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Grandview church sets the stage for Christmas wonderment

GRANDVIEW - When Christian music artist Sonny Salsbury of Yakima asked if there were any churches in the area that would be interested in staging his newest musical production, the group at Grandview's Bethany Presbyterian Church knew it was an opportunity they couldn't let pass them by.

"We jumped at the chance," said the church's choir director, David Skinner.

This Sunday, Dec. 19, at 10:45 a.m. the Bethany Presbyterian Church will host "Looking for Christmas." Salsbury will be on hand to lend his voice to the production.

Skinner said this is the first year the church has put together a Christmas play, noting that traditionally the church choir sings a Christmas cantata instead.

"This is a stretch for us," Skinner said.

The cast of about 24 adults and an equal number of children will transform the sanctuary of the local church into a bustling downtown scene with busy shoppers finishing up their last minute holiday errands. Among the shoppers is a family, which is being played by Richard, Pauline and Leah Shenyer, as well as Jacob Ziegler.

In the play, the family stops and peers into the window of a colorful storefront and begins looking at Christmas cards. The colorful scenes on the greeting cards end up inspiring a different song about the true meaning of Christmas.

Skinner said the production will include performances by the adult and children's choirs, as well as various trios and solos.

The cast and choirs, which consist of people from the Bethany Presbyterian Church and the Grandview United Methodist Church, as well as children from Yakima, have been practicing for Sunday morning's performance for about two and half months.

Skinner said a lot of people have come out of the woodwork to help put the play together. He noted that there are people who have put in quite a bit of work behind the scenes, working on the set and getting all of the technical aspects ready.

"People have really come together to work on this," Skinner said.

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