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Books for Loaves

DEVENS — On Dec. 13, Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry will be holding its annual Shop for Your Kids Day at the pantry, located at 234 Barnum Road, Devens.

On that day, clients can come in and pick out free gifts and books for their children. New books are needed for children, from infants through high school age. The staff at Indian Hill Music in Littleton has offered their Music School at 36 King Street (Route 2A), Littleton, to be the primary drop-off point for new books, or for cash donations to purchase new books.

Books may be dropped off at Indian Hill or at the Littleton police station, 20 Foster Street, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.

Books should be unwrapped so they can be categorized for appropriate age. A list of suggested books for all ages is available at Loaves & Fishes’ Web site, www.devenspantry.org.

Help make this a special holiday for the over 400 families who come to Loaves & Fishes. Please bring new books to Indian Hill Music Center, the Littleton Police Department, or any of the Loaves & Fishes drop-off boxes by Dec. 10. For more information, call Kathy Stamski at (978) 772-4627, ext. 5.

Sustainable living

GROTON — There is a great deal of talk these days about sustainable lifestyles and planning for a sustainable future, but how does one approach such a large issue? The Nashua River Watershed Association (NRWA) and the Groton and Harvard Locals invite the public to join us for a free workshop on “Tools for Sustainable Living: The Natural Step” on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 7-9 p.m., at the NRWA’s River Resource Center, 592 Main St. (Route 119), in Groton, MA. The presenter will be Joanne Sunshower.

The Natural Step, developed in the 1980s in Sweden by Dr. Karl-Henrik Robert, is a baseline of concepts being used by businesses, organizations and levels of government to move in the direction of a truly sustainable society. We will identify strategies from the development of The Natural Step, and how to apply The Natural Step concepts to the situations we seek to change. The use of dynamic approaches to individual and group thinking can bring participants to a new level in their work.

Sunshower has 26 years experience mentoring inspired groups and individuals to create and grow nonprofit organizations. After 22 years in the Cambridge area, she now lives and works in western Massachusetts.

This free public workshop is co-sponsored by the NRWA, the Groton Local, and the Harvard Local. For further information, please contact Mark Archambault, NRWA smart growth circuit rider, at (978) 448-0299, or visit www.NashuaRiverWatershed.org.

Christmas Vespers

LANCASTER — The Atlantic Union College Department of Music presents “My Soul Magnifies the Lord” — a Christmas celebration.

The evening will showcase J.S. Bach’s Magnificat for five-part choir and soloists under the baton of guest conductor Paul Tucker, associate director of chorale activities at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kan. This evening of joyful and uplifting music will also include Christmas carols from around the world performed by the Pro Arts International Choir, under the direction of Kaestner Robertson, conductor. Robertson is professor of music and has served Atlantic Union College and the community since 1980. The Epic Brass Quintet, under the direction of Earl Raney, will also participate in the vespers concert.

The concert takes place on Friday, Dec. 7, starting at 7:30 p.m. at the college’s Church of Seventh-day Adventists, 337 Main Street, South Lancaster.

The public is cordially invited to attend. A freewill offering will be taken.

Nativity Exhibition

AYER — The fifth annual “In A Manger” Nativity Exhibition at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church will welcome the greater Massachusetts community on Saturday, Dec. 8. The exhibit, from 10 a.m. through 4 p.m., will be held in the Parish Hall, next door to the historic church that was first established in 1889, located at 7 Faulkner St., Ayer.

“This year there will be more than 150 nativity sets from around the world,” according to Carolyn Smith, event coordinator. “Some of the nativity scenes are family heirlooms, many are folk art nativity sets collected by parishioners and Massachusetts residents, and others are on loan from the parishioners of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Lowell.”

There will be a wide variety of tabletop and miniature Nativities, as well as a Christmas tree decorated with ornaments of nativity scenes. According to Smith, “This event affords a wonderful opportunity for children to become more familiar and involved with the true meaning of Christmas. This is truly a family event.”

The public is also welcome to display their nativity scenes and ornaments, wall hanging, quilts, and Advent calendars by dropping them off at the Parish Hall before noon on Friday, Dec. 7, with pickup on Sunday, Dec. 9.

There will also be a hand-knit nativity raffle, a children’s activity table, and homemade Christmas cookies and cider. For more information regarding participation in the event, arrangements can be made through the Parish Hall at (978) 722-2615.