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To celebrate the Wi-Ne-Ma Christian Camp, a Newberg troupe is staing a play based on the gospel

Seventy-five years after the founding of Wi-Ne-Ma Christian Camp, the son of two founders will stage a performance of the Gospel of John.

The performance is set for Saturday at the Friends Center, 200 S. College St. in Newberg.

The camp was founded in 1924 by the First Christian Church in Newberg, which disbanded in 1983.

The Wi-Ne-Ma Christian Camp, founded in 1944 and located in Cloverdale, offers a variety of camps and family experiences for those of the Christian faith. According to a history provided by church member and production director Ron Parrish, the camp was started by seven couples when a Newberg florist and pastor at Amity Christian Church took a youth group to the coast for Labor Day. They spotted an army camp and were allowed to use the beach campsite in secret. The pastor, William Morse, then sought to purchase the camp, which he eventually did with the help of Newberg and surrounding communities.

Parrish said his parents were some of the founders of the camp and he wanted to stage this production to commemorate it.

The play, titled "And I, If I Be Lifted Up," is the fifth celebration of the camp, although Parrish said not all were in order. The previous celebrations occurred in 1961, 1969, 1981 and 1989.

Parrish added that everyone is welcome to witness the performance and donations will be accepted.

The Newberg troupe includes Elizabeth Medley Randolph as the music coordinator; stenographer Michael Quinn Allen; house manager Jane Burda; videographer Steven McKennon and several cast members.

The presentation will honor three former troupe members who passed away within the past few years: Ralph Beebe, Gary Porter and the Rev. Dwight Lee Woodruff.

The event will begin with a presentation by Paul Anderson, a professor of biblical and Quaker studies at George Fox University. According to Parrish, Anderson's presentation will be about 15 minutes on "the uniqueness of the Gospel of John to the general public."

According to the script the play will be performed in three acts and will cover the story known as "The Passion of Christ" from the Gospel of John, a telling of the final period in the life of Jesus.

The troupe began rehearsals Aug. 11 and will continue them right up until the day of the performance.


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