Sitting in the festively decorated sanctuary, First United Methodist Church Pastor Darrel Phillips shared his church’s plans for community outreach this Christmas season.

Church members will donate gifts for 25 children whose parents are incarcerated, and Phillips’ wife, Sandy, will shop for other children in the community as needed. Some children are brought to the church for a service and are presented gifts, while others receive their presents in their homes.

Church members also provide gifts and food for residents who live on Lynn Drive.

Phillips said church members also stroll the corridors of the Indian Oaks Nursing Home to remember the residents at Christmas with well-wishes and songs.

Caroling and a children’s Christmas pageant are planned at the church, the pastor said. On Christmas Eve, a candlelight service starts at 6 p.m. with the lighting of the Advent candle, scripture readings and singing.

The church ladies group delivers gifts to members who can no longer attend services. Phillips also visits those members during the week of Christmas, presenting them with a poinsettia as he shares Christmas blessings.

“The love of God is the greatest gift to all,” he said. “Please let Jesus be the fullness of your Christmas.”

Phillips and his family have served the church at 208 W. Cardinal Lane in Harker Heights for 3½ years.

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