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Religion briefs: Friday, Dec. 23

Havurah Shir Hadash

Havurah Shir Hadash, 185 N. Mountain Ave., will hold a communal Hanukkah candle lighting, storytelling and welcoming Shabbat with chants, prayers and music at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 30. Potluck dessert will follow. Attendees are invited to bring a menorah to participate in the Hanukkah candle lighting. Call 541-488-7716 for more information.

Medford First Christian Church

Medford First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), 1900 Crater Lake Ave., Medford, will host a Christmas Eve candlelight service and Christmas drama at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 24. A Christmas service will begin at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 25. The church serves a free community dinner every Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. Enter on the Brookhurst Street side of the building.

Zion Lutheran Church

Zion Lutheran Church, 516 W. Fourth St., Medford, will hold a Christmas Eve candlelight service at 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 24. The Christmas service will begin at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 25. Adult Bible study is at 8:15 a.m., and Sunday school starts at 10:45 a.m. A healing prayer service is held at 11 a.m. Wednesdays, and Bible study is at 9 a.m. Thursdays. For information, call 541-772-4674.

First Presbyterian Church Phoenix

First Presbyterian Church, 121 W. Second St., Phoenix, will hold a Christmas Eve candlelight service at 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 24, with seasonal music, readings and carols. On Sunday, Dec. 25, the church will hold a musical service at 10:30 a.m. 

Ascension Lutheran Church, Medford

Ascension Lutheran Church, 675 Black Oak Drive, Medford, will hold two celebrations on Christmas Eve Saturday, Dec. 24. At 6:30 p.m., there will be a family candlelight service with youth soloists and the Grace Notes Bell Choir. At 9 p.m., there will be a traditional candlelight service with the Ascension Choir and Rogue Valley Brass Quintet. Worship on Christmas Day will begin at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 25. For more information, call 541-773-3594 or see www.ascensionlutheran.com.

Gold Hill Christian Church

Gold Hill Christian Church, 396 Sixth Ave., Gold Hill, will hold a Christmas Eve candlelight communion service at 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 24. Christmas Day worship will start at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 25, with Christmas carol singing, devotional and candlelighting Communion.

Rogue Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

A Christmas Eve service at Rogue Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 87 Fourth St., Ashland, will begin at 4:15 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 24, and feature music, carols, a candlelighting ceremony and an exploration of the symbolic nature of this holiday through poetry, prose and song. On Christmas Day, the Rev. Nan L. White will share “A True Christmas Story” during a service that will begin at 10:25 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 25. Religious explorations classes are available for children each Sunday. Coffee and snacks follow the service. Call 541-482-4755 or see http://rvuuf.org/.​

Ashland First Presbyterian Church

Ashland First Presbyterian Church, 1615 Clark Ave., Ashland, will hold a candlelight Christmas Eve service at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 24. Members of the Rogue Valley Chorale and Southern Oregon Repertory will sing, and Laurie Anne Hunter will provide prelude music on the harp and accompaniment on organ, piano and harp. Call 541-482-3536 for more information. 

Archangel Gabriel Orthodox Church

Royal Hours are prayed at 7 a.m. Friday, Dec. 23, at Archangel Gabriel Orthodox Church, in the Shoppes at Exit 24, 205 Fern Valley Road, Suite Z. Divine Liturgy for Christmas Eve begins at 8 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 24. The last Advent "Lenten" potluck meal is Holy Supper at 4 p.m. Saturday with Christmas carols sung by children followed at 5:30 p.m. by a Nativity Vigil. On Christmas Morning, Sunday, Dec. 25, Divine Liturgy will begin at 8 a.m. followed by a potluck brunch including meats and dairy. At 6 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 27, early Matins begins. Vespers is offered at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 28. Divine Liturgy begins at 7 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 29. For more information, call Father Andreas Blom at 541-690-8822.

Medford Adventist Church

A Christmas Eve service is planned at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 24, at Medford Seventh-day Adventist Church, 1900 Greenwood St., Medford. There will be music and a candlelighting. Saturday services also include Bible classes at 10 a.m. and worship at 11 a.m. For more information, call 541-772-6021.

First Baptist Church of Phoenix

First Baptist Church of Phoenix, 4655 S. Pacific Highway, will hold a Christmas service at 11 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 25. A women's chorus will present a medley of Christmas carols, and Pastor Bruce Pearson will preach a Christmas sermon. There also will be a Christmas service at 6 p.m. Sunday with Christmas carols and sermon. For more information, call 541-821-2732.

First Presbyterian Church Medford

There will be a special Christmas Eve Candlelight Service starting at 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 24, at First Presbyterian Church of Medford, 85 S. Holly St. Open Communion will be celebrated. Christmas Day will see a single celebration at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 25, with the singing of carols and Pastor Murray Richmond's message titled, "The Word Made Flesh."

Faith Lutheran Church

Faith Lutheran Church will hold a Christmas Eve Service at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 24, and a Christmas Day Service at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 25, at the church, 1773 S. Columbus Ave., Medford. For more information, call Pastor Matthew Crick at 541-261-1280, send an email to pastorcrick@yahoo.com or visit the church website at flc-medford.org.

St. Andrew's Anglican Church

St. Andrew's Anglican Church plans a Christmas Eve service of Lessons and Carols at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 24, at the church, 305 N. Fifth St., Jacksonville. On Christmas Day, Dec. 25, the church will celebrate Holy Communion at 10:30 a.m. For more information, call 541-899-1956 or visit www.standrewsanglican.org.

Center for Spiritual Living Rogue Valley 

The Rev. Kimberly Hawkins’ New Year’s Day message, “Ring Out the Old, Ring in the New,” includes a Burning Bowl Releasing Ceremony at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 1, at the Center for Spiritual Living Rogue Valley, Scottish Rite Center, 3581 Lear Way, Medford. A pre-service Candlelight Meditation begins at 10 a.m. Youth and teen programs begin at 10:30 a.m. A monthly Drumming Circle begins at 12:15 p.m. For more information, visit www.cslroguevalley.org.