Dec. 19, 2012 @ 03:07 PM

Candlelight vigil tonight at Central Park
DURHAM – A candlelight vigil of unity for the victims and survivors of the Newtown, Conn., shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School will be held at 6 p.m. today in the pavilion at Durham Central Park, 534 Foster St. All are welcome. The vigil is sponsored by Parents of Murdered Children, Religious Coalition for a Nonviolent Durham, Durham Congregations in Action and other congregations.
You Got Christmas’D by newhope
DURHAM – The congregation at newhope church, which has a central campus in Durham, has been “spreading the love of Christmas to others” through a program called You Got Christmas’D. Church members do things for others like paying for the meal of the person behind them in line. They give them a Christmas’D card and suggest they pay it forward and Christmas’D someone else. Participants have shared their experiences on the newhope website at or on Twitter @UGotChristmasD.
Prayer for Newtown
CHAPEL HILL – The day after the deadly shooting in Newtown, Conn., the Rev. Marilyn McCord Adams, priest associate at the Episcopal Church of the Advocate, offered prayers, including this one: “O God, the slaughter of innocents blows our minds and sets us staggering. But if we really knew the evil that lurks in human hearts, the fragility of human goodness, and the flimsiness of our hold on life, we might be driven to despair. O God, You alone can renew what is smashed, twisted, and broken. Gather up our fragments. Put hearts, and families, and communities back together again. Through Jesus Christ. Amen.”
Carols, Christmas Eve at Mt. Bethel Presbyterian
DURHAM – Mt. Bethel Presbyterian Church, 3541 Rose of Sharon Road, Durham, will hold a service of lessons and carols at 10:55 a.m. Sunday. There will be a Christmas Eve candlelight communion service at 5:30 p.m. Monday. Child care provided. For information, call 919-383-3854.
Summit Church holds Christmas services at DPAC
DURHAM — The Summit Church will host five Christmas celebrations at the Durham Performing Arts Center, 123 Vivian St. Reserve free tickets to the services at Christmas celebrations will be held at 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday and 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Monday. All are invited to “sing, remember, and celebrate the hope of Christmas as a community.” For information about Summit Church, visit
‘Blue Christmas’ at Temple Baptist
DURHAM – Temple Baptist Church, 4504 Sterling Dr., Durham, will hold a Blue Christmas service at 6 p.m. Sunday. The service is for those who are dealing with situations like death of a loved one, sadness, divorce, job loss, sickness, depression, isolation or financial hardships. Blue Christmas is a meditative service with communion, lighting of candles of grief, courage, memories, and love in remembrance of loved ones while preparing for the coming of Christ. Temple Baptist’s Christmas Eve candlelight communion service will be held at 5 p.m. Monday. All are welcome.
Memorial service for homeless at UMD tonight
DURHAM – The annual memorial service to remember those who were homeless or formerly homeless and died over the past year will be held at 6 p.m. Dec. 20 (tonight) at Urban Ministries of Durham's courtyard, at 410 Liberty St. The public is invited to the half-hour service.  For information, contact Patrice Nelson of UMD at 919-682-0538, ext. 127 or
Christmas Eve at St. Paul’s Lutheran
DURHAM – St. Paul's Lutheran Church, ELCA will hold Christmas Eve services at 5 p.m., 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. Monday. The 5 p.m. service is appropriate for families but open to all. The 7 p.m. service is a candlelight service with the Laudate Handbell Choir. The 10 p.m. service, also by candlelight, includes the Senior Choir. There will be no service Christmas morning. St. Paul's is located at 1200 W. Cornwallis Road, Durham. For information, call the church office at 919-489-3214.
Christmas with Church of the Holy Family
CHAPEL HILL – Compline, a monastic service marking the end of the day, will be sung at 8 p.m. Sunday at the Church of the Holy Family, 200 Hayes Road, Chapel Hill. Christmas Eve services at the church include a service especially for children at 5 p.m. Monday and a more reflective service at 10 p.m. Monday. Christmas Day service is at 10 a.m. Tuesday. For information, call 919-942-3108.
