Lutheran church plans Christmas celebration with international flavor
Patti Sells | News-Telegram Feature Editor

Pastor Mac Bearss (far left) sets out door prizes while Our Savior Lutheran Church members (left to right) Jennifer Bearss, Carol Gunderson, Sietske DeGroot and Gordon Lee fill pinatas with candy, fruit and other goodies for the Posada which will be held at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 17, at the church located at 1000 Texas Street. 
Staff Photo By Angela Pitts

Dec. 15, 2005 - Christmas is a holiday rich with traditions that range from adorning homes with lights and decorations, to preparing favorite family dishes, exchanging gifts and visiting live Nativity scenes.

But one ritual many American's won't recognize is the Posada, one of Mexico's most celebrated holiday customs that takes place from Dec. 16, through Dec. 24, commemorating Mary and Joseph's journey to Bethlehem seeking refuge for the night.

Members of Our Savior Lutheran Church, located at 1000 Texas St., will present a similar version of the Posada on Saturday, Dec. 17, beginning at 6 p.m. with a candlelight procession around the church and into the sanctuary for singing carols, fellowship, prayer and a drama of Jesus' birth, followed by a huge Mexican fiesta.

"This is becoming very popular in the U.S. among the Hispanic and Latino communities," said Our Savior Lutheran Church Pastor Mac Bearss. "We haven't seen anyone else doing this, and with the Christmas season upon us, we saw it as a way to reach out to our Hispanic neighbors."

In Spanish, Posada means shelter or lodging, and according to Bearss, people in Mexico gather every night during the week leading up to Christmas. They parade from house to house with candles, singing songs and asking residents if they have a place for them to stay, upon which the occupant replies, "Sorry, we have no room here. There is no room at the inn." Finally, they arrive at a predetermined house where they are permitted to enter and take refuge.

"After that, everyone goes in to celebrate by eating tamales, arroz, and frijoles," said Bearss. "We'll have a huge Mexican banquet that promises to be a really good time."

According to Bearss, after the feast, children gather to break piñata's loaded with candy and fruit.

"A great, fun time was had by all until the wee hours of the morning, at which time they celebrate the birth of the Savior, Jesus Christ," explained Bearss. "Everyone's invited, especially the Hispanic folks of our community."

The Rev. Hiram Orea, the church's missionary at large from the Dallas area, will be the special guest and present the evening service. For more information call 903-885-5787 or 903-335-0174.

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