By LINDA M. LINONIS
The cast of “Just Believe” urges the audience to take that leap of faith to trust God through dialogue and song.
The Christmas pageant will be presented at 2 p.m. Saturday and at the 10 a.m. worship service Sunday at Good Hope Lutheran Church, 98 Homestead Drive.
The children’s Christmas musical production focuses on trusting in God.
Ginny Eddy, director of Christian education and the junior choir, also is the pageant director. She’s been a church member for six years.
Eddy said the production tells the tale of a group of children headed to perform at a big-city venue. That plan goes off track when the bus driver falls and breaks his leg. The choir director then suggests the group perform at a nearby retirement center. That suggestion is met with little enthusiasm, but the group ends up there. The interaction among the children and adults at the center is the crux of the story and a learning experience of faith.
Eddy said the cast of 26 with 21 children and five adults has been rehearsing since July.
“It sounds like a long time,” Eddy admitted. “They learn so much in August.”
Once school starts, children have their studies and other activities. From September to show dates, the group has rehearsed once a week on Sundays.
Eddy said she coordinates “a big play every other year.” This is her third one.
The play showcases the children’s singing talents but also serves as a vehicle to focus on their faith.
“I want them to know God’s love inundates them no matter what they do,” Eddy said. “Whether they’re happy or having problems, I want them to know the Lord and live for God. He’ll be with them always.”
Eddy said she’s inspired by the children’s participation and enthusiasm. “I love to see them grow in their faith,” she said.
She also noted that the pageant also promotes the Christian idea of giving — and that concept turned into practical help. In their Sunday school class, the children collected $1,000 from September to this month for Gospel for Asia.
“They bought a Jesus well in India to provide clean water for a village,” Eddy said. “That showed the importance of reaching out to help others,” Eddy said, adding, “I see it in their actions.”
Saturday’s performance is geared to the community. “Our goal is to reach out to the community. We want to touch people,” Eddy said.
Among featured performers is Katie Biggs, 7, who plays Emily, the Christmas star. Outfitted in gold, Emily “likes the sounds and music” of the show. She especially likes the sparkly gold shoes she wears as part of her costume.
Kate Kadilak plays the angel and likes the costume. “The play makes me think of Jesus and believe he would help them” (referring to the stranded children’s choir), the 11-year-old said.
The role of the donkey is played by Julia Basista, 8. “I like to sing and dance. This is a silly part,” she said. “I have a cool costume.” Julia said the play helps tell the Christmas story.
The pageant will be staged in the church sanctuary. Some costumes were made, others bought and the remainder are left over from other programs.