THE CHRISTMAS CANTATA 2019
It has become traditional in our church, as in many churches, to present a Christmas musical to commemorate the birth of our Lord. These performances are often centered on the familiar events from the scripture narrative, and they remind us of that night long ago when the Son of God left His heavenly home to dwell among us. The cantata we’re presenting this year is Emmanuel, Child of Hope, by Sonja Poorman, Bill Galliford, and Bruce Cokeroft. It is a musical centered on a theme that we often forget at Christmas time – the theme of worship. In the hustle and bustle of our seasonal activity, we too often allow our worship of the King of Kings to get pushed aside. We let our attention become side-tracked to secondary concerns, and our worship often suffers from this distraction. An excerpt of a poem I wrote brings us a reminder:
Above the ring of cashier’s bell, hurrying shoppers somehow tell of footsteps swift to manger stall, where lowing oxen welcomed all.
In a special song, the children will ask the important question “What do we hope for at Christmas? What do we want each year? Dolls and trains? Stockings filled with cheer? Where do we find the joy?” The beginning of the happiest Christmas is a sweet little Baby Boy.
As we approach this season once again, may it be more than just a hum-drum, ritualistic exercise. Let’s make a commitment to breathe new life into this unique narrative, so that those who don’t know the King will be drawn to Him. Let’s unite our hearts together through the wonderful vehicle of music, so that we can truly worship the Emmanuel, the Child of Hope.
In spite of the absence of many of our previous soloists, the cantata will be enhanced by those whom God still encourage to remain in the choir to sing of His great goodness and His Gift of Love. The soloists are Walt Frank, Julie Kaufmann, Brenda Lenz, Barbara Craig, Janell Cunningham, Mary Nevsimal, Linda Amber, Robin Frank and Kristen Styles. The Instrumental Ensemble will be composed of Ken Hanks, keyboardist, Brian Lindner, trumpet, Marj Swikert and Kristen Styles, Flutists. Narrators will be Pastor Scott and Patti Wallace. Actors will include Earle Jefts, Walt Frank, Detlev Aeppel, Ian and Vanessa Frost, Julie Kaufmann, and Nils Lenz. A special guest will be Kevin Duda of Broadway who will sing the Offertory Solo at the service. As of this writing, the cast hasn’t been completed. We will acknowledge the rest in the printed bulletin.
The Cantata will be sung on December 15 as the first half of the 10 o’clock worship service. Then the choir will sing it at Westbrooke Manor Assisted Living Facility in Zephyrhills, at 2 o’clock p.m., thus bringing the Christmas spirit to the residents and the community, as we do each year.
Ruby L. Agnir Choir Director