The first United Nations Holiday Gala will be held from 8 p.m. to midnight Friday, Dec. 2, at the Aladdin Shrine Event and Conference Center, 3850 Stelzer Road.

The first United Nations Holiday Gala will be held from 8 p.m. to midnight Friday, Dec. 2, at the Aladdin Shrine Event and Conference Center, 3850 Stelzer Road.

The event celebrates the cultural diversity represented in the city. Activities will include an international cook-off, music, artistic performances and fashion from several countries around the world. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to World Hunger Relief 2011. Guests are encouraged to bring non-perishable food donations for the Mid-Ohio Foodbank. Advance tickets are $20 and may be purchased at ishopcentralohio.com. Tickets will be $25 the day of the event.

North Broadway United Methodist Church, 48 E. North Broadway, will host an Advent Community Festival from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Dec. 3.

The morning will include brunch with Santa and his elf, a craft workshop and music with Lisa Miller and Jason Childs. Soups and baked goods will be on sale to benefit United Methodist Women’s missions. Boy Scouts will be selling greenery and wreaths. SERRV (Sales Exchange Refugee Rehabilitation and Vocation) will be selling handcrafted fair-trade items from around the world.

Brunch includes French toast, egg soufflé, sausage links, fruit salad, juice, milk and coffee. The cost is $6 for adults, $3 for children 10 and younger, or $15 for a family of four or more.

North Broadway United Methodist Church, 48 E. North Broadway, will offer two special programs in preparation for the Christmas season.

A “Christmas and Consumerism” will be held at 7 p.m. Mondays, Nov. 21-Dec. 19, at Global Gallery, 3535 N. High St. Young adults are invited to examine the relationship between how Christmas is observed in the church and American culture. Resources will include scripture, Michael Slaughter’s “Christmas is Not Your Birthday” and more. For information, email aguillozet@ north-broadway.org or call (614) 268-8626.

The church also will offer a series of Advent prayer experiences based on the book, “Simply Wait: Cultivating Stillness in the Season of Advent” by Pamela Hawkins. These experiences will introduce participants to different prayer practices. Participants can gather for prayer at 7 p.m. each Wednesday of Advent: Nov. 30, Dec. 7, Dec. 14 and Dec. 21. For information, call (614) 268-8626 or email info@ north-broadway.org.