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Local churches celebrate the Easter story with dinners and productions this week

Members of the Calvary Church of the Nazarene in Spring Hill rehearse The Easter Story, Musical Drama, which will be performed today at 7 p.m. at the church. The drama begins outside, inviting visitors to mingle in a marketplace.

Special to the Times

Members of the Calvary Church of the Nazarene in Spring Hill rehearse The Easter Story, Musical Drama, which will be performed today at 7 p.m. at the church. The drama begins outside, inviting visitors to mingle in a marketplace.

Starting today, four Hernando County churches will use drama and music to share with the community the Easter story of Jesus Christ's life, death and resurrection.

Each program is about an hour long.

Spring Hill Calvary Church of the Nazarene

A production by Spring Hill Calvary Church of the Nazarene begins at 7 p.m. today and uses both an indoor and an outdoor setting.

"Our drama will begin outside with the visitors entering a marketplace scene where they will mingle with our actors in an atmosphere of music and vendors," said Debbie Singer, who co-wrote the script for the drama with her husband, Jeff.

From the marketplace, visitors will be escorted to the worship center to watch the musical drama that will tell the Easter story.

"We have incorporated all attendees from Calvary to complete this musical," Singer said, noting that the church's music director, Thad Haynes, helped the Singers by adding songs to the drama. "All have parts, including children, elderly and handicapped. Actors will be coming down the aisles singing. Children will also be singing, and healing scenes will be sure to touch the hearts of all who attend."

Singer said she and her husband have only been in the area for about six months.

"(We found that) the musical talents at Calvary Nazarene could rattle the window panes, as well as the windows of your heart," she said. "Seeing and hearing their talents inspired us to put together the musical drama to tell the community the Easter story."

In the event of rain, the drama will begin indoors.

There is no admission cost; an offering will be taken.

The church is at 235 Cobblestone Drive, Spring Hill. Call (352) 683-0587.

Brooksville Wesleyan Church

The Brooksville Wesleyan Church choir, orchestra and drama team will present the musical drama Raise the Crown, by David Clydesdale, at 6 p.m. Sunday.

The musical invites visitors to relive the story of Jesus Christ by emphasizing the many crowns he wore during his life — from giving up his heavenly crown to live on earth, being crowned with thorns when he was put to death and then being crowned King of Kings after his ascension to heaven.

The Rev. Raymond Phaup, minister of music, said he hopes the production will be an inspiration to those who see it.

"My hope for this presentation is that through the music by the choir, the narration and the dramatic scenes, we will get a fresh understanding of Christ's love for us, and that all who are present will let that love empower them to go out and demonstrate that love to the people around them," he said.

Admission is free; an offering will be taken.

The church is at 8168 Jasmine Drive, Brooksville. Call (352) 799-3066.

Nativity Lutheran Church

Beginning at 7 p.m. Wednesday, the Nativity Lutheran Church choir will present a cantata by Bill and Gloria Gaither, Then Came the Morning.

"I chose this cantata because it is a longtime favorite of mine," said Donna Olsen, music director for the church. "The words of the disciples and the beautifully compelling music tell the story of Jesus from a very personal point of view. It's almost as if you are a disciple yourself and are experiencing the same emotions they must have felt."

The story of Jesus, his ministry, conflict, death and resurrection is told through the words of two of his disciples, interspersed with choral pieces, solos and drama, Olsen said.

The doors will open at 6 p.m., when there will be a salad supper in the fellowship hall.

"Anyone is welcome to join us for the supper, but reservations are suggested to make sure we have enough food," Olsen said. "There is no charge for the supper or the cantata."

The church is at 6363 Commercial Way, Weeki Wachee. Call (352) 597-1456.

First United Methodist Church of Spring Hill

First United Methodist Church of Spring Hill, 9334 Spring Hill Drive, will present a Maundy Thursday tableau, Is It I, Lord?, at 7 p.m. Thursday in the church sanctuary.

In the re-enactment of the Last Supper, the twelve disciples of Jesus Christ try to answer the play's title question in response to Jesus' having declared that one of them will betray him.

The program was written by the Rev. Richard Neal, the second pastor of the church. Neal, who recently retired as the superintendent of the Jacksonville District of the United Methodist Church, plans to attend this year's production.

The director of the program, Pat McCulloch, said the tableau was first performed at the church in the mid 1970s.

"It has been redone almost every year since," he said.

After the play, those attending will have the opportunity to take communion, using the elements that have been used on the table in the portrayal.

There is no admission charge; an offering will be taken.

Call (352) 683-2600.

Local churches celebrate the Easter story with dinners and productions this week 03/26/10 [Last modified: Friday, March 26, 2010 5:17pm]
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