Hoping to build off of the success of previous cantata performances in which Oxford Church of the Nazarene was packed to provide standing room only, this weekend the church is set to present "Thank You For The Cross," a 2006 Easter cantata.

To date, three performances are scheduled to take place at the church, April 9, 14 and 15, and all are scheduled to take place at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

During the church's Christmas cantata the church was packed with members of the public and those from the congregation for what was the lone production of the festive holiday musical composition. As a result of the popularity of the Christmas show, the church has decided to have three separate performances to more comfortably accommodate members of the audience.

"We are hoping that not only will we have plenty of seating room as to not deter people from hearing the gospel, but that those who attend one of the earlier performances will want to come back with a friend to share the message," said Joanie Barry, church worship director and the director of the Easter cantata.

"Thank You For The Cross," was written by Marty Parks and aims to share the message of the "ultimate sacrifice" in song, according to a release by the church. Those performing the cantata look to provide dramatic effect with candid imagery.

Helping provide the dramatic effect and imagery, the church will put to use the facilities of its newly renovated sanctuary. With the new setting, lighting, and warm ambiance, church members are hopeful that this year's performances will be even more moving than last.

"We are also very excited about our newly renovated sanctuary," said Barry. "Now guests may enter through the main entrance off the parking lot and enter the rear of the sanctuary. Prior to the renovation guests were entering from the front of the sanctuary and there was definitely a sense of uneasiness when walking in and everyone was looking at you."

Church members performing in the play include Barb Berkowich, Sabrina Brantner, Nadine Cordivano, Sara Cordivano, Susan Doherty, Ellen Fields, Paul Galdes, Nicole Gray, Dennis McCartney, Bernice Norris, Bob Norris, Sandy Pierce, Audrey Pinkerton, Gale Ritchie, Mim Schmidt, Sarah Smith, Angie Vanderhoef, Cheryl Williams, Warren Williams, Doris Wilson and Ken Wilson.

"At Oxford Church of the Nazarene we believe that every life counts, and we pray that when you leave one of the performances, 'then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free,'" said Barry quoting the Bible (John 8:32).

Oxford Church of the Nazarene is located in Oxford at the corner of Penn Avenue and Locust Street, one block from the Oxford Post Office. The doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and nursery services will be provided for infants and toddlers ages 2 and under. For more information or directions, call the church office at 610-932-2584 or visit the church's Web site at www.OxfordNazareneChurch.org.

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