This Week in the Swannanoa Valley

Swannanoa church presents musical Christmas

A Bethlehem cantata and musical program will be held at Swannanoa United Methodist Church at 11 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 18. Featured will be the Bias family and the church choir.

Musical selections will include “O Holy Night,” “Joy to the World,” What Child is This?,” Sweet Little Jesus Boy” and “Star of the East.”

Music director Judy Bias welcomes anyone with the Christmas spirit to hear her family sing and perform, including Sasha on clarinet and granddaughter Kayla on piano. Other performers include soloists Ken Lanter, Dale Helton, Terry Hall, Betty Crowder and Becka Arnold. Narrator will be Churck Werle.

Pastor Cindy Arnold will offer a prayer after the service.

Light Center honors longest night of the year with events

As winter begins, it seems a good time to pause in the midst of the holiday rush. On Sunday, Dec. 18, the UR Light Center will host a day of Winter Solstice programs, designed to facilitate meditation and reflection.

Rev. Heidi Peck starts the day at 10:10 a.m. with an Ascension Circle which includes a crystal bowl meditation. (This event requires pre-registration.) Then at 1 p.m., Yvonne Rainbow Teplitsky and Bob Hinkle team up for toning and crystal bowls. A solo piano concert by Richard Shulman, starting at 3 p.m., brings the day to a peaceful closing in musical harmony.

For additional information and fees, contact the Light Center at 669-6845 or

Swannanoa Valley Christian Ministry seeks coats, food, donations

Swannanoa Valley Christian Ministry needs canned red kidney beans, pinto beans, pork and beans and corn to restock its shelves. To provide clients, it also needs cereal, oatmeal, bar soap, deodorant, shampoo, toothpaste and toothbrushes. It needs coats - all sizes, all ages - and blankets. Monetary donations designated to food are also welcome (send to P.O. Box 235). Drop off items at 101 N. Ridgeway Ave., Black Mountain, NC 28711.

Saunders makes her benefit soup available for sale

Vegan, gluten-free carrot-cashew soup that Hallie Saunders is making to benefit Recovery Ventures can be purchased at Mac’s restaurant, 104 West St., Black Mountain and Merry Wine Market, 108 W. State St. The cost is $5 plus tax for 12 ounces and $6.50 plus tax for 16 ounces. The Black Mountain News wrote about the soup and Saunders’ efforts to help the Swannanoa drug treatment center in the Nov. 24 issue.

SVCM ministry needs more Christmas sponsors

Swannanoa Valley Christian Ministry is in need of sponsors for The Johnny Raines Christmas Program. You can help make Christmas brighter for a child this year by sponsoring a family.

Again this year, SVCM will have a team of “elves” who will be taking applications to enroll families and matching sponsors with families in this program through Dec. 16. Last year this program provided gifts for 226 children. If you would like to sponsor a family or hold a toy drive, call 669-9404 or email