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‘A Living Easter’

Hilmar church brings resurrection story to life

‘A Living Easter’

Curtis Jorritsma carries a cross while dressed as Jesus for Hilmar Covenant Church's production of "A Living Easter."


POSTED March 30, 2010 10:20 p.m.
The congregation of Hilmar Covenant Church will reenact the Easter story through music and a live production on Thursday. “A Living Easter” follows the Bible story of Jesus’ last few days on earth, and his resurrection on Easter morning.  
“It always makes the story come alive when you see it dramatized,” said Rev. Dan Johnson, associate pastor of Hilmar Covenant Church.
Johnson wrote the script for the play using Scripture from the Bible. The production is meant to show the true horrors of the crucifixion and the wonders of the resurrection story.
The play starts with Jesus’ ride into Jerusalem on a donkey. All actors are dressed in period appropriate costumes, and the donkey is real. The action then follows the story of the last supper, Jesus’ betrayal by Judas, the walk to Calvary, and the crucifixion. The play ends with Jesus’ resurrection on Easter morning. Members of the church built a set where a stone rolls away from a tomb.  
The actors have no speaking parts, and instead members of the choir read Scripture and sing Easter hymns. Johnson said that Hilmar Covenant Church also presents their annual “Living Nativity” in the same format, and it is easier on the actors who don’t have to memorize a lot of lines.
“People’s time isn’t quite so caught up in it,” Johnson said.
Over 80 people are involved in the production, including 12 disciples, Roman soldiers and a choir. The production includes a slide show of biblical images to accompany the action.
“We haven’t done a large production for Easter for a few years, and we thought it was a good time to bring it back,” Johnson said.
The crucifixion scene is true to Scripture, and audience members will hear the sound of nails going through Jesus’ hands. The images that accompany the crucifixion scene also show a blood-soaked Jesus after he was flogged. However, Johnson said that the on-stage violence is kept to a minimum, and the production is fine for kids.
“I have never had parents complain in the past. Most of these kids know the story already; they know what to expect,” Johnson said.
The 30 minute production is free to the public, and it will be presented three times on Thursday. Communion will also be available following each presentation for anyone who wants it. Show times are at 6:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
To contact Andrea Goodwin, e-mail agoodwin@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2003.
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