By Darrell Todd Maurina
On most Sundays, Judy Tedrow’s role at Central Christian Church is to serve as youth director.
This Sunday — Mothers’ Day — will be different.
Judy Tedrow will lead the Sunday service in place of her husband, Pastor Larry Tedrow, and conduct a drama presentation of the role of the Virgin Mary describing her experiences as the mother of Jesus Christ.
Tedrow’s presentation will be during the 10:30 a.m. Sunday morning worship service at the church, located at 300 West 14th Street.
“I did this last year around Easter at a couple of places, and we had several requests that we do this for Mothers’ Day,” she said. “This is the life of Jesus through his mother’s eyes.”
Tedrow said she originally got the idea for the presentation from seeing it in another congregation.
“I saw this down in Wichita, Kan., at our daughter’s church and I said, ‘We have to have this done in our church,’” Tedrow said. “I just felt peace so strongly, maybe from being a mother myself, that we needed to do this.”
Tedrow said she performs in a costume designed to look like the clothes Mary would have worn, and makes the costume herself.
“I got a Simplicity pattern for Bible costumes and I found one for Mary and I did it,” Tedrow said.
Tedrow said the program is especially good for children who may not always understand Mothers’ Day.
“This is very appropriate for children,” Tedrow said. “Our children last year just sat there glued in attention; they were very taken with it.”
Church member Jody Skeen, herself a retired elementary teacher, agreed.
“We don’t think of Mary as being as human as the rest of us or something,” Skeen said. “It’s sort of how would we feel if our son had to go through what her son went through. Being a mother, grandmother, and a Christian, Judy understands.”
While Central Christian Church hasn’t made a decision on whether to do the presentation annually, Skeen hopes that happens.
“I think it would be nice for it to become a traditional event,” Skeen said. “I think Mothers’ Day is a fine time and I hope it will be put on annually. The monologue is just so good.”
Tedrow said she has no formal training in acting and was surprised when people observed her performances and said she should have considered a career as an actress. For her, preparing for the performances is difficult but she said it’s worth the hard work.
“You have to memorize the script and really feel the character,” Tedrow said. “I can’t cry on cue but the story is so moving that I’m able to cry.”
“As a mother, we can really identify with Mary when we see our children in difficult situations,” Tedrow said. “At the end of the drama, Mary realizes Jesus is in control and he has power over all things, including this, and that gives us the strength to realize we really need to put our children in his hands.”
Skeen said Tedrow is effective in her role.
“I think why it is so moving emotionally is because she really feels it,” Skeen said. “She does such a fine job and I hope everybody in town comes.”
Mother’s Day service
What: A one-woman play on the Virgin Mary’s feelings as the mother of Jesus
When: 10:30 a.m. Sunday
Where: Central Christian Church, 300 West 14th Street