• Abba's House, 5208 Hixson Pike; presentation of dramatic musical "A Tennessee Christmas"; 7 p.m. Dec. 8-9; tickets available at the church (nonticket holders admitted at 6:45 p.m.); 877-6462.
• Abba's House, 5208 Hixson Pike; "I'll Be Home for Christmas" concert by Rhett Walker Band and Shaun Groves; 7 p.m. Dec. 15; 877-6462.
• Apison Baptist Church, 11127 Old East Brainerd Road, Apison, Tenn.; choir presentation of musical drama "Silent Night, Holy Night"; 11 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 9; free; 236-4291.
• Brainerd Baptist Church, 300 Brookfield Ave.; "And on Earth, Peace," presented by choir and orchestra; 4 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday; 624-2606.
• Brainerd Baptist Church, 300 Brookfield Ave.; candlelight "Keyboards at Christmas" concert; 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16; 624-2606.
• Brainerd Baptist Church BX, 4011 Austin Drive; Christian Ministry to Israel-sponsored event, "A Taste of Israel -- Chanukah/Christmas Nosh," invites participants to bring a covered dish and enjoy traditional Israel and Middle East foods, plus Jewish-flavored music, menorah lighting, singing, and photos and accounts of recent mission trip; reservations appreciated; 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13; 855-4818 or www.mmisrael.org.
• Brainerd United Methodist Church, 4315 Brainerd Road; Chancel Choir and instrumental ensemble present the cantata "Tapestry of Light" -- A Celtic Christmas Celebration," which features seasonal folk songs, carols and Scripture-based narration; 11 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 9; child care available; 629-0333.
• Chattanooga First Seventh-day Adventist Church, 7450 Standifer Gap Road; 7 p.m. Tuesdays; rehearsals for fourth annual "Messiah" Community Sing-Along set for 3 p.m. Dec. 16; participants should bring own scores, but a few chorus books are available to loan; free; 605-2468.
• Christ United Methodist Church, 8645 East Brainerd Road; Tri-Octaves concert, "A Soulful Christmas," featuring Willie Kitchens, Doug Richesin and Michael Rodgers; free but love offering collected for Bethlehem Center; 7 p.m. Friday; 892-9363.
• Christ United Methodist Church, 8645 E. Brainerd Road; 13th annual Chattanooga Candlelight Service of Lessons and Carols by Roueché Chorale & Orchestra; 7 p.m. Dec. 13-14; free; 892-9363.
• Dallas Bay Baptist Church, 8305 Daisy Dallas Road, Hixson; original comic/drama "Yard Wars," with music before and after by choir and orchestra; 7 p.m. Friday and Dec. 8, and 4 and 7 p.m. Dec. 9; 842-9299.
• East Chattanooga Church of God, 4872 Jersey Pike; 20th anniversary sanctuary choir dinner theater featuring reunion choir, Curtis and Charmaine Bridgeman, Larry and Gina Bean, Jason Hallcox and Karla Bolanos; 6:30 p.m. Friday and noon and 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1; $20 dinner and concert or $15 concert only; 894-7926.
• First Baptist Church, 401 Gateway Ave.; Salvation Army holiday concert, "Ring the Joyous Bells, a Gift of Christmas," features the Jericho Brass, First Baptist Church choir, Scenic City Choir, Metropolitan Bell Choir and songs from the Salvation Army's production of "Behold the Lamb of God"; 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9; free; 756-1023 or www.csarmy.org.
• First United Methodist Church, 3425 N. Ocoee St., Cleveland, Tenn.; Christmas With the Metropolitan Bells concert; free but donations accepted; 899-3543; 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Also at Brainerd Baptist Church, 300 Brookfield Ave., 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 18, and Christ United Methodist Church, 8645 E. Brainerd Road, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 20.
• Free Hope Baptist Church, 4176 Highway 76, Chatsworth, Ga.; choir presentation of cantata "The Greatest Story of All"; 11 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 23; 706-695-3717.
• Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 822 Belvoir Ave.; Advent music concert features the Chattanooga Girls Choir; free but offering taken; 6:30 p.m. Wednesday; 629-4661.
• Knights of Columbus Holy Family Council Hall, 7615 Lee Highway; fifth annual Light up for Christ event features Christmas caroling, entertainment, tree lighting ceremony and food; 7 p.m. Tuesday; free; 899-9989 or www.kofc6099.org.
• Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, 14950 Rhea County Highway, Evensville, Tenn.; Advent services; 7 p.m. Wednesdays, Dec. 5-19; 775-4253.
• St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 305 W. Seventh St.; 65th annual weekly Advent concert features Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra String Quartet ($6 lunch and/or Holy Eucharist follow); 12:05 p.m. Wednesday; free but freewill offering welcome; 266-8195.
• St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 305 W. Seventh St.; Advent Lessons and Carols by church choir (reception follows); 4 p.m. Sunday; free; 266-8195.
• Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church, 612 James Blvd.; Christmasfest concert by choirs, handbells and orchestra, "Be Born in Me," includes familiar and new songs; 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9; 886-2190.
• Tyner United Methodist Church, 6805 Standifer Gap Road; musical presentation, "A Tyner Christmas" (following by dessert reception, light music); 6:30 p.m. Dec. 8-9; 892-0444.
• Walker County Civic Center, 10052 N. Highway 27, Rock Spring, Ga.; Christ First Church concert features Rhyme & Reason; 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 16; 706-820-6045.
• Woodland Park Baptist Church, 6735 Standifer Gap Road; dessert theater presentation by The ONEworship ministry of the dramatic musical "The Christmas Post"; $10 or $80 per table (all seats reserved); proceeds help fund choir, orchestra and student mission trips; 7 p.m. Dec. 13-14 and 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15; 899-9185.
If things get any worse, the angels and Santa Claus probably will start shooting each other.
Things are tense, indeed, at the two homes involved in "Yard Wars," the Christmas comedy-drama written by pastor Ken Duggan at Dallas Bay Baptist Church.
It's one of more than 20 holiday-themed events taking place at local churches, including musical dramas, cantatas and concerts to mark the season leading up to Christmas.
In Duggan's production, one yard's seasonal decorations contain everything secular, while the other yard has everything religious. The husbands in the homes, which are separated by a fence, are mad at each other over the displays, while the wives must find discrete ways to continue their friendship.
The point of the production, according to Duggan, is the same one espoused by Jesus in the parable of the Good Samaritan -- to be a good neighbor.
"The fence is where we meet in the middle, where we find balance. Mankind today has a hard time finding balance in anything in their lives. We need to meet at the fence, [use] humor and deal with each other."
Abba's House also will offer an original work, "A Tennessee Christmas," a dramatic musical set in the fictional town of Briston, Tenn., and focusing on a modern woman whose husband is away at war. It's written by Bill Marion and executive pastor of worship Ken Hartley, who says its production involves more than 300 people.
In the production, the woman's brother dislikes small towns, believes them "all hick-y," he says, and wants to get out. The town, according to Hartley, is reminiscent of Mayberry on "The Andy Griffith Show" and contains funny as well as heart-tugging moments.
Music will be supplied by a bluegrass band and by popular country songs such as LeAnn Rimes' "How Do I Live Without You" and CrossWay's "A Beautiful Thing." Hartley also supplied several original numbers, including "The Gossip Song."
East Chattanooga Church of God will offer the last -- for a while -- of 20 annual sanctuary choir dinner theater presentations today.
The "mainly musical" production will feature the church choir but also feature a reunion choir and guests Curtis and Charmaine Bridgeman, Larry and Gina Bean, Jason Hallcox and Karla Bolanos, according to minister of music Ty Parker.
The offerings will include familiar carols, "redone" carols, contemporary songs and even "a few funny things," he saiys. A new compact disc with 13 favorite songs from previous years can be purchased by guests.