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A Cornfield Christmas presented at First Lutheran

By: Norma Dittman, staff writer

December 25, 2012

Grandpa (Dr. Mark Yackel-Juleen) and Caitlin (Caitlin Leopold) discuss why grandpa cleans his tractor every year and prepares for the return of the Lord. 
 Fulda Free Press Norma Dittman
Fulda Free Press Norma Dittman
Grandpa (Dr. Mark Yackel-Juleen) and Caitlin (Caitlin Leopold) discuss why grandpa cleans his tractor every year and prepares for the return of the Lord.
Members of Prairie Star Ministries gathered together on Wednesday evening at First Lutheran Church, Dundee, to present the musical A Cornfield Christmas. Written by Dr. Mark Yackel-Juleen, A Cornfield Christmas began with teenage sister and brother, Caitlin (played by Caitlin Leopold) and Nate (Eli Yackel-Juleen), talking about how excited they were to be going to their grandpa (Dr. Mark Yackel-Juleen) and grandma’s (Intern Pastor Amy Swenson) house for Christmas.

During their conversation, Caitlin and Nate discover that they would like to swap places this year. Caitlin wants to learn how to fix a tractor and Nate wants to learn how to bake cookies.

Upon arriving at their grandpa and grandma’s, their mother (Pastor Rachel Wrenn) sends them to “help” their grandparents with their various chores.

Caitlin visits with grandpa and learns that he is not fixing his big red tractor, but is cleaning it up, preparing it for spring and keeping everything neat and ready in case Jesus comes again.

Nate, helping grandma in the kitchen, learns that all the cleaning, cooking and baking that she does is to prepare for the celebration of Christ’s birth, and His eventual return to earth to gather his children home.

Wanting to know more about the Christmas story, Caitlin and Nate ask to hear their grandpa and grandma’s version of the birth of Christ.

Grandpa and grandma agree to the telling, but let Caitlin and Nate know that they are going to tell it with a Minnesota flavor - just like they were told years before by their grandparents.

A Cornfield Christmas was written as a retelling of the Biblical story in the style of Clarence Jordan’s Cotton Patch Gospel, which means that it is a translation that is not based on a direct translation of the Bible. In Jordan’s writings, he uses familiar names such as Washington D.C. in place of Rome. Minnesota cities were used in place of Nazareth and Bethlehem.

In A Cornfield Christmas, pastor Zachariah (John Post) is told by an angel that his aged wife, Elizabeth, (Norma Dittman) will become pregnant. Because of Zach’s disbelief, God closes his mouth so that he does not speak again until his son John is born. Mary (Pastor Rachel Wrenn) travels to visit her cousin Elizabeth and learns that she is expecting a baby.

Joseph and Mary then travel to the town of Clontarf, MN, near Artichoke, MN, to be part of the required census. Before, during and after their travels they are directed by the angel Gabriel (Tony Stoeker).

Musical selections were sung by the Prairie Star Choir throughout A Cornfield Christmas. They included Christmas Is Coming with words and music by Joel Raney, Angels Are Making Their Rounds by Pepper Choplin, On A Night of Wonder by Jay Althouse and Run to Bethlehem, with words by Pamela Martin and arranged by Mary McDonald.

The solo Breath of Heaven (words and music by Chris Eaton and Amy Grant) was sung by Pastor Rachel Wrenn.

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