Christmas at Churchill Park United Church is a time of music and song.
"We have special musical guests virtually every Sunday in Advent," said Reverend Janet Walker.
Alenna Mark and Amber Landry will sing solo at the Dec. 9 Advent Service. Two weeks later, Paula Potosky will fill the sanctuary with the sound of her song.
"It is going to be a very musical Christmas Eve too," Rev. Walker said. "We have young people volunteer to come and sing."
Kyana Harper, who participates in Venturers at Churchill Park United and 10-year-old congregant Atticus McIIraith will each sing at the Christmas Eve Service at 7:30 p.m. Flautist Monica Bailey will also perform, while Arlene Baschak will lead the choir in a medley of Christmas songs and a jazz-styled Hark the Herald Angels Sing. The men’s chorus, composed of a dozen strong voices, will sing a spiritual and an a cappella in three-part harmony.
On Dec. 30 the church is having a candlelight service followed by a brunch.
"We usually sing Christmas carols that Sunday after Christmas," Rev. Walker said. "So there will be a lot of music this year. We seem to be very blessed. It’s just a blessing that people want to come and do things here."
A Christmas Day service will also be held at the church at 11:30 a.m. on Dec. 25. This service will be in Korean.
"We share our building with the Korean United Church," Rev. Walker explained.
The two churches have shared space for about a year and a half. They have held some joint services and shared potluck meals.
Baschak occasionally conducts the Churchill Park and Korean United choirs together.
"They have some beautiful voices," said Baschak. "I usually arrange it so that the Koreans do some verses and we do some English so that there’s both and there are times when we are both singing our own language at the same time.
Some members of the Churchill Park United congregation volunteer once a week to provide conversation and grammar classes to their Korean counterparts.
Some Churchill Park members, particularly those with small children, may attend another celebration on Dec. 8. Riverview and Lord Roberts Community Centres have invited the community to their respective Breakfast with Santa.
Santa is expected to arrive at Lord Roberts Community Centre at 9:30 am.
"I stand outside and watch for him," said Angie Johnston, a recreation supervisor at the centre.
Children can have their pictures taken with Santa, who has authorized an immediate goody bag gift for every child eating breakfast with him. Mary Swain, a talented face painter, will decorate children’s faces.
The L.R. Breakfast with Santa costs $5 for children and $3 for adults. It will feature pancake and sausages cooked by LRCC president Bob Suggitt and his crew.
Tickets for the Riverview Community Centre Breakfast with Santa can be bought at the club canteen, which is open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
During the Christmas school holiday these neighbourhood community centres will be extending their drop-in hours for indoor and outdoor play. The ice is in!
Dianne Doney is a community correspondent for Fort Rouge. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.