Bible Teachings Get Light Touch at Arcola UMC

Arcola United Methodist Church held a clown worship service Nov. 21. The clowns, all church members, acted out skits to convey Bible teachings and lessons. Arcola's pastor, the Rev. Chris Riedel, said the purpose of the service was to underscore the need to recognize God in everyday life, to love one another and be mindful of the needs of others, and to be thankful for God's many blessings.

On Saturday, the clowns will visit Loudoun Hospital Center to give a party and deliver a gingerbread house made by young church members.

Churches to Join Forces To Present Holiday Concert

Riverside Presbyterian Church in Sterling and Trinity Presbyterian Church in Herndon will present a joint "Joy of Christmas" concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Trinity at 651 Dranesville Rd.

The concert will feature the Trinity Ringers, 13 bell ringers directed by Tracey McDuffie; the Riverside Brass Ensemble, directed by Mark Norman; and the combined church choirs under the direction of Mary Anne Brundage in a performance of John Rutter's "Gloria" as well as two Christmas spirituals, "Wasn't That a Mighty Day" and "The Virgin Mary Had One Son."

The concert is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served afterward. For more information and directions, call 703-430-5500.

Riverside, a new church, is led by the Rev. Brian Clark and meets Sundays at Potowmack Elementary School. Trinity celebrated its 40th anniversary this year and holds two Sunday services in its new 500-seat sanctuary; the senior pastor is the Rev. Stephen Smith-Cobbs.

Christmas Presentation To Feature Irish Dancers

Ashburn United Methodist Church will present its annual Christmas concert, "Experience the Wonder . . . Discover the Miracle," at 6 p.m. Sunday at the church, 43454 Crossroads Dr.

The story of Christmas will be told through music, drama, dance and visual arts. Irish dancers from the Loudoun School of Ballet will be featured.

An outdoor living nativity will precede the concert, beginning at 5 p.m. Admission to both the nativity and the concert is free.

Nursery care will be available for children 3 or younger. Those who are in preschool through second grade may participate in a special "Christmas Kidfest." Reservations are required for the nursery and the children's program by calling 703-729-5100.

Christmas Under the Stars

At Leesburg Church The Worship Center Assembly of God will present "The Gift," a dramatization of the Christmas story under the stars with live animals and music, at 7 p.m. Dec. 17 and 18.

Admission is free. Refreshments will be served after each performance. The church is at 19227 Gleedsville Rd. in Leesburg. For more information, call 703-777-5662.

Send religion news and coming events to Loudoun Extra, Religion News, 305 Harrison St. SE, Leesburg, Va. 20175, by e-mail to Lextra@washpost.com or by fax to 703-777-8437.

CAPTION: At left, Jordan Dundas, Jake Dundas and Michelle Yarger, members of Arcola United Methodist Church, act out a skit Nov. 21. Members of the church, above, performed during a clown worship service.