Marcophiles: Our oldest church comes alive for this Christmas season

CHRIS CURLE
The first church on Marco Island now splendidly restored, is at the heart of many holiday activities, including the interdenominational events at the "Keeping Christ in Christmas" celebration. Chris Curle / Eagle Correspondent

The first church on Marco Island now splendidly restored, is at the heart of many holiday activities, including the interdenominational events at the "Keeping Christ in Christmas" celebration. Chris Curle / Eagle Correspondent

One of our family’s enduring memories of Marco Island in days gone by was the weather-worn, time-tested church building on Bald Eagle Drive.

On the front the sign read, at first glance, “Church – God. The word “of” was obscured and we thought the visible name, “Church – God” pretty much said it all.

We didn’t know then that the church, built in 1939, was the first church established on Marco. Now it stands on the cemetery grounds, a renovated, beautiful, historic house of worship.

The church marks another milestone this month as the centerpiece of some Christmas Island Style events.

“This year’s ‘Keeping Christ in Christmas’ is the first ever community interdenominational Christmas celebration to be held at the Historical Church,” says Bobbie Lansdown, a key organizer of the event.

“We’ve been busy since mid summer contacting churches, civic organizations and business people to invite them to participate. The idea is to create opportunity for a spiritual experience in a wholesome faith-based environment during the time of year when hearts are tender.

“The Historical Society, Leadership Marco, City Council, Knights of Columbus, musicians, singers and many more are participating. In addition we will be decorating the graves of the pioneers.” That will be on Tuesday, Dec. 13.

Sunday the 18th is the biggest night, as it is included in the Christmas Island Style Calendar of Events. Craig Woodward will be speaking.

“Steven Stefanides, the chairman of Christmas Island Style, will be planting a tree to honor the late Marion Blomeier, acknowledging how she used to encourage people to have fun at Christmas time, to decorate and to get out. And Betsy Perdichizzi will be there to portray Tommie Barfield and to share Christmas stories.

“Also that night we’ll have the New Life Community Praise Band, drummer, horns, guitar etc. And people will be singing carols together. I’ve never before heard of an island-wide, interfaith, inter denominational Christmas celebration. The Lutherans are having a service at the historical church one evening, the Presbyterians another and so on.

“We want people to know these times are not all about war and hate and being broke. Marco has wonderful, loving people, with a heritage to match.”

For information on all the events during the “Keeping Christ in Christmas” celebration, you can phone Bobbie Lansdown at (239) 250-5147.

Islander Nancy Boyer loves the Marco Movies,including the new, replacement earphones available to customers who need a boost in the films' sound sometimes. Chris Curle / Eagle Correspondent

Islander Nancy Boyer loves the Marco Movies,including the new, replacement earphones available to customers who need a boost in the films' sound sometimes. Chris Curle / Eagle Correspondent

New state of the art earphones available at Marco Movies

The holiday season is high season for new movies and Marco Movies is having an impressive lineup the next few weeks.

Part of the reason is that this is the pre-Oscar season, when some film makers release their hopeful hits in time to qualify for an Academy nomination.

Another reason is that with kids off from school for a week or more, they and their families raise the rate of movie attendance around the country.

This season, moviegoers on Marco now have some spiffy new earphones to enhance their audio film-going experience.

Most theaters have earphones for customers on request, but the new models at Nick Campo’s Marco Movies are excellent.

“They work great,” Nick says. “They’re infrared and work well for anyone with any sort of hearing problem.

“They channel everything properly and all you hear is clean sound from the movie. It’s a really good system. I love it when people ask for them because they really make the movie experience so much better.”

One friend who enjoys the movie headphones is Realtor Nancy Boyer, who tells us,

“The only problem is, when I wear these, I tend to talk really loud.”

What?

Here’s a question for Nick. When wearing the earphones makes the sound louder, when the film has subtitles, do the words get bigger?

Chris Curle is a former news anchor for CNN and for ABC-TV stations in Washington, D.C., Atlanta and Houston. E-mail chris@chriscurle.com.

Don is a former ABC News correspondent and bureau chief and a former news anchor for CNN and ABC-TV, in Atlanta. His Farmer File column appears Fridays in the Naples Daily News. E-mail: don@donfarmer.com.

© 2011 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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