Christmas Gives Newport Chances to Reach Out

January 28, 2015 | Earl Brockman

The Newport (Wash.) Church actively participated in the Christmas holiday season in a variety of unique ways. The second annual Carols by the Tree was celebrated by church and community members alike near the large lighted Christmas tree next to the Newport Museum. Charles Lawson designed an over-the-street banner for the event, and newspaper ads and posters were organized by Katie and Candace Mayfield and the Newport youth group. It was a grand time of Christmas carol singing led by Donna Anderson along with special numbers by the church choir and saxophonist Scott Orser. There was also a time to share a special response card, give out "Gift of Joy" GLOW (Giving Light to Our World) tracts and candy canes, and enjoy a hot drink on a frosty evening.

On Dec. 14, 2014, a first-ever Community Christmas Charity Concert organized by Jim Pope was held at the Newport High School. Several of the Newport Church members participated and joined approximately 200 people in enjoying a Christmas program that featured musical performances including vocal solos, a piano duet, church and school choirs, Orser on the saxophone, and a bell choir. The program ended with everyone joining in singing a rousing rendition of the "Hallelujah Chorus." Jared Horton, Real Life Ministries pastor, gave the benediction.

An offering of more than $900 was taken during the concert to benefit Y.E.S. (Youth Emergency Services), which helps 163 homeless or at-risk youth ages 12–15 in Pend Oreille County. Y.E.S. supports the youth in making choices that will help them find and keep safe living conditions and also helps them to stay in school.

Newport members have found the Christmas season provides an excellent time of giving and sharing within the local community.