Sunday: 03:00 PM - 08:00 PM
Wednesday: 06:00 PM - 08:00 PM
Friday: 06:00 PM - 08:00 PM
Saturday: 03:00 PM - 08:00 PM
Every 4 weeks through Dec 22, 2021.
Church Offers 40th Annual Moravian Christmas Putz and Christmas displays
The East Hills Moravian Church opens its 40th annual Christmas putz and displays for the public to view November 28 to December 22, 2021, in the church’s Fellowship Hall. Putz showings are Wednesdays and Fridays 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm and Saturdays and Sundays 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Walk-ins to view the putz are welcome and appreciated. Group showings are available for reservation by contacting Nancy Costa at 610-442-6056 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The putz, church, and parking lot are ADA accessible. Face masks must be worn inside the church building due to current covid-19 policies of the congregation and of the Moravian Church.
An annual tradition that began at East Hills in 1981, the putz tells the story of the birth of Jesus Christ with various Nativity figures and buildings for each scene in the story, complete with lighted scenes, a description of events in the birth and life of Jesus from each of the gospel accounts, music, moss, and running water. The putz also features an account of the founding of Bethlehem, PA, and the tradition of building the putz in Moravian churches and homes. The East Hills putz has been a church-wide outreach to the community because of Rev. Carol Dague, a retired Moravian pastor who had organized the project as a project for her classes while attending seminary. Rev. Dague wrote and recorded the original scripts and chose the appropriate background music for each scene of the putz, and her original recordings of the scripts are still in use today.
The word putz comes from the German word putzen, meaning to decorate. While several other Moravian churches in the Lehigh Valley also build a putz, what makes East Hills’ putz special is that it has been the first one in the area to use background music to accompany the narrative explaining each scene. It also is the second church putz in the area to use a completely automated system to control and coordinate the lighting, dialog, and music used to explain each scene in the putz. There are English and Spanish language narrations available for those who may need it. A children’s version of the putz narration is available for preschool and elementary school children who may appreciate hearing shortened explanations of each scene. An adult narration of the putz is available for viewers who may want to hear the longer, more detailed explanation of the scenes.
One unique feature of the putz at East Hills is that viewers can take a closer look at the putz when the presentation is over to see if they can find some unusual items hidden in the putz which wouldn’t traditionally be in a Nativity display. The Starship Enterprise from Star Trek is always hidden in the putz to honor long time East Hills members who are Star Trek fans. Also, look for cartoon characters or other unusual items such as cars or animals not often associated with the Nativity story that may be hidden in the putz each year. This is an especially fun thing for school groups to do or for parents and trusted guardians bringing their children each year.
In addition, explanations of the Moravian Church’s customs at Christmas, such as lovefeasts; beeswax candles; and early Moravian clothing worn when Bethlehem, PA was founded in 1741, are on display.
For more information about the putz or the church, please call Nancy Costa or the church office at the numbers listed in the press release. We look forward to seeing you!