'Sharing the Gift' service to be held today
DANVILLE - The annual service of "Sharing the Gift of Christ's Love" sponsored by the Lutheran-Anglican-Roman Catholic (LARC) group will be held at 2 p.m. today, the First Sunday in Advent, at the Basilica of Saints Cyril and Methodius, Maria Hall, in Danville.
The service will be a combination of the four lessons from Advent, prayers, the Gospel and several inspirational hymns, including "Silent Night" sung in German, Slovak and English. The organist will be Dennis Bobber, of Elysburg.
The Rev. Frederic Stevenson, of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Shamokin, will present the homily. Clergy and lay members will participate in the service. There will be a time of fellowship and refreshments after the service.
During the service, participating church members will present their gifts for 100 children throughout the area. Parents with three or more children in the family filled out a form for each child in their family (ages 12 and under). A gift tag was completed for each child with their first name, age, sex, size and any type of clothing they may particularly need. The tags were numbered and anywhere from five to 15 tags were distributed to the following congregations:
Grace Lutheran, Holy Trinity Episcopal and Mother Cabrini in Shamokin, St. Paul in Gowen City, St. Mark and St. John in Elysburg, Our Lady of Hope in Coal Township, Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Mount Carmel, Holy Angels in Kulpmont and the sisters of Saints Cyril and Methodius.
The people of the churches take a tag and purchase clothing, outerwear and usually an age appropriate toy, game, book or puzzle for the child they choose. The gifts are wrapped and returned to their church and then brought to the chapel in Maria Hall the day of the service.