I will not tell you which is which.
This Saturday is the children's Christmas pageant - Christmas Letters: The Musical! Most every year my dear sweet sister Denise is the director of the Christmas pageant. She decides on the script, cast and wrangles the children. I am in charge of sound, lights, staging and keeping her from freaking out. I love her...but she has this perfect scenario in her head with angelic children sitting in rehearsal hanging on her every word and listening with rapt attention to the stage directions.
Reality is a lot closer to herding cats.
This past Saturday was dress rehearsal. By the time our director arrived, the Smallshaw boys had run laps around the balcony, the parents of 2 cast members had responded to my reminder text with "I thought that was tomorrow", and about a dozen other kids just weren't there yet. But we always said in theatre that a bad first tech meant a good opening night!
After a little bit, there was a solid run-through...and though there was not angelic attentiveness...I think most of the kids that were there have a pretty good idea of the plan. And Denise never freaked out.
It is a fun pageant - a modern family gets a letter from a relative who can't make it for the holidays and that gets them wondering what it would be like if they could write letters to the people in the Christmas story. And what it would be like if the Bible characters could write back! So we hear letters to Mary, Joseph, the Angel, a Shepherd, the Innkeeper and Baby Jesus...and their responses to the modern-day questions.
There are several songs (it is a musical after all!) being masterfully performed by two of our youth. Brandon and Jennifer, who are brother and sister, have blossomed into talented singers. The congregation at Centenary is treated to duets by them about once a month. It doesn't seem that long ago that Brandon was nervous about singing his first solo. They both sing with the adult Sanctuary Choir...Jennifer sits by me and sings the right notes in my ear. I just have to keep her out of my chair! She wants to be a diva...
It is strange that they are so musically gifted...their Mom claims she doesn't know where they get it from. All three of them are part of the handbell choir - which is the other musical event this weekend. We are playing this Sunday!
I'm not sure what the name of the piece is...but I DO know that for most of it I get to whomp my bells on the table. This is a new technique for me. Marcato. The table is padded so it doesn't hurt the bells. The challenge for me is that I'm whomping with the bell in one hand and ringing with the bell in the other hand. Kind of like patting your head and rubbing your tummy.
So...in addition to my usual look of terror, counting to myself, and asking the person next to me what measure we are on...now I will also be trying to remember which hand is whomping and which hand is ringing. Because they switch part of the way through! Our patient director swears that she put me in that part because she knows I can handle it. Hmmm....
She may be right.
Come on over to Centenary this weekend and enjoy! Pageant at 4pm on Saturday (followed by Birthday cake for Jesus!) and Worship at 11am on Sunday. Guests get a free coffee mug!