Christmas Eve performance to benefit children's home

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What better way to celebrate the birth of Christ than a Christmas Eve concert followed by lessons and carols continuing into Christmas Day?

The Christmas Eve at St. John concert, part of the church's Concerts With a Cause series, will benefit the United Methodist Children's Home. Doors open at 10 p.m.  EDWARD MCCRANIE/SPECIAL
EDWARD MCCRANIE/SPECIAL
The Christmas Eve at St. John concert, part of the church's Concerts With a Cause series, will benefit the United Methodist Children's Home. Doors open at 10 p.m.

St. John United Methodist Church provides an opportunity for just that when it presents Christmas Eve at St. John beginning with a concert by St. John choirs and orchestra at 10:30 p.m., followed by worship at 11 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 24, at the church, 736 Greene St. Seating will begin at 10 p.m.

Parking is available on Greene Street; in St. John Parking Lot on Telfair Street; and at The Richmond on Greene at 725 Greene St. An offering will be taken for the United Methodist Children’s Home.

“There’s always a packed house,” said Jamie Garvey, the organist and director of music at St. John. “It’s a very warm and beautiful service. Everyone walks out when it’s over and it’s Christmas Day. It’s very inspirational.”

Garvey said the event is part of Concerts with a Cause, a series conducted annually by St. John. The idea was born in 2003 when the church got a new pipe organ.

“We wanted to introduce the organ to the community,” she said. “It was received so well we decided to continue. Now it’s moved into a lot more than pipe organ, of course.”

Concerts with a Cause brings prominent musicians to the community and donors allow the church to offer each concert free of charge. A love offering is taken at each concert for a local service organization. Since their beginning, the concerts have donated $123,500 to 38 organizations. A professionally staffed nursery is available at each concert. A reception follows most concerts, with the exception of Christmas Eve, in the Fellowship Hall.

The service organization for this event is the United Methodist Children’s Home, established in 1871 to care for children orphaned during the Civil War. It was originally called the Methodist Orphans Home and was in Norcross. In 1873 it moved to Decatur. In 1977, it opened the first district office in Augusta. Its original two main missions were to provide an orphanage and higher education, but as time went on offices were opened across the state and additional services were offered to children, teens, and families.

‘These are redemptive, healing services that bring meaningful change in the lives of children and families,” said Garvey.

The 2012-3013 season series began in September. Nathan Laube, concert organist, will perform at 3 p.m. Feb. 24. On March 24 at 7 p.m., actors, dancers and instrumental and vocal musicians will entertain with Collage of the Arts for Passion Week. This concert will include visual art from seven countries. Guest organist will be John Ourensma.

For information, reach Jamie Garvey at jcgarvey@stjohnaugusta.org or (706) 724-9641.


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