MOUNT CARMEL - The Mount Carmel Area Ministerium will conduct mid-week Advent services.

All community services will begin at 6 p.m. with soup and a sandwich followed by the service. The offerings of these services will be used to assist the poor and needy in the community.

The first service will be held Wednesday at the Holy Angels Church Activity Center in Kulpmont with the Rev. Andrew Stahmer and the Rev. Rose Marquardt "traveling the streets of Jerusalem."

Services will also be held Dec. 11 in the social hall of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Mount Carmel, with the Rev. Frank Karwacki and the Rev. Beverly Petrovich "traveling the streets of Nazareth," and on Dec. 18 in the basement of Grace Evangelical Independent Church, Locustdale, with the Rev. Rose Marquardt and the Rev. Richard Hazzard "traveling the streets of Bethlehem."

The season of Advent is a time of preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ in his First Advent, and the anticipation of the return of Christ the King in his Second Advent. The theme for the services will be "Yet In Thy Dark Streets Shineth," a series written by Arden W. Mead.

The services include narratives about the atmosphere of the streets of ancient Jerusalem, Nazareth and Bethlehem, highlighting items of interest and their importance in terms of the coming of the Lord. Each "visit" takes place before a significant historical event had occurred.

"As onlookers, we stand at the rift between two worlds - the world before Christ stepped into history and the world of Jesus. We stand at the juncture of two worlds - that which is ours and the world that is yet to be," the Marquardt wrote in a press release.

"We will time travel through memory and prediction. The season of Advent calls us to a journey. We stand at a juncture here where we may look back to the past and what the Lord has done for his people there to make this present possible. We will also look to the future, to the time of fulfillment, when the Lord will come again. Advent is a time of increasing light. We will watch it begin to glow, even in these dark streets," she wrote.

The journey begins in the Kidron valley and continues up Zion's holy mountain to the City of the Lord, Jerusalem, and the story of Zechariah will be told. It will be followed by a "visit" to Nazareth and the home of Mary and Joseph. Lastly, a "trip" to Bethlehem

"Each visit was researched in light of archeological, scriptural, geographical and historical evidence," Marquardt wrote.