Local churches bring Last Supper to life

By: 
Jamie Hult, Staff writer
Brandon Lutheran Church presents the Living Last Supper last Easter. Submitted photos

Kaleb Baker, Nik Aamlid, Kevin Lawrence and Aaron Blank reenact the Last Supper at Brandon Valley Assembly of God last spring. 

The stories are the same, but the perspectives are all their own in two upcoming church productions of the Living Last Supper.
Brandon Lutheran’s pageant is set for 7 p.m. Friday, April 12. 
Technically, the production is a combination of dramatic readings staged à la Da Vinci’s The Last Supper and a series of musical numbers by the choir and musicians. 
“The actors and musicians do a wonderful job. It’s musically and visually enjoyable for the sake of good, local art production,” said Dan Nelson, associate pastor at Brandon Lutheran Church.
Last year’s crowd numbered more than 600, including many who weren’t even part of the congregation. 
“It’s for all Christians in the community to gather and hear the story in a different way. To contemplate it, too,” Nelson said. “It’s not like reading Bible passages or hearing them read. You get to sit back and watch it all unfold.”
The following week, Brandon Valley Assembly of God will present The Living Last Supper at 7 p.m. Maundy Thursday (April 18), and again on the eve of Good Friday (April 19).
 “It’s just a fantastic way to let everyone experience the Easter story,” said Kirk Strand, senior pastor with Brandon Valley Assembly of God.
BVAG held its first Living Last Supper in the 1990s, and over the years the cast has evolved, and even the approach has changed; for a few years, BVAG did a modern-day take on the Biblical tale. Last year, the sanctuary was standing room only, Strand said.
But the story remains the same, no matter how it’s told – and that story never fails to captivate even the youngest audience member, he said.
“They’re not just apostles; they’re real people,” he said. “They’re just guys who had the opportunity to get caught up in the three-hour journey with Christ. They saw miracles, the dead raised, walking on water – all of that.”
BVAG’s production has a digital backdrop and sparse props, placing more emphasis on the actors and dialogue. 
“The unique blend of people and technology, the sites and sounds, make it an amazing experience,” Strand said. “And it’s for us today. What do we need to learn from the story that happened 2,000 years ago? The truth is as fresh today.”
Brandon Lutheran Church is located at 600 E. Holly Blvd., and Brandon Valley Assembly of God is at 201 S. Sioux Blvd. 
Both productions are free and open to the public. 
 
Celebration United Methodist – The Passion
“The Passion” will be presented by the congregation’s youth – eighth through 12th grade students – who will deliver the message in the form of a drama set to music depicting the life and death of Jesus.
Good Friday worship services begin at 6:30 p.m. April 19. The public is welcome to attend.
The story continues Easter Sunday morning, April 28, when Jesus’ resurrection will be celebrated at 8:45 a.m. and 10:45 a.m.
 
BV Baptist – Voices of Zambia
Join the congregation at Brandon Valley Baptist Church Easter morning (April 21) for an African worship experience from 9-10:30 a.m. 
BV Baptist also offers a sunrise service at 7:30 a.m., followed by breakfast and worship at 9 a.m., which features a 30-minute concert by the Voices of Zambia.

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