ANDREWS

CONGREGATION BAMIDBAR will hold Shabbat services on Saturday, Dec. 19, at 10:30 a.m. in the fellowship hall of Andrews Methodist Church. Services are typically held on the first and third Saturdays of each month. Call Phyllis Cardoza at 828-369-9270 for more information.

BRYSON CITY

THE MARIANNA BLACK LIBRARY will offer an opportunity to create gingerbread houses today (Thursday) at 4 p.m. Area parents and children ages 2 to 18 are invited to attend, though the deadline to reserve a spot ended Dec. 14. Call 828-488-3030 for more information about availability.

THE NEXT COMMUNITY MUSIC JAM at the Marianna Black Library will be today (Thursday) from 6 until 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium and will include holiday favorites. Anyone with an “unplugged” instrument and singers are invited to join. Call 828-488-3030 for more information.

HIGHLANDS

HIGHLANDS NATURE CENTER will host “Bear Essentials” on Saturday, Dec. 19, from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. “Black bears hold a special place in our hearts and imaginations with almost equal parts of hushed awe and heart-pumping adrenaline,” said Highlands Biological Foundation Director Sonya Carpenter. “While it is exciting to see a black bear cross the trail in front of you, it is decidedly less so to see the aftermath of a bear encounter with a trash bin.” Co-sponsoring the event will be the Bear Education and Resources Taskforce, that will present “Bears in the Backyard.” Arthur, the black bear, will welcome visitors to the event, and the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will have information available on black bear management throughout the state. Call 828-526-2602 or visit www.highlandsbiological.org for more information.