'Living Bible' Tradition to Return

Article excerpt

Byline: Mick Zawislak mzawislak@dailyherald.com By Mick Zawislak mzawislak@dailyherald.com

In its time, the "The Living Bible" presentation drew visitors by the busload to the grounds of the First Presbyterian Church of Libertyville just south of downtown.

From about 1985 to 2000, church volunteers assembled the sets and donned the costumes to portray more than two dozen dramatic biblical moments.

Volunteer fatigue, changes in church staff and other factors ended the run, and the costumes and props were put in storage. Now, more than a decade later, parishioners are reviving the tradition.

The event this year is scheduled from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28, and Saturday, Sept. 29, at the church, 219 W. Maple Ave. The village board last week approved the closure of portions of Maple, Douglas and Jackson avenues during those times.

"They (church members) took the initiative," Pastor Brian Paulson said. "I think it's intended to be a gift to the community." It also may spark a "spiritual adventure" for Christians, he added.

Longtime church members fondly remember the original production.

"I think it was fair to say it ran its course, but a lot of people loved it and remembered it," said Gary Holland, a 32-year church member and co-chair of the volunteer effort to reassemble the pieces for a new show. "Once we didn't do it one year, it became pretty easy not to do it again."

A revival effort was mounted about five years ago, and a little money was raised. But it didn't have staff support and petered out, said Holland, a former elder and deacon of the 1,300-member church. …