Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

CNHI/Southeast Iowa

April 8, 2014

Oskaloosa church plans reenactment of Stations of the Cross

OSKALOOSA — Central Reformed Church is reenacting the Stations of the Cross this weekend to give people an understanding of the true meaning of Easter.

Actors from the congregation will portray six stations of the cross and the scenes will be set up in different areas around the church.

“It’s all from the final week of Jesus’ life,” Central Reformed Church Director of Outreach Andy Baker said.

The performances will be Saturday from 6 to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Central Reformed Church is located at 815 Second Ave. E. in Oskaloosa.

This is the second year for the church to stage the production. The congregation has invested much time and talent to the Easter presentation.

There will be about 50 actors and another 50 volunteers to do behind-the-scenes work such as lighting and makeup, Baker said.

“They’ve been building set pieces for months,” Baker said. “Everything is volunteer labor and material. Everybody is coming together.”

The inaugural performance was a spur-of-the-moment thing that the youth leader wanted to do and it drew more than 500 people. This year, with more planning and preparation, organizers hope for a larger audience.

“It was a very powerful thing,” Baker said of this past year’s performance. “It was a big, life-changing thing for people. That’s why we’re going all in this year.”

Baker said the performers are going for the “time machine effect” to give people a powerful experience. To understand what Jesus went through on the cross is “big,” Baker said.

“We really want it to be as accurate as we could be,” he said.

Baker said set designers and builders researched things such as the shape of Roman nails and what scars would look like.

Baker said the performance is open to the general public and there are no reservations and no attendance fee.

Baker said organizers are expecting more people from outside the congregation to attend the performance this year. Church members have been making ads, putting up posters and going on social media to promote the production, he said.

Baker said groups of 20 to 22 people can see the six Stations of the Cross in about 30 to 40 minutes.

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