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STORYTELLING



Published: Sat, December 14, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

Westminster Presbyterian service to give sample of Christmas worldwide

By LINDA M. LINONIS

religion@vindy.com

BOARDMAN

2

The presentation will be at the worship service at 10:15 a.m. Sunday at the church, 119 Stadium Drive.

Kathy Miller, director of music and organist, is orchestrating the program. She said it is a “retelling of the Christmas story through a storyteller.”

“It’s a lot of pageantry,” Miller said of the presentation. The 35-member Chancel Choir and 11-member adult bell choir, which plays White Chapel Bells, also will perform.

Music offers a sampling from around the world with “Silent Night” to be sung in German; “Christmas Lullaby” by John Rutter, which is an English anthem; “Angels We Have Heard on High” with a French flair and “Carol of the Russian Children.”

“Music is a wonderful way to tell the Christmas story,” Miller said.

The costumes and large cast add to the overall production.

Bev Baird, a church member for some 59 years, made the costumes for the three kings. One is dressed in a royal blue velvet coat with matching gown and hat, which is trimmed in fur. Another king is in green with his hat trimmed in gold, while the third king is gowned in turquoise.

“I made the costumes about 20 years ago,” said Baird, who said she has sewn off and on. But she made doll clothes, so this was another aspect of sewing.

Baird said she bought a pattern and put her skill to work. “It was a big project,” she said, with each costume taking about a week to complete.

She found the hats especially challenging. But she “figured out how to make them” by covering a fedora with material and shaping it.

The fact the costumes have lasted two decades is a testimony to her seamstress abilities and requirement that the costumes be stored in plastic for protection.

Peggy Yuhas, a church member for about seven years, has written the scripts for the programs, which have been presented the last four or five years. This year, she has a storyteller sharing the birth of baby Jesus; other times she has used a family or narrator to advance the story.

“I use everyday language,” she said.

She said the change from the more formal Lessons and Carols to this program was done “just to do something different.”

This program, she added, is “more relaxed and informal.”

For some 20 years, the church presented a Lessons and Carols program. “It was traditional,” Miller said.

Yuhas said she wants people at Westminster to realize that “the story is happening with Christians around the world.”

She said she hopes the audience “feels the spirit of Christmas.”

Yuhas credited Miller with “choosing outstanding music” for the program.

Ruth Brayer said she likes the premise that she, as the storyteller, is sharing the story with two children and the congregation is listening.

“It’s unique to have this approach ... looking at the birth of Christ ... from different countries,” she said.

She added it makes people realize others are celebrating the same thing and they’re all sharing in it.


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