New Sweden Mission Church's Christmas Program this year was short, simple, and very beautiful as it powerfully presented the Christmas story in Word, tableau and song. Each segment of the story was introduced by the reading of the Scriptural account with the characters moving into position to pose the scene while the Christmas carol telling that part of the story was sung. The costumes and staging were very well done, the familiar scriptures so appropriate, the songs the traditional classic carols which tell the story through some of the most beautiful music ever written. The program was little more than a half hour long, leaving plenty of time to enjoy the delicious Christmas baking while visiting with friends and neighbours.
New Sweden is one of the rural congregations which is the centre of a strong rural community. It has a balanced range of ages, with 32 children listed in its Sunday School classes from age two through Grade Six. At the other end of the scale, the Sunday School Superintendent from my childhood, Ralph Swanson, was also present with his wife, June. They are in their nineties now. Those I grew up with are the grandparents of many of the current children. New families have moved into the area and been welcomed into the church. The original church building, now a heritage building well over a hundred years old, is still in use for Sunday School classrooms etc. while the recent addition is about three times its size and paid for.