Every church has a method of portraying the Christmas story on the stage of their sanctuary. Be this stage big or small, congregations use the holiday to bring it to life with the story and celebration of Jesus’ birth, often in unique ways. A Christmas flight, a holiday in a Bethlehem inn, and a conversation with the angel Gabriel and his eager partner, Harold… all stories told with fresh perspective and new angles into God’s messages to man.
At Grace Fellowship, a Grace Brethren church in Kent, Wash. (David Marksbury, pastor), members go all out to bring Christmas cheer to their community, with help from a troupe of professional actors from Taproot Theatre. Taproot, a forty-year tradition in the Seattle area, does a traveling show and has been a seasonal blessing to the congregation for the last five years. The company brings the actors, props, and costumes to the church for a Christmas play. The church provides the stage.
Founded in 1976 with the values of faith, people, and a celebration of theater, the Taproot Theatre Company has become Seattle’s largest mid-size company. They serve Grace Fellowship and many other congregations through their church touring programs as well as other programs for schools and communities.
“They have all been well-performed and fun,” church elder Kristopher Galvin comments on the performances at Grace Fellowship. “Each of these has had a message about God’s love for us and our relationships with other people. We host the play (at no charge) with a dessert social and holiday music for the neighboring community about a week before Christmas. Folks in our church take the opportunity to enjoy the time with friends and their extended families. They are invited to return for our Christmas services.”
Grace Fellowship has been serving the city of Kent for 50 years and connected with Taproot by responding to one of their brochures. Galvin and his family had attended Taproot performances in the past and were excited to share the experience with their church family. He has handled the publicity for the Christmas play and associated activities in those years, with members of the congregation prepping the facility to host the larger-than-typical crowd, along with providing delicious Christmas treats. It’s just another way for Grace Fellowship to act out their message of welcoming all who desire to know and experience God. — by Haley Bradfield
[Connect:] Click here to send a note of encouragement to Galvin and the members of Grace Fellowship.
Feature photo: For the last five years, Grace Fellowship of Kent, Wash., has presented a Christmas play with the help of a troupe of professional actors from Taproot Theatre.
This story first appeared in GraceConnect eNews. To subscribe to the weekly e-newsletter that includes news and information from congregations in the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches, click here.