St. John’s Evangelical Protestant Church’s “Portraits in White” Christmas presentation features a few changes this year.

The event will be held in the church’s sanctuary with performances today, Saturday and Sunday at 7 p.m. with a 4:30 p.m. show on Sunday.

“The opening begins with some exciting Christmas music,” said the Rev. Jim Walker.

Music includes the classical “Glorias of Christmas,” a Christmas spiritual, “That Little Baby;” a medley of carols, “Winter Wonderland” and “Sleigh Bells;” and a calypso number “Peace on Earth.”

The program was originally called “Gloria—Portraits in White” and was performed by church members for seven consecutive years.

Last year the music ministry, choir and actors took a break and presented Handel’s “Messiah” with the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, according to Pastor Bob Kurtz.

Following the musical introduction, Portraits in White begins.

“It’s a new program and new music,” Walker said.

All of the Christmas scenes are in white representing purity.

“That was the tradition. The main driving force behind ‘Gloria’ that all of the costumes are in white even down to the straw in the manger, so we are continuing that part of the tradition,” said Walker.

The scenes are set to music that tells the story while performers act.

Scenes include the angel appearing to Mary telling her she is to conceive the savior, Mary and Joseph with the Christ child, the three kings and the shepherd scene.

Special lighting effects will be a major part of the program this year, said Walker.

The last three productions were held at the Civic Center with several thousand in attendance for the four or five productions each year.

Kurtz said Pastor Walker was the driving force behind the production and is looking forward to hosting the production in the church’s sanctuary this year.

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