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Churches plan busy Christmas lineups

Dec 21, 2012 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

The Annual Community Christmas Day Dinner sponsored is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Christmas Day at St. Margaret's Catholic Church Gym on East Park Avenue in Riverton.

There are plenty of ways to celebrate Christmas in Fremont County places of worship, with area churches hosting community dinners and holiday services this weekend, on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day for anyone wishing to attend.

The Annual Community Christmas Day Dinner sponsored by St. John Lutheran Church is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Christmas Day at St. Margaret's Catholic Church Gym on East Park Avenue.

"It's basically a turkey dinner and some music," St. John congregant Dan Moline said, encouraging more people to come visit the free event. "Last year Christmas was on Sunday and attendance was down quite a bit."

The dinner will be served buffet-style with "all the trimmings." Moline said people already have donated nine turkeys for the meal, but more will be accepted until 9 a.m. on Christmas Day.

"Please deliver them already carved and deboned," Moline said, adding that salads and pies also are welcome along with cash donations.

Organizers are collecting names of people who need meals delivered. Anyone with names or food, and anyone willing to volunteer to cook, serve meals, deliver meals and clean up should call 851-8712 or just show up at St. Margaret's to help.

"Pleases invite anyone who will be alone or (who wishes) to share Christmas dinner with others," Moline said. "Family and friends are also heartily invited. ... The cost of the event is a smile and the joy to share."

Weekend services

Churches throughout the county also will host worship services in honor of the holiday, though many will celebrate before Christmas Day. On Saturday, the Wind River Valley Cowboy Church hosts a Christmas-themed service at 7 p.m. in the Riverton Livestock Auction, 1490 S. 8th St. E.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church, 3112 W. Riverview Road, also will have its regular gatherings throughout the day Saturday, beginning with sabbath school at 10 a.m. and church at 11:30 a.m.

Several churches will honor Christmas Day on Sunday. At the Arapahoe Baptist Church, 22 C'Hair Lane, pastor Ron Henderson said his congregation hosted a Christmas part last weekend, so this week they will have regular Sunday services which include Sunday school at 10 a.m., a regular service at 11 a.m. and an evening service at 6 p.m.

Services begin at 11 a.m. Sunday at Calvary Baptist Church, 429 E. Sunset Drive, then 6 p.m. evening worship is followed by a fellowship event. The Lighthouse Bible Church will have its Christmas gathering at 10:30 a.m. Sunday at the Riverton Holiday Inn, 900 E. Sunset Drive.

"We're just going to have some special songs by the congregation and some of the kids," pastor Dale Adams said.

Pastor Alex Williams will deliver his sermon "The Grace Gift" at 10:45 a.m. Sunday at Riverton Church of the Nazarene, 408 E. Sunset Drive. The Christmas-themed worship service will include Christmas songs as well as the message on giving gifts.

Christmas Eve, Day

A lot of churches opted to do a Christmas Eve service and take Christmas Day off this year. The Christian Church of Riverton, 1524 W. Main St., welcomes guests at 5 p.m. Monday, as does the Cornerstone Community Church, 402 S. Seventh St. E., where organizers have planned a candlelight service. The Morton Holy Nativity Episcopal Church also will hold its service at 5 p.m. Monday.

Candles will be lit for the service at 6 p.m. Monday at First Baptist Church at the intersection of Sunset Drive and First Street.

The Christmas Eve service at Hillcrest Baptist Church, 1002 W. Main St., also will take place at 6 p.m., as will the gathering at Neighborhood Alliance Church, 4440 Riverview Road.

"We're having a children's play (and) a hymn choir, then a candlelight," pastor Kurt Niemeyer said. "It is the service to attend."

Finally, United Baptist Church, 1201 E. Pershing Ave., will have a candlelight communion service at 6 p.m. Monday.

Lifeline Christian Church, 1430 Riverview Road, starts a little later, holding its Christmas candlelight service at 7 p.m. Monday.

That start time also is in place at St. James Episcopal Church at the corner of North Sixth Street East and East Park Avenue, and at the Pavillion Community United Methodist Church, 307 N. Main in Pavillion.

"We're worth the drive," Pavillion pastor Doug Hill said.

Two more services start at 7 p.m. At Riverton's United Methodist Church, 1116 W. Park Ave., the 7 p.m. Monday worship gathering is called a Christmas Cantata that includes holy communion and a candlelighit service to accompany the annual Christmas performance by the church choir. Way of the Cross Assembly of God also welcomes worshippers at 7 p.m. Monday at 635 S. Second St. W.

The latest Christmas Eve service will begin at 7:30 p.m. Monday at St. John Lutheran Church, 606 N. Eighth St. W. Organizers said the event would include lit candles and holy communion.

Three churches have taken on the task of worship on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. St. Margaret's Catholic Church will attempt to serve as much of the county as possible, beginning at 5 p.m. Monday with a Christmas Eve service at Our Lady of the Woods Catholic Church on Riverton Street in Dubois.

At the same time, the Riverton congregation will celebrate a Christmas Eve service at 622 E. Park Ave., where children are expected to sing a song and tell a special Christmas story. A 7 p.m. service follows on Monday, and Christmas Eve will end with a midnight mass; both events are at the Riverton location.

Christmas Day begins at 8 a.m. for the St. Margaret's clergy, who will travel to Kinnear for a service at St. Edwards Catholic Church on U.S. Highway 26. The Riverton Christmas Day service is at 10 a.m., followed by a noon mass in Shoshoni next to the town's fire hall.

Trinity Lutheran Church, 419 E. Park Ave., has a Christmas Eve candlelight service at 7 p.m. Monday, as well as a Christmas Day service including communion at 10 a.m. Tuesday. The Rev. David Magruder said people also are welcome to the church's New Year's Eve communion service at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 31.

The Wind River Catholic Community plans to celebrate Christmas in St. Stephens, Ethete and Fort Washakie. At the St. Stephens Indian Mission, the Christmas Eve service is at 5 p.m. Monday, followed by a midnight mass, a Christmas Day service at 9 a.m., and a Spanish mass at 11 a.m. The St. Stephens crew also hosts a New Years Eve event at midnight on Monday, Dec. 31

At the Ethete church, 468 Ethete Road, the Christmas Eve services are at 5 p.m. and 11 p.m., with one gathering at 10 a.m. Christmas Day. The Fort Washakie Church at 9 Black Coal Drive welcomes worshippers at 8 p.m. Christmas Eve.

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