Christmas by the Book

I would like to really, really, REALLY thank all the
cast and crew of our Christmas Program, Christmas – By
the Book. The Confirmation Class, Michelle Bernetski,
Michelle Heller, Kristen Kania and Morgan Rinehimer,
provided clear narration as the youth and children
portrayed the nativity. Kelsey Rinehimer set the scene by
singing Of the Father’s Love Begotten, reminding us that
our Lord Jesus was with God from the very beginning.
Brooke Rinehimer, cast as Gabriel, wonderfully
announced the virgin birth to a perplexed Mary played by
Morgan Hodle. Morgan also presented us with Mary’s
song of praise, My Soul Gives Glory to My God. Mary’s
cousin, Elizabeth, played by Leah Dietrich, was superbly
excited to see the mother of the Christ. Morgan Hodle
and Nate Kamowski poignantly performed the lullaby
Joseph, Dearest Joseph, in which Mary asks Joseph to
help her care for the precious child and Joseph praises
God for sending Jesus to save us. Keirsten Whitmire’s
Heralding Angel announced the Savior’s birth to the
shepherds with all the angel hosts (Scarlett Sevison,
Cindy Myers, Cadence Ring, Leah and Kelsey) joining
in, singing Glory to God. Matteo Belanchik was the
Lead Shepherd with his crew Brayden Belanchik, Wyatt
Chalker, Rowan Dietrich and Sabian Bunnell. Aaron
Kleger also portrayed an older shepherd and helped
corral the littlest shepherds (literally in the sheep corral).
Lead singers for The Shepherds Knelt in Wonder were
Robert, Leah, Matteo, Brayden, Rowan and Sabian.
Becca Biddinger launched all the choirs in singing Do
You Hear What I Hear? Robert Duffy, III, played the
Lead Magi. Robert, Matteo and Brayden pulled double
duty as both shepherds and Magi. The program ended
with a loudly rousing rendition of Go Tell It On the
Mountain, in which the congregation was invited to join.
Many people commented about how inspiring this year’s
program was and I have passed that on to the cast and
crew. As I said at the beginning of this article, I thank
everyone who helps make the Christmas programs
possible – the children and youth, their parents,
grandparents and guardians, Sunday School teachers,
Kids and Chancel Choirs, people who help set up the
scenes, and my sister, Donna, who keeps me on track and
calm. Thank you for the most wonderful Christmas
present – your love.

Emmanuel UCC

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