The Town of Davidson is preparing for Christmas in Davidson, and area organizations, businesses and churches are all doing their part to get ready. For the third year, Davidson College Presbyterian Church will have its doors open to host people visiting Santa Claus. Associate Pastor for Discipleship and Mission Robert Alexander explains what the event means for the church and the community as well as what festivities entail.
Herald Citizen: Tell us a bit about your church.
Robert Alexander: Davidson College Presbyterian Church is a Presbyterian Church (USA) congregation in downtown Davidson. The church began in 1837 when the college and town began. We are made up of people from all over the Lake Norman area and serve people throughout the world. Our mission statement is: “We are the Body of Christ – worshipping, learning, serving, loving, giving – seeking to realize God’s vision for the world.” We believe that God calls us to a particular way of living based in the commandments to love God and love neighbor. As followers of Jesus Christ we seek to embody his love and grace through the various ministries of the church. We welcome all people and invite you to join us in this journey of faith.
HC: How long has the church been involved with Christmas in Davidson?
RA: Our church has hosted various activities, concerts, gift markets and dinners as long as the festival has been in existence. This is our third year hosting Santa Claus for the community.
HC: Why did the church want to be involved with it? How is this in line with the church’s mission?
RA: We want to show hospitality and love to our neighbors. Our sanctuary, our chapel and our Congregation House provide warm, dry spaces for the community to gather and enjoy the sights and sounds of the season. We offered to host the popular Santa exhibit so those waiting in line could do so in the warmth of the church. (In the past, visitors endured a long waiting line outdoors in unpredictable weather.) Hundreds of children and their families can come in from the cold and enjoy our hospitality.
HC: What activities will be there during festivities?
RA: While visitors wait in line to see Santa in our Congregation House, we will offer free snacks and children’s activities. Guests can also learn about several local and global mission projects in our missions display. In addition, we will host several musical events in our sanctuary and in Lingle Chapel all three nights.
HC: What is the schedule for events there during Christmas in Davidson?
RA: Santa visits in our Congregation House are Thursday (6:30-9 p.m.) Friday and Saturday (6-9 p.m.). The Hough High Jazz Band will perform on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in Lingle Chapel. The Nuances of Davidson College will perform on Friday at 5:30 p.m. in Lingle Chapel. The Bailey and Hough Orchestras will perform on Friday beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the sanctuary. The Hough High Women’s Chorus will perform in Lingle Chapel on Saturday at 6 p.m. Our Christmas Open Mic will be on Saturday from 6:30-8 p.m. in Lingle Chapel.
HC: What is the missions display? What will people get to see?
RA: Every year, we offer a way for people to give “alternative gifts” through donations to charity in someone’s honor. Visitors can make a contribution and receive a “gift card” to present to their loved one that explains what project their contribution supports. This year’s displays will highlight two local charities (Habitat for Humanity and Blythe Elementary School Partnership) and two international charities (Partnerships in Kenya and Nicaragua) that need support.
HC: What are ways people can give back?
RA: Anyone can donate any amount to one of the charities featured or any other mission partner of the church. Checks may be made out to “DCPC” with “Alt. Gift Fair” in the memo line. You may also give online at www.dcpc.org.
HC: Will there be musical entertainment?
RA: Please note the schedule listed above. We will host several choral and instrumental groups each evening. Musicians are also welcome to participate in our open mic night on Saturday in the chapel (email SRollans@dcpc.org to reserve a time slot to perform).
HC: What is your favorite part about the Christmas in Davidson tradition?
RA: Christmas in Davidson is a wonderful opportunity to see the town come together to celebrate the season. There is a strong emphasis on community, music, love and mission, which reminds us of the traditions of giving and caring.
HC: What other holiday-related activities will your church host this season?
RA: Weekly Advent Study – Various Group Studies beginning Nov. 30
Davidson College Vespers – Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. (Sanctuary)
Messiah Sing-Along – Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. (Sanctuary)
White Gift Christmas Pageant – Dec. 9 at 5 p.m. (Sanctuary)
Carol Sing – December 12 at 6:30 p.m. (Congregation House)
Service of Healing and Wholeness – Dec. 16 at 7 p.m. (Lingle Chapel)
Christmas Eve Services – Dec. 24 at 4 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. (Sanctuary)
HC: Anything else we should know?
RA: All are welcome to join us as we celebrate the gift of God’s love in Jesus Christ this season or any other time of the year. Please visit our website or contact the church office if you have questions about our faith community or our mission. If you are struggling in any way we have trained Stephen Ministers to walk with you and provide support for as long as it is helpful. Let us be an encouragement to you. Contact 704-892-5641 or email@example.com.