service of hope and healing for those experiencing difficulties during the holiday season at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 19. The service will include music, Scripture readings, prayers, meditation, anointing with oil and celebration of the Lord’s Supper.

■ The monthly Eckankar worship service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 16, at the Clubhouse Inn and Suites, 924 S.W. Henderson. The topic will be “Discover the Mahanta.”

■ Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church, 531 S.E. 33rd Terrace, will have its annual candlelight worship service at 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16. The Rev. Shawn Smith, pastor of New Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church, will be the guest speaker.

■ A production titled “A Christmas Celebration” will be presented at 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, by members of St. Mark’s African Methodist Episcopal Church, 801 N.W. Harrison. The play was written and directed by the Rev. Shirley D. Heermance, pastor of St. Mark’s. The cast includes individuals ages 4 to 70-plus. A freewill offering will be received.

■ Shawnee Heights United Methodist Church, 6020 S.E. 44th St., will have its third annual Carols and Cocoa event at 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16. The event will include various choirs from the church, as well as guest musicians from The University of Kansas. Refreshments will follow in the church’s Aldersgate Room. A freewill offering will be received.

■ The adult and children’s choirs of Bethel Baptist Church, 4011 N. Kansas Ave., will sing on Sunday, Dec. 16. The adult choir will perform the cantata “Peace, Hope and Joy” at 10:30 a.m., and the children’s choir will perform the Christmas musical “A Christmas Carol” at 6 p.m. For more information, call (785) 286-0467.

■ Charles David Smart, known as the “Kansas City Guitar Man,” will be featured at the 10 a.m. service on Sunday, Dec. 16, at Rolling Hills Christian Church, 4530 N.W. Hiawatha Place. A freewill offering will be received.

■ First Christian Church-Disciples of Christ, 1880 S.W. Gage, will present the “Nativity Suites — A Cantata for Christmas” at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16.

■ Chapel-like worship services will be offered from 7 to 8 p.m. daily through Dec. 22 at the Bridge, located on the southeast corner of S.W. 8th and Clay. Members of area churches will share messages during the programs, which will include music ranging from old-time gospel hymns to contemporary musical selections.

■ Grace Community Church, 310 E. 8th in Overbrook, will present “The Road to Bethlehem” from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, and Sunday, Dec. 16. The play will be held outdoors, and those attending are encouraged to dress appropriately for the weather. Call (785) 665-7117 for more information.

■ Phil Keaggy will be in concert at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, at Topeka Bible Church, 1101 S.W. Mulvane. Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door. Advance tickets are available at LifeWay Christian Store, 2121 S.W. Fairlawn Plaza Drive, and the church.

■ Winter Jam 2013 will take place at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25, at Sprint Center, 1407 Grand Blvd., in Kansas City, Mo. Special guests will include Tobymac, Newsong, Red, Matthew West, Jamie Grace, Sidewalk Prophets and Royal Tailor. A prejam party will feature Jason Castro, Obb and Capital Kings. Nick Hall will be the speaker. Tickets are $10 at the door only. For more information, call (816) 949-7100 or visit www.sprintcenter.com or www.jamtour.com.

Notes: Church offers annual living nativity

December 8, 2012

A west Topeka church will continue a holiday tradition this weekend.

First Lutheran Church, 1234 S.W. Fairlawn, will have its annual Drive-Thru Living Nativity from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9.

The event will take place in the church’s south parking lot. Visitors are asked to approach the church by traveling in the northbound lanes on S.W. Fairlawn and turning right into the parking lot, to avoid having to cross traffic on S.W. Fairlawn.

In other religion news:

■ Lowman United Methodist Church, 4000 S.W. Drury Lane, will have its annual Cookie and Candy Cafe and Craft Shoppe from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, Dec. 8.

Cookies and candy will be available for $5.50 per pound. Advance orders may be placed by calling (785) 272-8921.

■ First Baptist Church, 3033 S.W. MacVicar, will have a children’s event titled “Birthday Party for Jesus” beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 8. Call (785) 267-0380 to make reservations.

■ Victory City Church, 2622 S.E. 6th, will present “The Grinch Who Couldn’t Steal Christmas” at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14, through Sunday, Dec. 16. Admission is free.

Breakfast with the Grinch will be held starting at 8 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, at the Victory City Church, with all-you-can-eat pancakes available for $9 for adults and $6 for children.

■ First Christian Church-Disciples of Christ, 1880 S.W. Gage, will present a children’s Christmas program titled “The Christmas Chronicles” at 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8.

■ Recording artist Nathan Pacheco will sing Christmas carols and hymns including “O Come, All Ye Faithful,” “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” and “O Holy Night” in a special telecast at 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, on KTWU-TV, Channel 11.

