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Advent Mission

Let There Be Light! Please join us for three nights of drama, humor, and faith with Frank Runyeon sponsored by OLA and OLV!

December 11-13, 7PM
Our Lady of Victory Parish Center

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Evening 1: Signs: The Gospel of John
Evening 2: The Letter of James
Evening 3: The 3 1/2 Stories of Christmas
More information on each play


7PM Monday, December 11: Signs:  The Gospel of John
What is SIGNS? SIGNS is Evangelism! SIGNS is a one-man play, staged with dramatic lighting and entertaining audience interaction. Its text is the first eleven chapters of the Gospel of John, translated into contemporary American speech. As characters and settings and lights constantly shift, the Gospel engages the audience's imaginations, surprises them with flashes of humor, and drives relentlessly forward with all the dramatic suspense you would expect from great theater.

7PM Tuesday, December 12: The Letter of James
They had been promised “joy!”  They had been promised “a new life!”  But they had problems, not unlike our own. Finally Jesus’ relative, James, came to speak to them. And the drama began…

Runyeon sets the famous letter within the context of the early church…  It was only 12 years after Jesus, a time when almost all Christians were also Jewish… But there was growing tension in Jerusalem, between Jewish “Christ-ians,” who thought Jesus was the Messiah, and their friends who didn’t… Finally, a Jewish Christian leader named Stephen was called before the High Court, accused of blasphemy, and stoned to death. The news spread like wildfire. Many Jewish Christians scattered to towns outside Jerusalem, to avoid persecution. But they found new problems there. They couldn’t find jobs. Their children were sick. And their leaders were fighting. They began to doubt that God was with them after all. They didn’t know what to do. Then: Jesus’ relative James arrived. He had been their teacher. He knew them. And he spoke words they would never forget.

Runyeon portrays James as a man of deep emotion and wit, who speaks with wisdom to the troubled members of the church: the scandalized elders…the workaholic trader… the know-it-all teacher… the pampered aristocrat…the humble poor…the incurable gossips…the angry activist…the worried parents…and, of course: we ourselves. —Or have we forgotten we have our own parts to play in this story?

7PM Wednesday, December 13: The 3 ½ Stories of Christmas
The sound of celestial choirs… the shadow of wings… a flash of white light… and riding on the clouds of heaven—— POOF! ——He appears! —And he’s not quite what you expected.
Children and adults will be delighted as all the parts of the Christmas story are tied together for the first time: from the light of Creation … to the manger in Bethlehem …from the story of Saint Nicholas… to the secret of the Christmas Angel himself!

Runyeon’s comically imperfect angel-in-training arrives with a crash—from Brooklyn. He is the Angel of Advent, sent to prepare the way for the coming of the Christmas Angel.
And he is not the only one who is “in training.” The audience, he says, must also be trained—so they can play their part in the Christmas story. They need eyes that can see the glory…and ears that can hear the music… and hearts that can trust, if they are ever to know the secret of Christmas…. So he retells the entire story of the Bible from the angels’ point of view, recapping the Old Testament as only an angel can—in 10 minutes. He says it is the story of light coming into the world:  The story begins with light being created in the beginning… Then, when humanity falls into darkness, the story continues with a new kind of light given to Grandpa Abraham, King David, and his descendants: “Not light out there… but a new kind of light… in here… by trusting when you hear His Voice…”

And the story climaxes when the Angel Gabriel comes to Mary…As the story unfolds, all the kids and quite a few adults from the audience suddenly discover themselves center stage, helping to bring the story of Christmas alive in ways they never thought possible. And the final half story? Oh, it starts with St. Nicholas, and it ends with… but that’s a secret.
Emmy nominated Frank Runyeon has won national acclaim for his work as a translator and performer of Biblical texts. For more than 25 years, Frank has performed the gospel for hundreds of thousands of people in almost every state in America, earning rave reviews from critics, scholars, and church leaders of every denomination. He is regularly reviewed as “the best speaker we have ever heard” by students and faculty at private and public schools across the nation.

He is perhaps still best known, however, for his many roles on television.
He starred for seven years as Steve Andropoulos on As the World Turns opposite Meg Ryan, a storyline that garnered the second highest ratings in the history of daytime television. He next appeared for four years as Father Michael Donnelly on the Emmy award-winning Santa Barbara, and as tycoon Simon Romero on General Hospital, opposite Emma Samms. Frank has also guest-starred in recurring roles on Falcon Crest as chess genius Jovan Dmytryk, on Melrose Place as Father Tom, on All My Children as Forrest Williams, and on L.A. LAW as talk-show host Brooks Tapman.

Frank was nominated for a Daytime Emmy in 2016 for his guest-starring role as Angel on The Young & the Restless. Frank starred as Detective Marty Lowery in the feature film Sudden Death and as Pierre Lyon in Bolero. He appeared to rave reviews on the New York stage as Hercules in Aristophanes’ The Birds, and in regional theater as Clifford in Deathtrap and Oliver Costello in The Spider’s Web. On the radio, he has hosted his own comedy talk show on the top-rated L.A. station, KFI, and on WCNN in Atlanta. He also co-hosted Charles McPhee’s nationally syndicated radio show, The Dream Doctor.

Frank is a graduate of Princeton University with a degree in Religion. After studying acting in New York and Los Angeles for 15 years, he attended Fuller Seminary in preparation for the writing and performance of his first one-man play, AFRAID!: The Gospel of Mark. He continued his studies at Yale Divinity School and General Theological Seminary, from which he received his Masters, with honors, in l994. He workshopped his first productions in cooperation with the faculty of Holy Cross College in Worcester, MA, and the University of Dayton (Catholic).

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