Posted Online: March 22, 2013, 2:50 am

Passionate voices propel Lenten message

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By Leon Lagerstam, llagerstam@qconline.com

Photo: Submitted
Kevin Mortensen, front left, the Rev. Tim Snart, and in back, Larry Manecke and Zach Blankenship are ready to perform the play "Voices Of Passion" at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, March 24, at First Presbyterian Church, 2431 1st St., Coal Valley. Other cast members not pictured are Michelle Kahley, Scott Moore, Kevin Mortenson, Joey Mock, Ken Snart, Mark Wier, Bib Lambert, Roy Gustafson, Jan Gustafson, Josh Lodico, Eilene Stephens, Corey Lambert, Mindy Carls and Rich Liedtke.
COAL VALLEY -- Thirteen voices filled with "Passion" will take front stage Sunday at First Presbyterian Church.

A play titled "Voices of Passion," written by church pastor the Rev. Tim Snart, will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the church, 2431 1st St.

It's part of an annual series of plays performed by the church every Lent since 2004, he said. Other plays performed on a rotating basis include "The Journey of Passion," also written by Rev. Snart, and "The Last Supper."

"Voices of Passion" was last performed in 2010, he said.

It will feature a 13-member cast of members of the church, Rev. Snart said. "I always admire how willing they are to do this, and how well they do."

Rev. Snart will portray Judas, saying it gives him a "chance to cut loose a little. The place we catch Judas appearing in this play is well after he's betrayed Jesus. He's pretty upset about it, and gets a little wild."

Rev. Snart also will perform the role of the Centurion, "who answers the question all of Jesus' disciples have," he said.

Jesus' followers all want to know "how the master can ever meet with the Father, after all the injustice that had just been done to him," Rev. Snart said. "The Centurion's comment that 'this is truly the son of God' answers that question, and is a meaningful and powerful climax to the story, and brings the whole thing together."

The story's setting is in a room after Jesus was arrested, Rev. Snart said.

"His disciples and the people he's been around with will appear one after another," he said. Biblical characters include Andrew, Thomas, James, Malchus, Philip, Nicodemus, Peter, Pontius Pilate, Claudia, John, Mary Mother of Jesus, Mary Magdalene and Simon of Cyrene.

"People will be glad they came to this play,." Rev. Snart said. "It's an opportunity for people during Lent to hear the story in a unique and different way, and we hope the play gives them a better appreciation for the story.

"It also gives us the opportunity to invite people who may not normally feel comfortable coming to a church," he said. "A play may seem less threatening to them. It just gives people another opportunity to worship God."