■ Susanna Wesley United Methodist Church, 7433 S.W. 29th, will have an Advent Festival starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 8. The event, for children and families, will include crafts, storytelling, puppet skits and a Christmas store where youngsters can shop for their parents and receive help wrapping their presents. The event is free.

■ An event titled the Seth Family Fundraiser will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, at the Silver Lake Grade School gymnasium, 200 Rice Road in Silver Lake. Proceeds from the event, which will include a soup dinner, youth auction, bingo and silent auction, will help defray medical expenses of the Jaryl and Stephanie Seth family. Stephanie Seth has been hospitalized in Philadelphia after she underwent in utero surgery for her son, who has spina bifida. Stephanie Seth and her son must remain in Philadelphia until the baby is released from the hospital.

■ Reign Down USA, a worship event scheduled to be televised across the nation, will take place from 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, in a large tent in MacLennan Park, near S.W. 6th and Fairlawn. For more information, visit www.reigndownusa.com.

■ The Washburn University Holiday Vespers concert will be held at 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9, in White Concert Hall, near S.W. 17th and Jewell on the Washburn University campus. Doors will open at 3 p.m. Admission is free.

■ Fellowship Bible Church, 6800 S.W. 10th, will have Advent Overflow services at 5 and 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9. To ensure seating, those wishing to attend are asked to visit www.fbctopeka.com to reserve free tickets.

■ First Congregational United Church of Christ, 1701 S.W. Collins, will have its annual German-language service and dinner at 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9. The service is free, and an offering will be received for Doorstep and the YWCA Center for Safety and Empowerment. Dinner is available for $12 for adults and $8 for children 6 to 12, with those 5 and younger eating free. Tickets can be purchased in advance by calling the church office at (785) 233-1786 or at the door.

■ Jeff King, pastor of family ministries and pastoral care of Community Covenant Church in Osage City, will speak at the 10:30 a.m. service on Sunday, Dec. 9, at Central Presbyterian Church, 920 S.W. Huntoon.

■ Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church, 201 N.E. Chandler, will observe the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe with special services starting at midnight Wednesday, Dec. 12. Special services and Masses will be held throughout the day at the church, including a children’s Mass at 9 a.m.

■ Trinity Lutheran Church, 4746 S.W. 21st, will have an adult Christian eduction series titled “Music of the Season,” led by the Rev. Suz McIver, at 6 p.m. Mondays through Dec. 17. Dinner will be served at the program.

■ First Presbyterian Church, 817 S.W. Harrison, will continue its “Noon Noels” series at noon Wednesday, Dec. 12. The featured musical group for the first program will be the Shawnee Heights High School Choraliers. Lunch for a $5 donation will be served 30 minutes before and after the program.

■ The 60-voice Shawnee Choral Society will present a program titled “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 10, at Countryside United Methodist Church, 3211 S.W. Burlingame Road. A freewill offering will be received.

■ Chapel-like worship services will be offered from 7 to 8 p.m. daily through Dec. 22 at the Bridge, located on the southeast corner of S.W. 8th and Clay. Members of area churches will share messages during the programs, which will include music ranging from old-time gospel hymns to contemporary musical selections.

■ Grace Community Church, 310 E. 8th in Overbrook, will present “The Road to Bethlehem” from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14, Saturday, Dec. 15 and Sunday, Dec. 16. The play will be held outdoors, and those attending are encouraged to dress appropriately for the weather. Call (785) 665-7117 for more information.

■ A concert featuring some of the top acts in Christian rock music will come in January to Kansas City, Mo.

Winter Jam 2013 will take place at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25, at Sprint Center, 1407 Grand Blvd. Special guests will include Tobymac, Newsong, Red, Matthew West, Jamie Grace, Sidewalk Prophets and Royal Tailor. A prejam party will feature Jason Castro, Obb and Capital Kings. Nick Hall will be the speaker.

Tickets are $10 at the door only. For more information, call (816) 949-7100 or visit www.sprintcenter.com or www.jamtour.com.

Notes: A season of Noon Noels to begin

November 30, 2012

A downtown church will continue its tradition of ringing in the holidays with special midweek programs featuring musicians from local schools.

First Presbyterian Church, 817 S.W. Harrison, will present its “Noon Noels” series starting at noon Wednesday, Dec. 5.

The featured musical group for the first program will be the Washburn Rural Middle School eighth-grade chorus.

Lunch for a $5 donation will be served 30 minutes before and after the program.

In other religion news:

■ Elmont United Methodist Church, 6635 N.W. Church Lane, will have its Christmas bazaar from 9:30 a.m. to noon Saturday, Dec. 1. Crafts, candy, homemade cinnamon and silent auction gift baskets will be available.

