By Charly SHELTON
Christmas is about togetherness, spectacle and – let’s face it – singing. What other holiday has that many songs dedicated to it, and which we listen to once a year? It is in this spirit that three local churches – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints of La Crescenta, Holy Redeemer Catholic Church of Montrose and Lutheran Church in the Foothills of La Cañada – have joined together to bring carols and crèches to the community.
“For a long time I have thought that a community Christmas concert would be a cool thing to do,” said Robin Johnson, music chairman for LDS La Crescenta Stake. “And about a year ago, when I got in this position, and I thought this Christmas let’s pull some churches together and have the community concert. I think it’s a great thing to do.”
On Sunday, Dec. 10, the LDS Church will open its doors to welcome community members along with choirs from the three churches as well as Crescenta Valley High School’s Charismatics a cappella group, a string quartet of members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, organist Andrea Anderson, Christian music singer/songwriter Mark Anzdlon and Broadway singer Mike Thatcher.
“It is so fun to have three different organizations, three different faiths, coming together to celebrate Christmas in the community, and it is exactly what I think the community needs right now,” said Dena Blood, parishioner at LDS La Crescenta Stake. “It’s a scary time with fires and a divisive political climate, [so it’s nice] to just be able to come together and sing, and enjoy the fun event.”
Before the concert, the churches invite attendees to view the crèche display. A crèche, or model nativity scene, is a traditional Christmas decoration for many families and, as part of the event, some unique and beautiful crèches will be displayed.
“People are lending their crèches from around the world [to the display], kind of unique ones. I am going to loan one that has been carved out of a coconut,” Blood said. “It is kind of cool. It’s a coconut and it has a little baby Jesus and Mary and Joseph. [It will be shown alongside] crèches from Mexico and from Norway. There will be a whole crèche display.”
The event is free to attend and will be held at the LDS Church in La Crescenta, behind Ralph’s, at 4550 Raymond Ave. The crèche viewing will begin at 6 p.m. and the concert will begin at 7 p.m. All are welcome to attend, regardless of faith.
“My feeling is that strong churches help create strong communities, strong families and strong individuals. The more strong churches the community has, the better off the entire community is,” Johnson said. “And by coming together, by intermingling, by singing together – especially at Christmas time – that [is how] we strengthen each other.”