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Archive for December, 2011

Different celebrations, one Christmas message

Sunday, December 25th, 2011

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — This weekend, many of you celebrated Christmas by spending time with family and friends, opening presents, enjoying a feast and perhaps attending church to remember the true meaning of the holiday. We visited four very different church services throughout the weekend to experience how different denominations celebrate the same story.

“It’s my favorite time of year: Christmas,” Father Bob Kus of Saint Mary’s Catholic Church said.

“Merry Christmas,” Pastor Eric Porterfield of Winter Park Baptist said.

“Merry Christmas,” Discipleship Pastor at the Sanctuary of Wilmington Mitchell Johnson said.

“Merry Christmas to all of you,” Korean Presbyterian Church of Wilmington member Yil Kim said.

Many cultures, one message.

“Christmas is the birth of Jesus, the Savior of the world,” Father Kus said.

“Celebrating the great news of the gift of Jesus and His birth,” Pastor Porterfield agreed.

“God gave His son, Jesus Christ, to the world. To me, that was the ultimate gift ever given,” exclaimed Johnson.

“We celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ our Lord and praise God,” Kim said excitedly.

The small congregation at Wilmington’s Korean Presbyterian Church gathered together to sing and dance about the good news.

“In the hymn, Christmas Day is just a ‘Silent Night,’ but in Korea (it is) a little bit crowded and very joyful,” laughed Kim.

Saint Mary’s Catholic Church was filled with the sounds of classical guitars and sweet songs at the Spanish Mass on Christmas Eve.

“We have contemporary music and a Latino band and children’s choir and gospel choir,” said Father Kus who leads all six Christmas masses each year. “So, every mass is a different style.”

Soulful celebrations took place at the Sanctuary of Wilmington.

“We love to dance, we love to shout,” Johnson said. “We’re very boisterous. We like to say ‘hallelujah.’ We like to say ‘amen.’ We like to lift up holy hands.”

The congregation did just that as the band played classic carols with a twist and sang reverent hymns. Members also took holy communion to not only celebrate the birth of Jesus but also the forgiveness of our sins through His death and resurrection.

At Winter Park Baptist Church, Pastor Eric Porterfield lit the final Advent candle, which represents the light of the world: Christ. Members quietly reflected on God’s love and worshipped together through song.

Big, small, loud, quiet, in English, Spanish or Korean, the message of Christmas is delivered in many ways, but the birth of a baby in a manger has the same meaning for Christians around the world.

“I love the truth that, through Jesus, through our faith in Him, we’re all one in the Church, regardless of our denomination, regardless of our tradition,” Porterfield said.

We’d like to thank all the churches that allowed us to be part of their Christmas celebrations.

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Hampstead family loses house to fire

Sunday, December 25th, 2011

A Christmas Eve fire destroyed the house of a Hampstead family around 9:30 p.m.,

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Chanukah celebrates triumph of good over evil

Sunday, December 25th, 2011

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — While many are celebrating Christmas, another religious group is enjoying the Festival of Lights.

The Jewish community celebrates Chanukah each year to remember one of God’s great miracles more than 2,000 years ago. Around 100 members from Wilmington’s Jewish community gathered in Riverfront Park Saturday night to light the fifth candle on the menorah.

The eight candles represent the eight days that one day’s worth of special oil lasted in the Jewish Temple after the Greeks ransacked it.

“An important aspect in the holiday of Chanukah is publicizing the miracle which was good overcoming evil,” Rabbi Moshe Lieblich said. “That’s a message that’s universal, therefore we feel it’s important to publicize it as much as we can.”

Lieblich said the Jews had to fight for their religious freedom, and good did overcome evil. The riverfront menorah lighting is the only public lighting in town.

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Christmas Eve fire destroys home

Sunday, December 25th, 2011

HAMPSTEAD, NC (WWAY) — A Hampstead family is without a place to live this Christmas after a fire on Christmas Eve destroyed their home.

Fire investigators say “improperly disposed of smoking material” is to blame. The family safely escaped from their home at 23890 US Highway 17. They managed to save their Christmas presents as well, but the family cat died in the flames.

Firefighters say the house is a total loss because of fire, smoke and water damage. The American Red Cross is helping the family.

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Shoppers swarm on Christmas Eve

Saturday, December 24th, 2011

Last-minute shoppers filled store aisles across the Port City

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