Sunnyside Hosts 33rd Annual Family Christmas Program

February 10, 2015 | Warren Rushold

Sunnyside’s 33rd annual Family Christmas Program was presented to a packed sanctuary on Dec. 19, 2014. Jonathan Russell, Sunnyside Church associate pastor, welcomed the audience and participants, and Scott Lemert, Sunnyside Church pastor, closed with prayer. A wide variety of musicians shared their talents including vocal solos, instrumental solos, vocal groups, a piano/organ duet and more. Instruments represented included tuba, violin, trumpet and soprano sax. The closing number was a rendition of Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus” by audience members accompanied by organ and directed by Karl Helton, Sunnyside Church choir director.

This musical program is produced by Sunnyside Church member Lloyd Wescott, who has done this for 33 consecutive years without a miss. It all started at the former Sunnyside Church just after he and his wife, Lorrie, changed membership from Stone Tower Church. That first year Lloyd Wescott asked the pastor if there was going to be a Christmas program on Christmas Eve, which fell on a Friday evening. The pastor said no, so Wescott replied, "Then I'll do one" — and he has for 33 years. The second program and all since have been at the present Sunnyside Church in southeast Portland.

Now the program has built such a reputation that people volunteer to be a part of it, more than can be included. Wescott likes to include a mix of musical styles and formats and always finds a place for kids on the program — they are special to him.

Wescott also spearheads the Strawberry Vespers each June and is starting a spring musical as well. These events provide great music and great fellowship, all in praise to our great God.