Less than two weeks from Christmas, area church congregations are gearing up for their special seasonal services.

While a few churches have already chimed the bells through programs, others are still stitching together the seams of angel costumes and tuning the piano for hymns.

At Abundant Life Fellowship, Pastor Jay Jones is leading weekly services based on “The Nativity Story,” a new movie showing in theaters.

An invitation from ALF poses the question: “We all know the Christmas story - but does that mean we believe it? Christmas was also a spiritual event that still touches millions of people today - what about you?”

Each weekend - Saturdays at 6:30 p.m. and Sundays at 10:30 a.m. - ALF takes participants back to the first Christmas, showing clips from “The Nativity Story” to help set the scene.

“The Sunday morning service is the same as the Saturday evening service,” said Jones. “We’ve been formatting our different stories around this; we’ll have it four straight weeks.”

During the first week, Jones focused on Jesus’ mother, Mary, and what her life was like before Christ was born. The second week, Jones led the church in an in-depth view of Joseph’s reaction and life about the same time.

“The next service will focus on the Magi, how they worshipped, how they rejoiced when they saw the star, and then presented gifts,” said Jones. “And the last service will focus on the love God, how he sent his son for us.”

The next services will be Saturday, Dec. 16, and Sunday, Dec. 17; and Saturday, Dec. 23, and Sunday, Dec. 24. ALF will also hold a Christmas Eve candlelight communion service at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 24, with carols, special music and a video presentation.

At First Baptist Church of Tahlequah, the congregation will participate in Hanging of the Greens at either the 8:45 a.m. service or the 11 a.m. service Sunday, Dec. 17. During the evening service, the congregation will hear a presentation by Mat and Janet Lawrence, missionaries from Malawi. Christmas Eve services will be the Lord’s Supper at an 11 a.m. service, with no other activities that day.

St. Brigid Catholic Church will host a midnight Mass on Christmas Eve and a 10 a.m. Mass on Christmas day.

First United Methodist Church Reporter Susie Williams said Dec. 17’s 10:40 a.m. service will feature the Chancel Choir.

“We will celebrate the season of Advent with a cantata by the Chancel Choir, directed by Dr. Don Studebaker,” Williams wrote in a recent church article. “Accompanied by a Chamber ensemble and Ramona Frazier at the pipe organ, the choir will sing ‘Gloria’ by Vivaldi.”

Cookson Methodist will hold its candlelight service at 7 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

“Together, we will sing the beautiful Christmas carols and hear, again, the story of the birth of Jesus,” said Church Reporter Cynthia Ballew. “This service is a very special time in the life of our congregation.”

At Community Christian Fellowship, Sunday, Dec. 17’s service will begin at 11 a.m.

“We’ll have our Christmas program on the birth of Jesus, and we have our ‘Thanks to Christ’ dinner following service, which is our Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner combined,” said CCF Church Reporter Jenny Dameron.

CCF will not have services on Christmas Eve.

You’re invited

Other area services as described in weekly church news:

• Peggs Community Church, Christmas program, Sunday, Dec. 17, 6 p.m.

• Northside Southern Baptist, Christmas Fellowship Dinner, following morning service, Sunday, Dec. 17.

• Steeley Springs Baptist, Christmas program, 5 p.m., Dec. 24.

• Calvary Indian Baptist, Christmas dinner, following morning service, Sunday, Dec. 24.

• King’s Aid Station, Christmas party, Wednesday, Dec. 20, 6 p.m.

• First Indian Baptist, Christmas dinner and Christmas play, Dec. 17, 6 p.m.

• Keys Faith Mission, Christmas play, Saturday, Dec. 16, 7 p.m.

Is the church of your choice not listed? See the church devotional page in the Sunday, Dec. 17, edition of the Tahlequah Daily Press for contact information.

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