Emmanuel Baptist Church, 4207 Laskey Rd., is the site for “The Appointed Son,” a concert featuring Southern Gospel recording artist Abby Paskvan, 17. The entire offering will go to Western Avenue Ministries, which serves south Toledo in both religious and community development contexts; the charitable organization is converting the former Viking Lodge at 1623 Broadway to be its new location. The doors at Emmanuel open at 2:30 for the 3 p.m. concert.
“Advent and the Virtue of Hope” is the final installment in this cycle of Sylvania Franciscan Village lectures presented by the Rev. Jim Bacik. The lecture, given in cooperation with the theological studies department of Lourdes University and sponsored by the sisters of St. Francis, is today from 3 to 5 p.m. at Queen of Peace Chapel at Lourdes. Mass is included in this advent retreat. Cost is $15 at the door.
Salem Grace United Lutheran Church, 216 Main St., Luckey, presents its fifth annual free “Journey to Nativity” today at 6 p.m. An ensemble of the Eastwood Band will play Christmas music in the chapel, nativity scenes will be on display in the narthex, refreshments will be served, and, for the journey in the church's front yard, a shepherd will guide people through the Christmas story with stops to see shepherds with sheep, the three kings, and the manger. Those who don't want to take the walking tour can listen to the radio version at WCRA-FM 89.7. Guided tours start at 6:10 p.m. and continue every 15 minutes until 7:45.
Those who like to sing in a crowd have two options Sunday afternoon: joining in a Christmas carol sing at Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral at 3 p.m., or taking an extra hour to practice and being part of the Handel's Messiah sing-along with Masterworks Chorale at 4 p.m. at the Olivet Lutheran Church Family Life Center in Sylvania. For the carols, the Rosary Cathedral choir, directed by Paul Monachino; the St. John's High School Men's Chorus, directed by Luke D. Rosen; and the Cathedral Brass Ensemble & String Quartet will provide the musical foundation, along with the cathedral's Skinner pipe organ. If you accompany Masterworks, you can bring your own score or purchase one at the church. A freewill offering will be collected at the cathedral, 2535 Collingwood Blvd. to benefit Catholic Charities Diocese of Toledo. At Olivet, 5840 Monroe St., Sylvania, admission is free but donations of canned goods for the church's food pantry are requested.
Mennonites and news
The Toledo Mennonite Church hosts a live concert featuring Spencer Cunningham and the Cottonwood Jam String Band, as well as a Christmas carol sing-along, to benefit Toledo Streets Newspaper on Sunday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the church, 5501 Nebraska Ave. Coffee and cookies will be available. Toledo Streets is sold by unhoused, nearly homeless, and formerly homeless people, who are also contributors. As vendors, individuals can keep 75 percent of the profits. Suggested donation for the concert is $10 per person.
Two religious services are coming up that recognize that the holidays are difficult for some people. On Sunday at 7 p.m., First Presbyterian Church, 611 Farnsworth Rd., Waterville, will have a blue Christmas service for those with the blues, depression, loss, and grief. On Tuesday at 7 p.m. Epworth United Methodist Church, 4855 W. Central Ave., hosts a similar “Longest Night” service, providing some stillness for healing and wholeness. The service will be followed by fellowship time.
The Church on Strayer partners with United Way Community Outreach Services Saturday, Dec. 21, at 10 a.m. at the Seagate Convention Centre, 401 Jefferson Ave., to present The Noel Project, called Toledo's largest Christmas party. The Noel Project, a nonprofit organization, helps individuals and families in need, and donations, support, and sponsorship are requested. For more information, go to thenoelproject.com, call the church at 419-866-2094, or mail contributions to the church at 3000 Strayer Rd., Maumee, OH 43537.