Stonybrook United Methodist Church is offering the gift of music to the community this weekend at Gahanna Lincoln High School, 140 S. Hamilton Road.
The Rev. Dr. Mike Bowie said the community is invited to experience the true meaning of the holiday season through Come Messiah King, a musical journey through the Christmas story.
The free performances will be held at 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 21, and 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 22, at the high school.
"In thinking about ways to give back to the Gahanna community, we realized we are blessed with an abundance of musical talent at Stonybrook," Bowie said. "We thought giving families an opportunity to experience the Christmas season through music would be an amazing gift to offer."
More than 130 singers, instrumentalists, bell ringers and narrators are involved in the production. It is a multigenerational production, with ages of the performers ranging from 9 to 80.
"This is the third year our church has done a Christmas production like this, but what is exciting this year is the opportunity to share our musical gift with the community," said Jeff Shellhammer, Stonybrook music director and retired Gahanna Lincoln band director. "The Come Messiah King program offers a mix of traditional and contemporary music styles, along with narration and visuals. Our hope is that those who attend can find a break from the hustle and bustle of the season and rekindle with a message of love, joy and the true meaning of Christmas." Rehearsals for Come Messiah King, which was published by Praise Gathering Publications, began in late September.
Performances will last one hour, and child care will be offered for children ages infant through fourth grade.
Attendees will have an opportunity to make a free-will donation to Imagine No Malaria, an initiative in the United Methodist Church to eradicate malaria in Africa through distributing mosquito nets, education, communications and improved treatment.