By CHERIL VERNON
In celebration of the birth of Christ, several Palestine area churches will hold special events and Christmas Eve services.
For the 21st year, Grace United Methodist Church will again host a live nativity — bringing its searchlight back for the second time.
The one-night event will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Sunday on the church grounds, located at 1918 E. Murchison St. (turn at Trinity Valley Pool and Spas on North Loop 256).
Other special events on Sunday include:
• The children participating in The Antioch Church’s Christmas Extravanaza Workshop will present a grand finale Christmas performance and the TAC drama team will present “Love at Christmas” at 10:30 a.m. Sunday. The Fraternity of Men will host a family Christmas meal following the service at The Place Children and Youth Community Center. The church is located at 907 E. Murchison St.
• Court Drive Church of Christ’s Christmas program will be held at 5 p.m. Sunday. The church is located at 1434 Court Dr.
• Tennessee Colony Church will have a candlelight and luminaries service at 6 p.m. Sunday.
• Swanson Hill Community Church will observe its annual Christmas communion and candle-light service at 6 p.m. Sunday. This service incorporates visuals, scriptural readings and congregational singing of carols, as well as other special music. This service will be followed by refreshments and fellowship. The church is located on FM 323, off U.S. 84 East.
On Christmas Eve, several churches will hold services, including:
• Slocum Union Church will hold a Christmas Eve candlelight and communion service at 5 p.m. Monday. Every child will receive a small gift and Christmas carols will be sung.
• Lone Pine Baptist Church will hold its candlelight and Lord’s Supper service at 5 p.m. Monday. The church is located on U.S. 287 North.
• First Baptist Church of Palestine will hold its annual Carols, Candlelight and Communion Service at 6 p.m. Monday. The church is located at 5700 N. Loop 256.
• Southside Baptist Church, 1500 Crockett Rd., will hold a Candlelight Lord’s Supper service at 6 p.m. Monday.
• First Baptist Church of Neches will hold a candelight service at 6 p.m. Monday.
• Montalba Christian Church’s Christmas Eve service of lessons and carols will be at 6 p.m. Monday.
• First Presbyterian Church, 410 Avenue A, will hold its Christmas Eve communion and candlelight worship service at 6 p.m. Monday.
• First United Methodist Church, 422 S. Magnolia St., will hold a Christmas Eve communion and candlelight worship service at 6 p.m. Monday.
• First Christian Church’s Christmas Eve Service will be held at 6 p.m. Monday. The church is located at 113 E. Crawford St.
• Grace United Methodist Church’s Christmas Eve service will be at 7 p.m. Monday.
• Elkhart First United Methodist Church will hold its Christmas Eve candlelight and communion service will be held at 7 p.m. Monday. Every child will receive a small gift and Christmas carols will be sung. During communion, the church will receive a rail offering for the World Service Fund of the United Methodist Church, which sends missionaries across the globe to spread the light of Christ.
• Bethlehem Lutheran Church will celebrate Christmas Eve with a candlelight service at 7 p.m. Monday. The Rev. David R. Bergman's sermon will be “Out of Darkness, Light!” based on Isaiah 9.
Two local churches will be holding Christmas Day services.
St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, 106 E. Crawford St., will hold services at 9 a.m. Tuesday. All services include Holy Communion and St. Philip’s worship services are celebrated in the traditional Anglican manner.
Bethlehem Lutheran Church will gather at 10:15 a.m. Tuesday to remember and rejoice in the nativity of Jesus. This time of worship will center on readings from Holy Scripture, singing the hymns of Christmas — including hymn requests — and the celebration of Holy Communion. The church is located at 1515 South Loop 256.