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Original Christmas program at Victory

When hunting for a Christmas program for Sunday school students at Victory Lutheran Brethren Church, Suzanne Bowman found herself with a problem straight out of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.”

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While scripts for small groups and very large groups were available, Victory had a medium-sized group — so Bowman started writing scripts herself, for groups sized “just right.”

This year, the program will have a nursery rhyme theme, and for the first time, she’s even written the theme song herself.

“That’s how the whole thing started, and then, year by year, different ideas have come to me and I thought ‘that would be fun to try,’ or ‘that would be a good idea,’” said Bowman, who co-directs the Christmas program along with Liz Hunt.

Bowman minored in music for her undergraduate degree. She started writing the Christmas programs about five years ago.

She works with the Christmas program in hopes of helping young people to grow up learning to be part of the church service, able to be comfortable with a contributing role in the church.

Part of the challenge lies in incorporating everyone into the program, from tiny preschool-aged children to kids in high school, and still keep the program manageable to produce, Bowman said.

In the past, she’s usually used contemporary or pop songs to open the show, but this time, she couldn’t find anything that fit, until the idea and tune for the theme song, “Starry Night,” literally came to her in the shower.

Many of the other songs for the production are riffs on nursery rhymes — “Three Blind Mice” will be turned into “Three Wise Men,” for example. And though “Mary Had a Little Lamb” will still be “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” “B-I-N-G-O” has been turned into “A-N-G-E-L.”

“I’ve been changing the lyrics on these songs as well, but we’re just using those songs that everybody recognizes,” Bowman said. “And I think it’ll be kind of fun throughout the program to hear these songs that you know.”

The show also has a strong focus on why Jesus came, she added.

This year, Bowman’s group includes about 60 kids, and about 20 to 25 have individual parts of some kind, she said. They’ve been practicing for about six weeks during their Sunday school time.

“I think there’s going to be a lot of really cute elements in this program,” Bowman said. “I’m looking forward to it.”

The Christmas program is open to the public, though the event is packed with people, she added.

The show starts at 1 p.m. Dec. 8 at Victory, which is located at 510 9th Ave. SW in Jamestown.

For more information about the church, visit

Sun reporter Kari Lucin can be reached at 701-952-8453 or by email at