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Rushford churches bring the Christmas story to life December 20 and 21

Fri, Dec 6th, 2013
Posted in Rushford Faith & Worship

As you drive from store to store searching for that last perfect Christmas gift and spend countless hours baking cookies from recipes that only come out once a year, you may find yourself overlooking the true meaning of the Christmas season. The members of Rushford’s local churches are here to help. Nearly 50 people in the greater Rushford community have been rehearsing speaking roles and vocal numbers for weeks as part of the Rushford Church Community’s Live Nativity Christmas Presentation set for December 20-21.

Participants range in age from preschool to grandparent with roles of narrators, angels, shepherds and all the rest of the familiar characters from the biblical account of Christ’s birth.

While the performers have been practicing, many more have been working behind the scenes to make the performances really come to life with props, costuming, backgrounds, live animals and more.

“It is so fun to see members of so many different congregations working together towards a common goal, which is celebrating the birth of our Savior,” says Kristin Burdey, director of the event.

Burdey, a member of Rushford Lutheran Church, has helped to direct the live nativity production at The Edge in Winona for the past three years and had a hankering to bring it to life closer to home. When she learned that Root River Community Church was considering a nativity as well, it seemed only logical that they join forces.

“Putting on a show jointly between the two churches would have been fine, but we thought that it would be all the more special if all the local churches in our community could come together on this project. There have been differences and divisions in the faith community, but the one thing that we all are certain about is the sacred beauty of Christmas,” Burdey says.

Peter Enns, Root River Community Church pastor and part-time wise man, says, “I find it encouraging watching members of the community at large working together to celebrate and commemorate the birth of Christ - Who is the One who ultimately brings us together in relationship with God and with each other. It makes total sense to me to celebrate that together.”

The free event is set for Friday, December 20 and Saturday, December 21. There will be performances at 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. both days outside of Rushford Lutheran Church along Highway 43. Each performance will feature actors walking through the roles of Mary and Joseph, shepherds, angels and magi as the story is narrated from the Bible. The scripture reading is punctuated by beautiful music sang by the choir of angels and the wise men, featuring such songs as “Breath of Heaven” and “O Holy Night.” There will also be live animals at the manger, which children can greet between performances.

After each 20 minute show, everyone is welcome to warm up with refreshments and fellowship in the church basement. Parking is available along Highway 43 and side streets. The group encourages attendees to allow those transporting elderly and handicap individuals to use parking spaces closest to the church. The group will be accepting donations for the local food shelf.

“Taking place on that last, often frantic weekend before Christmas, we want to offer you that moment to stop and just breathe in the Christmas spirit. The joy of the season is so palpable, so alive. Music has the power to convey what words cannot, and this is our act of worship; like the drummer boy, this is the gift we lay before the King. It is a blessing to the entire community to be united in celebration like this,” Burdey says.

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