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Wilshire Temple to Celebrate Opening of Westside Campus

The congregation of Wilshire Boulevard Temple, whose venerable domed synagogue in the Mid-Wilshire district has long been part of the city’s religious landscape, will celebrates the opening of its $26-million Westside campus Sunday.

Located at Olympic Boulevard and Barrington Avenue, the Audrey and Sydney Irmas Campus represents what Rabbi Harvey J. Fields calls a new vision for Jewish congregational life.

Both a fledging Jewish day school and a community center, the campus has offerings for people of all ages, from an Early Childhood Center with a nursery school and parenting programs to counseling programs and activities for adults and seniors.

Opening a campus on the Westside, Fields said, reflects the fact that many of the temple’s congregants now live in that area. The celebration begins at 11:30 a.m.

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HANDEL’S ‘MESSIAH’

At two locations today and Sunday at 4 p.m. a “Messiah” sing-along will be sponsored by the Culver-Palms United Methodist Church Choir and the Wesleyian Chamber Orchestra. Today’s performance will be at the Vermont Square United Methodist Church, 4410 Budlong Ave., Los Angeles. Sunday’s performance is at Culver-Palms United Methodist Church, 4464 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City. (310) 390-7177.

* Lake Hills Community Church’s chancel choir and baroque orchestra will present Handel’s “Messiah” in two performances at 4 and 6 p.m. Sunday at the church, 23331 Moulton Parkway, Laguna Hills. Free.

* Beverly Hills Presbyterian Church will present “A Christmas Celebration” at 8 p.m. Thursday, featuring actress Debbie Reynolds as guest narrator of the Christmas story. “Messiah” will be performed by the church’s choir and orchestra, with the Choral Society of Southern California and the Los Angeles Valley College Chamber Singers. 505 N. Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills. Tickets are $20 per person or two for $35. (310) 271-5194.

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* Part 1 of “Messiah” will be performed by the combined choirs and soloists of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church of San Pedro and St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church of Pacific Palisades and St. Matthew’s chamber orchestra at 3 p.m. Dec. 12 at St. Peter’s Church, 1648 W. 9th St., San Pedro. Donation $5.

* The annual Palisades family Christmas concert and sing-along will be held at 3 p.m. Dec. 13 at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, featuring the parish’s choir, chamber orchestra and soloists who will perform Part 1 of “Messiah.” $15 donation requested. 1031 Bienveneda Ave., Pacific Palisades. (310) 573-7787, Ext. 2.

* Part 1 of “Messiah” will be presented at All Saints Episcopal Church with the Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra at 5 p.m. Dec. 13 at the church, 504 N. Camden Drive, Beverly Hills. Requested donation $15; students and seniors $10. (310) 275-2910.

OTHER HOLIDAY MUSIC

Soka Gakkai International, a culturally diverse Buddhist association, will present a free concert by a 39-member chorus reflecting the diversity of Los Angeles. Theme of the performance is “Colors of the Rainbow.” The presentation will be held at the Los Angeles Friendship Center, 5899 Venice Blvd., Los Angeles at 4 p.m. Sunday.

* St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral will present a Christmas concert at 6 p.m. Sunday featuring the cathedral choir, conducted by Elias Kalivas with the Very Rev. John S. Bakas, dean of the cathedral, as baritone. Other performers will include Michelle Patzakis Prappas, soprano, and Christopher P. Yokas, organist. 1324 S. Normandie Ave., Los Angeles. Free-will offering.

* Two hundred performers, including the Pasadena First United Methodist Church Chancel Choir, Chorale Bel Canto, the Southern California Children’s Chorus, a symphony orchestra and soloists will perform Ralph Vaughan Williams’ “Hodie” (“This Day”), a Christmas cantata, at 7 p.m. Sunday at the church, 500 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena. Free.

* A family Hanukkah concert with Sue Epstein and Pearl B. will be presented at 4 p.m. Sunday by Temple Aliyah, 6025 Valley Circle Blvd., Woodland Hills. Call (818) 346-1552 for reservations and prices.

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* Johann Sebastian Bach’s cantata “Sleepers Wake!” and Joel Martinson’s “Missa Guadalupe” will be performed at 7 p.m. Friday at Blessed Sacrament Church, 6657 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood. Call (323) 463-3320.

* The Celtic Choir of St. John’s Presbyterian Church will present “Advent in Austria” at 4 p.m. Dec. 13 at the church. The works include those of F.J. Haydn, J.M. Haydn and W.A. Mozart, as well as popular period carols. 11000 National Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 477-2513.

* “A Christmas Pudding,” songs, stories and poems will be presented at 7 p.m. Dec. 18 at Westwood Presbyterian Church, 10822 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. $10 donation. (310) 474-4535.

* A festival of lessons, dances and carols featuring the Pasadena Mennonite Church singers and musicians will be held at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 13 at the church, 1041 N. Altadena Drive, Pasadena. Free admission, refreshments and child care. (626) 398-8224.

CHRISTMAS PLAY

The Christmas classic “Amahl and the Night Visitors,” staged by a company of theater professionals in a Broadway-style production, will be presented at 7 p.m. Dec. 11-13 by the Advent Theater of North Hollywood, 4390 Colfax Ave. The theater is affiliated with the First Christian Church of North Hollywood. $15. Reservations: (818) 763-9027.

EVENTS

Feminist theologian Pat Reif, in association with the Immaculate Heart College Center, will speak on feminist interpretations of Jesus Christ at 7 p.m. Thursday at Dongguk-Royal University, 4th floor auditorium, 440 Shatto Place, Los Angeles. $10.

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* Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis will participate in a one-on-one conversation hosted by Marlene Adler Marks at 11 a.m. Sunday at the Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. Admission is $10, $8 for members and $6 for students. (323) 660-8587.

* The Sacred Storytellers Network and the Bowers Museum will present an enactment of two ancient sacred stories--the epics of Goddess Inanna and Divine King Gilgamesh--at 2 p.m. Dec. 12 at 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana. Advance tickets $15; $20 at the door. (714) 730-3444.

NAMES IN THE NEWS

The Rev. Robert B. Lawton, dean of Georgetown College at Georgetown University in Washington, has been named president of Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. He will succeed the Rev. Thomas P. O’Malley on June 1. Lawton received his bachelor’s degree in classics from Fordham University and his doctorate in Near Eastern languages and civilizations in 1977 from Harvard University. At Harvard he was a Danforth and Woodrow Wilson Fellow.

FINALLY

Six hundred poor children have been invited to the 50th annual Cardinal’s Christmas Party at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

Sponsored by Catholic Charities and underwritten by the Mattel Foundation with a $20,000 grant, the party will include new toys, a meal and entertainment, including magician Jim Skaggs, the Bob Baker Marionettes and Santa Claus.

The Christmas story will be told by two Catholic auxiliary bishops, the Most Revs. Stephen Blaire and Gabino Zavala of the archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Notices may be mailed to Southern California File, c/o Religion Editor, Los Angeles Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles, CA 90053, or by fax to Southern California File at (213) 237-4712, or by e-mail to religion@latimes.com. Items should arrive two to three weeks beforehand and should include pertinent details about the people and organizations with address, phone number, date and time.


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