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Port St. Lucie - Sebastian - Vero Beach St. Lucie, Martin, and Indian River counties (Treasure Coast)
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Old 12-13-2013, 05:31 PM
 
Location: Port St. Lucie, Florida
4,507 posts, read 9,211,217 times
Reputation: 1999

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Many of us are excited for the season’s gift-giving, picture-taking with Santa, tree-decorating and holiday parties. But Treasure Coast churches are excited about something else: showing the true meaning of Christmas through performances and services.

Here are a few church events not to miss:

Handel’s “Messiah”

When: 7 p.m. Dec. 21 and 22

Where: First Baptist Church of Vero Beach, 2206 16th Ave.

Information: 772-567-4341

For 44 years, an elbow-to-elbow crowd gathers at First Baptist Church of Vero Beach for its yearly gift to the community: a concert that features more than a hundred singers from different choirs and members of the community.

The church’s sanctuary is decorated with garlands, lights, bows, poinsettias and candles to set the scene for the story of Jesus told through classical music.

“Messiah,” written by British Baroque composer George Frideric Handel in 1741, tells the story of the birth, life, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus in aria, recitative and chorus. “Messiah” was an Easter offering, but now is a fixture of the Christmas season.



Living Nativity

When: 6-9 p.m. Dec. 14-15

Where: Indian River Presbyterian Church, 2499 Virginia Ave., Fort Pierce

Information: 772-464-4263

Thousands of people come from across the Treasure Coast and beyond since 1980 to watch the true meaning of Christmas told in nine scenes.

A cast of more than 200 and live animals are part of the free living Nativity at Indian River Presbyterian Church. The event is so popular — about 6,000 people attended last year — that St. Lucie County Sheriff’s deputies have to direct traffic for the event, and volunteers in golf carts transport people to and sometimes through the scenes if needed.

A prayer section at the end of the nine scenes invites guests to take a few minutes for personal prayer.

“This is our way of drawing people back to the true meaning of Christmas,” said Lynn Craig, who with a team coordinates the event. “It’s a gentle reminder that Christmas is not about Santa Clause, a Christmas tree and getting gifts, it’s about the gift we received when Jesus was born.



Christmas at the Stable

When: 5 p.m. Dec. 22

Where: First United Methodist Church, 6050 S. Kanner Highway, Stuart

Information: 772-287-6262

All you need is a lawn chair and the Christmas spirit to join First United Methodist Church’s eighth annual living Nativity and candlelight service.

The free living Nativity includes a cast of about 20 with live animals. Light refreshments will be served.

The one-night event is expected to attract about 600 people.

“People have a need for this — to be a part of community and relive Christ’s birth,” said one of the event’s organizers, Dee Blunt.



Candlelight services, Treasure Coast

In the darkness of a sanctuary or of the outside night, candles are lit one by one at yearly candlelight services throughout the country.

It’s symbolic of the light Jesus brought into a dark world. It’s what Christmas truly celebrates.

The traditional services, which usually happen on or close to Christmas Eve, allow members of the community to quietly reflect and pray together. And in some services, people light each other’s candle, spreading a message of community support and unity.

Most churches offer a candlelight service. Call your local church for information, or see our lists of Christmas services and other Christmas events on TCPalmSocial.com.
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