The Holy Spirit: Holiday festivities starting at Nevada County churches | TheUnion.com

The Holy Spirit: Holiday festivities starting at Nevada County churches

When it comes to places of worship, there is an abundance of choices within Nevada County. Many of them are ringing in the holiday season with events meant to spread joy among their congregations and far beyond.

Here are just a few of the highlights of upcoming local festivities. For full schedules please reach out to each church:

The Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Grass Valley has many activities planned for December, beginning with the traditional "Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols" at 5 p.m. Sunday. An abridged version of the Lessons and Carols has been included in Christmas Eve mass for many years; but for this event, the choir, vocalists, and guest musicians will perform the work in its entirety.

Emmanuel's Christmas Eve celebrations will begin at 10 a.m. with a morning service followed by their Children's Pageant that will commence at 3 p.m.

The Holy Eucharist Rite II will be recited at 10 p.m. Christmas Morning services will begin at 11 a.m. More information can be found at http://www.emmanuelgv.org.

The congregation at Twin Cities Church will initiate their holiday festivities starting this Sunday. Children, students, and parents are invited to join them as they sing Christmas carols for patients in a number of local nursing homes.

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Two groups will be caroling at four facilities, from 12:10 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Twin Cities will present four identical Community Christmas Eve services on Dec. 24: 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 4 p.m., and 6 p.m. Doors will open 30 minutes before each service. Details are listed on twincities.church.

Grass Valley's Bethel Church will have an outreach at the Oak Ridge Apartments called the "North Pole" on Saturday, Dec. 9, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Mary, Joseph and Santa will be there with crafts, face painting, cookies, carolers and more. A gift card drawing will take place every 30 minutes between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. A family service will be held on Christmas Eve at 10 a.m. Those interested in more information can go to bethelchurchnc.org.

A 50th anniversary is definitely a reason to celebrate, and Sierra Presbyterian Church in Nevada City is doing just that on Sunday, Dec. 10. Beginning at 2 p.m., the special celebration service will feature notable music, guest speakers, and a reception with food and fellowship. Details are listed at sierrapres.com.

Victorian Christmas is another good way to get into the holiday spirit, and the Nevada City United Methodist Church are hoping to add to the cheer with their annual Craft Faire. Taking place during each Victorian Christmas in their church on Broad Street, the faire will offer visits with Santa, hand crafted gifts, music in the Sanctuary, cider, and cookies.

They are happy to offer a warm place to sit for those looking to escape the cold. Visit nevadacitymethodist.com for information.

Nevada County ladies are invited to join Crossroads Church near Lake of the Pines for Light & Joy: A Women's Christmas Dessert at 7 p.m. Friday. The program will include a special message, "Jesus – Light of the World, Joy of My Soul" from guest speaker Cindy Sidnam, plus an original ballet performance by Ballet Rejoice.

Dessert and coffee will be served. Tickets are $5 and are available in the main lobby.

Mt. St. Mary's Academy — a ministry of St. Patrick Parish — is inviting everyone to their annual crab feed Dec. 9 at St. Patrick's Hall. Just over two weeks later, on Christmas Eve, St. Patrick's will hold a 4 p.m. Children's Mass wherein attendees are asked to give seat preference to families with small children.

A 6:30 p.m. bilingual mass will follow, and traditional Midnight Mass will be held that night as well. Christmas Day service times are 7:30 a.m., 9 a.m., and 11 a.m.

It's worth mentioning that there are numerous other locations who are hosting their own events. No matter where you choose to observe the winter holidays there are a plethora of welcoming churches just waiting to show their hospitality.

Get out, celebrate, and enjoy the spirit of the season.

Jennifer Nobles is a freelance writer for The Union and can be contacted at jenkrisnobles@gmail.com.