Midtown: Community

Church needs help to take orphans on Christmas shopping spree

Last year, Aaron Guyton took a 10-year-old boy who lived at the Oxford Orphanage Christmas shopping as part of the Ark of Hope ministry. When they walked through the doors of the store, the boy knew exactly what he wanted.

It wasn’t the latest toy or a video game. He was looking for a cross necklace to put under the tree for his mother.

“With so many other holiday gift programs, people buy a generic gift for a certain aged child, but what makes this ministry unique is that the kids get to pick out their own gifts,” said Guyton, who leads the ministry with his wife, Deanna. “Many of these kids have never been able to go shopping in a department store.”

For the second year, members of the New Light Baptist Church, a small rural church in northern Wake County with an average of 45 worshippers each Sunday, will bring the orphans to the church for pizza and a Christmas service.

After the festivities, volunteers will take the kids to a local store so they can shop for toys, clothes or gifts for others. Last year, the ministry was able to give $175 each to 17 children ages 9 to 21.

“This ministry really feels like we doing the Kingdom’s work. The Lord calls us to help orphans and widows in their time of need,” Guyton said. “When we told the kids that they had $175 to spend, their eyes just lit up. You would have thought we had given them the winning lottery ticket.”

The church is currently accepting donations for the program. Checks can be made out to New Light Baptist Church with “Ark of Hope - Orphans” in the memo line and should be mailed to Aaron and Deanna Guyton c/o Ark of Hope 1119 Corrina Road, Wake Forest, NC 27587 before Dec. 4. For more information, call Aaron Guyton at 919-270-1803.

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints holds Boy Scouts event

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints recently held a merit badge clinic in Raleigh for Boy Scouts. More than 650 scouts attended from Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, New York and North Carolina and earned 1,383 badges at eight Triangle locations. The scouts had some unique experiences while they earned the badges, including an airplane flight for those earning the Aviation badge and working on a farm in Wake Forest to earn the Animal Science and Horsemanship badges. The Duke Life Flight Helicopter also made a landing for the Search and Rescue Merit badge. The event was free for scouts, and more than 2,000 pounds of food was collected for local food banks. More than 150 volunteers worked to put on the two-day event.

Fourth Saturday Breakfast book club

Unity Church of Raleigh is having its Fourth Saturday Breakfast Book Club from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Nov. 25, at the church, 11101 Creedmoor Road, Raleigh. The book club will discuss “Christian Healing” by Charles Fillmore, which offers readers basic principles of healing. Books are $14.95 with a 10 percent discount for attendees, and a love offering will be collected. For more information, email ucrprograms@earthlink.net or visit www.unitychurchofraleigh.org.

Wake Forest Presbyterian Church living nativity

The community is invited to Wake Forest Presbyterian Church’s annual living nativity from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30; 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1; and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, at the church, 12605 Capital Blvd., Wake Forest. Attendees walk through Bethlehem to the stable where the Jesus was born with authentic costumes and settings. The event is free.

Donations will be accepted for the Tri-Area Ministries and the Back Pack Buddies Program. Suggested nonperishable items include individual cereals, orange juice, canned soups, peanut butter, ham/chicken/tuna salad packets, beanie weenies, canned spaghetti/raviolis and cereal bars. For more information, call 919-556-7777 or visit www.wakeforestpres.org.

Boy Scout Christmas tree sale

Boy Scout Troop 314, sponsored by St. Raphael’s Catholic Church, is holding its annual Christmas tree sale from 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29; 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30; 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Dec 1; and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, at the church, 5801 Falls of Neuse Road, Raleigh. The scouts will be selling premium grade, fresh cut Fraser fir trees from Western North Carolina for the 25th year. Wreaths and roping will also be for sale. All proceeds benefit Troop 314. For more information, visit www.troop314.org.

Do you have some faith news to share? Send it to correspondent Jennifer Gregory at nrnews@newsobserver.com.