Cantata, Watch Night at West Durham Baptist
DURHAM – West Durham Baptist Church, 1901 Athens St., will have a Christmas cantata during the 10 a.m. worship service Sunday. For information, call 919-682-4453. Also, West Durham Baptist Church and Mt. Calvary United Church of Christ will hold a joint Watch Night service at 11 p.m. Dec. 31 at West Durham Baptist. The public is invited.
Watch Night at White Rock
DURHAM – White Rock Baptist Church, 3400 Fayetteville St., Durham will hold its Watch Night service at 10:30 p.m. Dec. 31. For information, call the church office at 919-688-8136.
Watch Night at Emmanuel AME
DURHAM – The members of Emmanuel AME Church, 2018 Riddle Road, Durham will have Watch Night service at 10:15 p.m. Dec. 31, joined by the members of St. John AME Church, Raleigh. The public is always welcome.
Christmas at Christus Victor Lutheran
DURHAM – Christus Victor Lutheran Church, 1615 E. N.C. 54, Durham, will hold a family Christmas Eve service at 7 p.m. Monday followed by a 11 p.m. service of lessons, carols and candles. On Christmas, a Service of Celebration of the Birth of a King will be held at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Church of Reconciliation love feast at New Hope Camp
CHAPEL HILL – The Church of Reconciliation, Presbyterian Church USA, of Chapel Hill will celebrate a Moravian Love Feast at 4:30 p.m. Monday at New Hope Camp and Conference Center, 4805 N.C. 86, Chapel Hill. During church renovations, Sunday services are being held at Carol Woods Retirement Community, 750 Weaver Dairy Road, Chapel Hill. Fellowship begins at 9 a.m. with worship at 9:30 a.m.
Christmas Eve at Duke Chapel
DURHAM – Duke Chapel will host a candlelight open house from noon to 2 p.m. today featuring holiday music on organs and carillon. Multiple Christmas Eve services will be held, including a children’s service at 2 p.m. Monday, a participatory service with drama and music. A Christmas Eve service of carols and Holy Communion will be held at 4 p.m. Monday with the Durham Children’s Choir and a sermon from Duke Chapel Dean Luke Powery; and a worship service at 6 p.m. Monday with carols, the Amalgam brass ensemble and a sermon by Powery. A traditional lessons and carols service with community choir, Scripture and choral music will be held at 11 p.m. Monday, with prelude at 10:30 p.m. All Christmas Eve services will be streamed online, with the 11 p.m. service also broadcast on News 14 Carolina. Parking available in the Bryan Center deck. Duke Chapel will be closed on Christmas Day.
‘White Gift’ Sunday, Christmas Eve at Epworth UMC
DURHAM – Epworth United Methodist Church, 3002 Hope Valley Road, Durham, will hold two Christmas Eve services Monday and White Gift Sunday worship service. Children are invited to join in an impromptu Christmas Eve Children’s Pageant at 5 p.m. Monday that celebrates the birth of the Messiah. The traditional Christmas Eve candlelight communion service will be held at 7 p.m. Monday.
During services on Sunday, Epworth will be collecting “white gifts”—gifts wrapped in white paper that can be donated to someone in need. For information, call the church office at 919-489-6557, or visit
Christmas Eve at University UMC
CHAPEL HILL – University United Methodist Church, 150 E. Franklin St., Chapel Hill, will hold three worship services on Christmas Eve. A family service will be held at 5:30 p.m. Monday. The 30-minute service is participatory, with children and their parents invited to sit on the steps in the front of the church for story reading and Christmas carols. Communion will be offered after the service. Traditional Christmas Eve services will be held at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Monday, with lessons, carols, communion and candlelight. For information, visit or call 919-929-7191.
Send information for Belief Briefs to Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan at Because of the holiday, the deadline is noon Dec. 20 for the Dec. 27 Faith section. Submissions should follow the format above.