A Church of the Brethren Christmas Eve service is scheduled to air again nationally on the Hallmark Channel, at 7 a.m. (eastern and pacific time) on Sunday, Dec. 24, 2006. “Enter the Light of Life” originally aired on CBS on Dec. 24, 2004.
The service was filmed at Nicarry Chapel at Bethany Theological Seminary featuring preacher Christopher Bowman, pastor of Oakton Church of the Brethren in Vienna, Va. Music was coordinated by Shawn Kirchner, minister of music at La Verne (Calif.) Church of the Brethren, with soloists Kim Simmons and Ryan Harrison, the Juniata College Concert Choir from Huntingdon, Pa., a children’s ensemble from Church of the Brethren congregations in Indiana, and instrumentalists and readers from across the denomination.
“Enter the Light of Life” focuses on the Luke 2 account of the birth of Jesus, and includes scripture, hymns, a sermon, and a variety of classic Christmas music and contemporary pieces. The music includes traditional instruments, but also banjo, saxophone, and steel drum. Woven into the service are themes of peace, justice, simplicity, and welcome.
The broadcast is presented on the Hallmark Channel by Faith and Values Media, a membership association of faith communicators including the Church of the Brethren.
Contact Brethren Press at 800-441-3712 to order a DVD/video of the service or a music CD. The video includes a “behind-the-scenes” documentary by Brethren videographer David Sollenberger and may be ordered for $14.95 (DVD) or $19.95 (VHS) plus shipping and handling, in English or dubbed in Spanish. The music CD may be ordered for $14.95 plus shipping and handling, and includes 11 tracks such as “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” with a handbells solo; Kirchner’s arrangements of “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming” and “Away in a Manger”; “Santo” from “St. Francis in the Americas: A Caribbean Mass,” sung by the Juniata choir with composer Glenn McClure on the steel drums.
For more about the Christmas Eve service, go to www.brethren.org/genbd/Christmas.