Myrtiss Riediger, a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Willmar, Minnesota, has volunteered with their Jesus Cares Ministries’ (JCM) program since it began in September 2006. She especially enjoys sharing the gift of music with others—she leads the music and says, “I am quite enthusiastic, and it is easy for me to get them enthused also.” She loves working with all types of programs, so, it’s a natural fit for her to organize their annual JCM Christmas program.
She has been working and creating Christmas services for her church’s JCM program since 2007. This year, she developed a program called “Jubilee, Psalm 150,” based on Terry Dittmer’s song “Praise the Lord and Join the Celebration” (used with permission). For this service, drums, tambourines, bells and cymbals will be used, with students playing the instruments.
Immanuel Lutheran began a Christmas program after hearing about another JCM church that did so, and Myrtiss enjoys writing programs. Of course, over the years they have learned a few tricks to make it go more smoothly. She shares, “The first year, I gave out parts to a couple of people, but they didn’t come to the program because they did not want to read in front of people, so now I take volunteers.” Since it is difficult for many of their students to stand, they do much of their service seated at the front of the church.
She also finds out what her students like to do. This year, for example, they asked for more speaking parts, and they enjoy having “robes” to look like a choir. Myrtiss uses 36 by 18 feet cloth, makes a slit for the head, and serges the fabric to prevent fraying. There are other unique ways to find involvement. In last year’s service, “Let There Be Light,” each student had a light stick, and during the service, they twirled the lights to the music.
The service is a chance for fellowship and fun, but more importantly, JCM students have the opportunity to proclaim their Savior. Myrtiss shares that, in spite of the time it takes to produce the service, nothing outweighs “knowing that these students know the story of Jesus coming to earth at Christmas, dying and rising again, so they can go to heaven when they die.”
To learn more about Jesus Cares Ministries, contact our National Ministry Offices at 1-888-600-TLHA (8542) or firstname.lastname@example.org or Pastor Dallas Miller, Administrator, at (952) 873-4743 or email@example.com.