Annual Christmas pageant at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church answers the question “Where Is This Child?”


Our Savior’s Lutheran Church performs “Where Is This Child?” ... The cast of “Where Is This Child?,” performed at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Lansing, involved 25 children and local youth pictured above. Left to right - Front row: Nayelly Creasman, Zoahii Rosas, Amanda Romie holding Sienna St. Mary, Samara Bell, Samantha Creasman holding Kaysley Creasman, Jess Dahlstrom holding Gwen Dahlstrom, Marcus Bell holding Sebastian Bell; Middle row: Allison Rudolph, Leonna Hammell, Paxton St. Mary, Ashlyn Henkes, Mia Huffey, Katelyn Mitchell; Back row: Owen Henkes, Ethan Schweitzer, Isla Henkes, Hailey Gonzalez, Isabella Hammell holding Natalie Rosas, Austin Weipert holding Greyson Dahlstrom, Tyrone Rosas, Adrian Weipert, Zoey Timmerman, Austin St. Mary, Jack Schweitzer. Submitted photo. More pictures can be found at laughinglutherans.blogspot.com.

Sunday, December 15, the Sunday school and confirmation classes of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Lansing presented their annual Christmas pageant to the congregation in Lansing. An original production written by Pastor Laura Gentry and her nephew, Michael Phelan, “Where Is This Child?” is a singing, dancing twist on the traditional nativity story.

Mary and Joseph and the infant Jesus are in the barn, a set designed and built by Dr. Mike Schweitzer. They are surrounded by farm animals and then joined by shepherds, sheep, angels and magi as the scripture narrative is reenacted. Suddenly, however, a wise woman announces that the baby in the manger is not the Christ child, but instead an adorable imposter.

At this point Guy the Private Eye, played by Owen Henkes, appears and explains that, indeed, someone has taken the baby Jesus and replaced him with a different newborn. He identifies three suspects: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (who has gotten off course on the way to the North Pole), the cow from the nativity scene (who doesn’t like Christmas carols) and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Hallmark Channel (who is tired of showing happy holiday films).

After Guy the Private Eye explains the motives of each character, the members of the congregation in attendance are asked to cast their vote to determine which one of the suspects nabbed the Savior. After the ballots are counted, the winner - which was the Hallmark Channel CEO played by Ethan Schweitzer - delivers a comical monologue to explain why he did it and returns the real baby Jesus. Much rejoicing ensues and the entire cast performs with a show-stopping dance made up of Christmas carols.

“We are so proud of all the kids,” said Pastor Laura Gentry. “The high school students, in particular, took on the challenges of their roles and brought the story to life.” She adds that it was fun to be able to have not just one but two real babies this year.

Our Savior’s Lutheran Church has a tradition of doing original Sunday school Christmas pageants and almost always involves a real baby playing Jesus. Some of the kids who were baby Jesus in the production are now in high school. They take pride in having played the Christ child.

Alyssa Bell of Waukon was part of the pageants for many years and is now the parent of two children in the production. She explained: “The kids did a great job performing on Sunday. Our Savior’s Lutheran Church always has the best Christmas pageants! I remember performing in these when I was a kid.”

It takes a lot of people to pull off such an elaborate production. Our Savior’s has been accumulating costumes for years, many of them sewed by members. This year, Cherrie Ruch of Harpers Ferry joined the team and made some new costumes and did alterations. Drama teacher Susan Cantine-Maxson also helped rehearse the students to be ready for their performance.
 

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