Up & Coming Weekly

December 08, 2020

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM DECEMBER 9-15, 2020 UCW 11 JENNA SHACKELFORD, Contributing Wrtier. COMMENTS? editor@upandcom- ingweekly.com. 910-484-6200. Manna Church is hosting a Christmas Gift Giveaway for families in need this year. e church is collecting toys at all their locations across Fayetteville to include the Cliffdale campus, Anderson Creek, Executive Place, Hope Mills, Ramsey St., as well as the Raeford location. e church does some outreach projects each year, but this is the first centralized gift give-away coordinated with all the church locations in the area, said Michele Damato, Manna Dream Center Administrator and Be- nevolence Coordinator. Manna Church will be partnering with Unit- ed Management that manages several low- income housing communities and the Depart- ment of Social Services for the toy giveaway. After working with United Management for Manna's "Trunk or Treat" event in October, Outreach Pastor Tommy Cartwright arranged to partner with them again for a Christmas toy outreach. "It was a need they had heard from the resi- dents and we decided to meet that need," said Damato. "It's just a simple way to show the love of Jesus with no strings attached." Toys will be distributed among Cross Creek Pointe, Blueberry Place, Tera Gardens and Brookside Hills Apartments in Spring Lake. e church will also be working with DSS to purchase gifts for children at Hope Mills Middle, East Hoke Middle and Overhills High School. "We're collecting toys from church members who have the heart to serve the community," Damato said. Church members can sign up from lists provided by parents. e lists include not only toy requests but also cloth- ing sizes. Church volunteers will wrap the gifts and deliver them the weekend of Dec. 17-20. e toy give-away is not limited to mem- bers of Manna Church, but open to anyone in the community who can help, Damato said. ose wishing to participate can visit https:// my.manna.church/outreach to sign up. e goal for Manna's outreach is to give away gifts for 300 children this year. For more information about Manna Church, visit https://fayftbragg.manna.church KEYURI PARAB, Editorial Assistant COMMENTS? Editor@upandcomin- gweekly.com 910-484-6200. EVENTS Manna Church hosts a gift give-away for families in need by KEYURI PARAB Village Baptist Church invites all to Christmas Drive-Thru by JENNA SHACKELFORD Christmas Drive-ru at e Village will take place from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Dec. 11, 12, 13 featuring live ac- tors and animals, music, period-accurate clothing and carefully crafted sets. e typical hustle and bustle of the holiday season is muted this year. Family plans and holiday outings have crumbled due to the pandemic. Despite it all, e Village Baptist Church invites the people of Cumberland County to experience the joy of Christmas through a social-distancing-friendly drive- thru event Dec. 11-13. Chris Ferger, the Pastor of Worship and Arts at e Village, said that the church's Easter production was cancelled due to COVID-19, so he was looking for opportunities to still celebrate the Christmas holiday. "I thought the best way to allow people to see and experience the story of Christmas in a safe, COVID-free environment is to have a drive-thru Christmas," he explained. "I used to do something similar years ago for Easter and I just thought it would be a great idea. So, we put together a team that could pull it off." Organizing a Christmas drive-thru event is no easy feat, but with the help of hundreds of volunteers since April participating in musical recordings, set design, acting, guiding traffic, hospitality, advertising, animal management and more, e Village anticipates an unforget- table experience. Keeping in line with the CDC's COVID-19 guidelines and local ordinances and man- dates, e Village Choir and orchestra has re- hearsed virtually and in venues that allow for social distancing to prepare the recorded mu- sic for the event. e music and drama will be available through the Village Baptist Church App or with a CD available as you enter. "(Attendees) will be immersed in eight scenes that retell the Christmas story through the eyes of a young shepherd all while listen- ing to music recorded by e Village Choir and Orchestra," Ferger said. Attendees can expect to see live actors and animals, hear Christmas tunes and narration, and experience the anticipation of Christ's birth with period-accurate clothing and care- fully crafted sets. Don't be shy about taking pictures and videos. e Village would love to see your pictures on social media with the hashtag #ChristmasateVillage. In a year that has divided so many people both physically and ideologically, e Village uses their love of Jesus to unify the communi- ty. "Our community desires the joy and peace that only the true story of Christmas can bring now more than ever," Ferger said. "People are tired of being cooped up in their homes and are ready to go somewhere that will help them feel the joy of the season. We want people to feel safe as they bring their family." e Christmas Drive ru at e Village will take place at 906 S. McPherson Church Rd. and will run from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Dec. 11-13. e event is free. Travelling through all of the scenes will take approximately 20 minutes. Cars, people mov- ers and vans are welcome, but no bicycles, pedestrians or buses will be permitted for the safety of the actors. For more information about e Village visit https://thevillagebc.church/

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