■ University United Methodist Church, 1621 S.W. College, will present a program titled “The Harvey Girls’ Service with Style” at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1. The free program is made possible by the Kansas Humanities Council.

■ Nativities and Noels, a free event, will be held from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, at the Topeka Stake Center of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2401 S.W. Kingsrow. A storyteller will tell Christmas stories at 4 p.m., and a musical program featuring John Rutter’s “Gloria” and Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus” will start at 6:30 p.m.

■ A choral evensong will take place at 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, at Grace Episcopal Cathedral, 701 S.W. 8th.

■ The Topeka Women’s Connection will have its Spectacular Christmas Luncheon and Style Show at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 6, in the Emerald Room of the Capitol Plaza Hotel, 1717 S.W. Topeka.

Christmas music will be provided by the Shawnee Heights High School Choraliers. Findables will provide a holiday-attire style show. The guest speaker will be Janet McClanahan, who will share about her life in Brazil. The cost is $13.50 payable at the door. Reservations are required by Sunday, Dec. 2, by calling (785) 266-1522.

■ Organist John Walker will be in concert at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7, at Grace Episcopal Cathedral, 701 S.W. 8th. Tickets for the concert, which is part of the “Great Spaces” music and arts series, are $10 for adults and $5 for students, with children 12 and younger free.

■ A rehearsal for a community choir that will sing at the 20th annual Community Birthday Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in January will be held at 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, at New Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church, 2801 S.E. Indiana Ave. Musicians and singers from all congregations and ethnic backgrounds are invited to participate. For more information, call the New Mount Zion church at (785) 267-6312.

■ St. John’s Lutheran Church, 901 S.W. Fillmore, will have its annual Christmas luncheon and bazaar starting at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Dec. 7. Booths will open at 10:30 a.m., and the luncheon will be served starting at 11 a.m. Lunch tickets are $7 for adults and $3 for children younger than 12.

The bazaar will feature woodworking items, homemade crafts, baked goods and a sweet shop, and it also will include a huge cookie walk. Profits will benefit mission projects.

■ University United Methodist Church, 1621 S.W. College, will have an Art and Spirit Cafe program from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7, in conjunction with Topeka’s First Friday Artwalk. Nativity sets from around the world will be on display, and attendees will be able to make Christmas decorations to take home with them. Fair trade and fine arts and craft products also will be available.

■ Reign Down USA, a worship event scheduled to be televised across the nation, will take place from 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, in a large tent in MacLennan Park, near S.W. 6th and Fairlawn. For more information, visit www.reigndownusa.com.

■ A fundraising event titled the Seth Family Fundraiser will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, at the Silver Lake Grade School gymnasium, 200 Rice Road in Silver Lake. Proceeds from the event, which will include a soup dinner, youth auction, bingo and silent auction, will help defray medical expenses of the Jaryl and Stephanie Seth family. Stephanie Seth has been hospitalized in Philadelphia after she underwent in utero surgery for her son, who has spina bifida. Stephanie Seth and her son must remain in Philadelphia until the baby is released from the hospital.

■ Lowman United Methodist Church, 4000 S.W. Drury Lane, will have its annual Cookie and Candy Cafe and Craft Shoppe from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, Dec. 8. Cookies and candy will be available for $5.50per pound. Advance orders may be placed by calling (785) 272-8921.

■ The Saturday Women’s Connection luncheon with the theme “From Brazil with Love” will take place from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, in the Pioneer Room of the Capitol Plaza Hotel, 1717 S.W. Topeka Blvd. Music will be provided by Mark Congdon with the Cair Paravel Latin School Madrigals. The speaker will be Janet McClanahan. The luncheon cost is $13. For reservations, call (785) 233-0701.

■ First Lutheran Church, 1234 S.W. Fairlawn, will have its annual Drive-Thru Living Nativity from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9.

■ Todd Averett began serving Nov. 18 as the new president of the Topeka Kansas Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Averett will oversee and minister to the 12 LDS congregations in the stake and will be assisted by two counselors, Scot Hirschi and David Thomason.

In the LDS Church, stake presidencies serve without pay and usually for nine years.

The new stake presidency succeeds Mark Elliott, Carl Gile and Anthony “Tony” Somma.

■ A concert featuring some of the top acts in Christian rock music will come in January to Kansas City, Mo.

Winter Jam 2013 will take place at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25, at Sprint Center, 1407 Grand Blvd. Special guests will include Tobymac, Newsong, Red, Matthew West, Jamie Grace, Sidewalk Prophets and Royal Tailor. A prejam party will feature Jason Castro, Obb and Capital Kings. Nick Hall will be the speaker.

Tickets are $10 at the door only. For more information, call (816) 949-7100 or visit www.sprintcenter.com or www.jamtour.com.