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UMTV: Easter Church Drama



What if you had a chance to go back in time and be at the Last Supper? One church offers the faithful a taste of that important night and other ways to make the Easter story come alive. Lilla Marigza reports.

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(Locator: Frisco, Texas)

An ancient painting has lessons for modern living.

Bill Roberts, Grace Avenue United Methodist Church: "It's a question we all ask ourselves: 'How strong is our faith?'"

Bill Roberts directs the play "Master, is it I?" based on da Vinci's iconic image of the Last Supper.

(Actor) "To us, He said, 'Let not your hearts be troubled.'"

Members of Grace Avenue United Methodist Church near Dallas portray Jesus and his disciples, at their final meal together.

The Rev. Billy Echols-Richter, Grace Avenue United Methodist Church: "This is not just a story from the past but instead has a message that is relevant for people's needs today&ellipsis; where they live and what they're about, what their fears are, what their hopes are."

Pastor Billy Echols-Richter says when audiences see their neighbors playing the parts, it brings the message close to home.

The Rev. Billy Echols-Richter: "It touches them maybe in a place they haven't before."

Sheb Farris is Thaddeus in the production.

Sheb Farris, Grace Avenue United Methodist Church: "It's always much more powerful to see actual people moving, playing the parts, as opposed to just reading the words."

Camille Farris, Avenue United Methodist Church: "It really just absolutely brings it to life for you."

Amy Springs: "And it also made me think about my own life."

And the action speaks to all ages.

Merrick Farris, 9-year-old: "What I liked the most was the part where he slammed the silver on the table and he said, 'Take back the silver.'"

Kids outside: "Butterflies."

The tense times melt away on Easter morning when children at the church release butterflies... another living lesson.

The Rev. Billy Echols-Richter: "The thing about the butterflies is that whole notion of freedom. We don't have to live in fear of death and we don't have to live in fear of all those things that overwhelm us."

Rachel Willis, 8-year-old: "It's fun. It's part of nature."

Tonia Willis: "&ellipsis;beginning of spring and new life."

And as the butterflies take flight, kids consider more about the mystery of creation.

Asher Kniering, 9-year-old: "They can just roam free. Now I wonder where they went. Don't you?"


2009 was the year the Easter drama made its debut. For more information, contact Grace Avenue United Methodist Church at 972-335-2882.

The Last Supper play "Master , is it I?" is available to view in five parts on YouTube.

Also, see: Butterflies, Seder meal enrich Holy Week

Posted: April 7, 2010

Media contact is Fran Walsh, at 615-742-5458.