June 5, 2023

Christmas is the time of year when churches fill the season with plays, choirs and candlelight services. Churches in Riverside and Corona offer events and specials such as interactive skits and musical performances in December.

“Our production is a few different skits that are brought together by a certain theme,” said Julia Manchester, director of the production for East Hills Community Church in Riverside. “This year the theme is ‘Christmas Favorites.’ We have carolers who sing throughout the show, a few videos and a kid’s choir.”

The production is Dec. 5 at 7 p.m., Dec. 6 at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. and Dec. 7 at 4 p.m. at East Hills Community Church.

Tickets are $5 and are available for purchase at the door.

The Grove Community Church is also adding a twist to the classic play. From Dec. 10 to 12, The Grove will present an interactive play titled “A Christmas Encounter.”

“For Christmas, we take you through the entire Christmas story starting in Genesis,” said Adam Mcintyre, pastor of celebrative arts at The Grove. “We begin with creation, moving through the Old Testament and then on to the familiar and not-so-familiar parts of the Christmas story, ending with the resurrection.”

The production is free and will be held at The Grove.

While some churches opt for the traditional play, other churches such as Crossroads Christian Church in Corona tried taking a modern route by having a tree lighting ceremony on the evening of Nov. 30. The church is also holding candlelight services on Dec. 23 and 24.

Choirs and musical acts are  common to see at churches during the holidays. For the Christmas Eve service at Olive Branch Community Church in Corona, the church is having a music special consisting of various musical acts.

“It’s definitely something I look forward to because the artists are different every year and it’s fun to see everyone get into the Christmas spirit,” said Jessy Licup, senior healthcare administration major and member of Olive Branch.

Tickets are $15 and are available in the church’s courtyard or on their website www.olive-branch.org.

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