By Liudmyla Germanyuk, and Mariam Papashvilit
Photo by Muzhytskyi Mykola
A Light To The Nations, an annual celebration of the story of Jesus’s birth at LCC International University, took place on Dec. 6.
As the final week is approaching, the goal of the event was to bring Christmas spirit into LCC community and inspire students and faculty to finish the semester joyfully.
The format of this year’s event was the festival of lessons and carols. It is a traditional format of Christmas celebration which was put in a contemporary flexible way.
The significance of A Light To the Nations event was in gathering staff, faculty and students from all over the world together to share the joy of Jesus’ light.
Corrie Giffon, the volunteer and one of the organizers of the Christmas event at LCC International University, shared some insights about the celebration.
“We have seven scripture reading, where we read a verse or share a poem, musical performance, drama scene, dance team, solo on guitar, choir anthems and handbell choir”, she said.
Giffon added that the drama group acted out the scene with a team of light whereas the choir gave the opportunity to students and staff to cooperate and perform songs that share the theme of Jesus’ birth.
While Giffon is also a choir director, she added “There are over 30 people in a choir. What I love about choir- it’s something we can’t do ourselves, we come together and use our voices all together”.
Another part of the program is the Christmas fair. The aim of the fair is to invite people from Klaipeda community to join the community of LCC for the celebration of Jesus’ birth.
“Local artisans were selling wooden souvenirs, embroidery, glue goods. We welcomed around 40 sellers ”, said Margarita Sivickaite, the admissions administrator, who was one of the organizers of the fair.
She added that LCC keeps close relationships with local schools. Students from 11th and 12th grade with teachers came to sell the handcrafts.
The money from the fair was transferred for the needs of Klaipeda home shelter.
“Klaipeda municipality informed us that local home shelter is in need. LCC will provide homeless people with food, hygiene products and clothes”, Sivickaite added.
A Light to The Nations tried to engage Klaipeda community by making the brochures in both Lithuanian and English. During the fair, volunteers helped local people to find products or to understand English-speaking sellers.
Because the products in the fair were hand-made, they were unique. People couldn’t buy them in the stores, according to the student Marci Saraci.
“I bought bread to support the children with Down syndrome. It’s amazing that LCC students are involved in such initiative,” said Saraci.
The event was full of performances and shows. One of them was the dance "Christmas angels". LCC student and dancer Alina Olkhovska shared some emotions about the event.
Photo by Muzhytskyi Mykola
“I am incredibly grateful for getting a chance to be a part of “A Light to the Nations” this year. I've experienced a wide spectrum of emotions- from being nervous before I made the first step on the stage to joy, happiness, and a strong rush of power inside of me.
I want to thank each member of my team for dedication, courage, and desire to feel that spectrum of emotions together”, said Alina.
Joel Altena, LCC Chaplain and one of the directors, commented after the event that the biggest challenge was to integrate as many LCC staff, faculty and students as they could.
“More than 80 people participated in the event. It was hard to coordinate all the participants but I’m beyond grateful to everyone who contributed in any way. Two performances that I enjoyed the most were dance and drama scene”, said Joel. “ I know very well that not everyone who came is a Christian but we wanted it to be a space of joy, celebration and welcome to our diverse community”.
Students who were going out from the event shared that it raised Christmas mood and brought festivity in their routine.
“I was touched by the brightness of this event”, said Karolina Rudžionytė, LCC student and scripture reader at the event.
“I honestly hope that this event touched people’s hearts, especially those who are not familiar with Jesus coming as a savior ”, she added.
A Light to The Nations showed the light of Jesus by combining traditional and contemporary performances and uniting the diverse community of LCC International University.