Dramatic Gospel Reading
The St. James' Adult Education Committee is excited to present:
MARK’S GOOD NEWS: The Gospel Like You’ve Never Heard It Before
Sunday, March 8
2:00 - 4:30 p.m. Free and open to the public
St. James' parishioner and voice actor Stephen de Francesco presents a dramatic narration of the Gospel according to St. Mark, reading the Jesus Seminar’s “Scholars Version,” a fresh translation from the original languages into living American English. In listening to the gospel spoken in words different from those to which we are accustomed, we may hear and imagine, in a new -- maybe surprising -- way. Mark’s is the shortest of the four gospels, which offers the unparalleled opportunity to hear the whole story at once. And since it is also the earliest (c. A.D. 80), it contains the parts of the story that the Evangelist thought were essential for the first believers to know. His gospel is the cornerstone of the good news.
Inspired by Alec McGowan's performance of the King James’ version of Mark’s gospel in 1990, and the publication three years later of the Jesus Seminar’s new translation, Stephen has been planning this event for 25 years. As with the readings of the King David Stories and Journeys of Paul that Stephen offered during the Bible Project, Mark’s Good News intends to recreate the experience of scripture’s first listeners, who likely couldn’t read themselves but were dependent on storytellers and bards to make the scenes of Jesus' life come alive for them and paint pictures of his deeds in their imaginations.
Stephen de Francesco has been a parishioner of St. James’ Church for nearly 25 years, and has served in many capacities in a variety of ministries, most devotedly as a lay reader. He studied drama at Emerson College and has had a dual career as a graphic designer and voice actor; he currently records audiobooks and video narration.
The gospel will be performed in two parts, and will run approximately 2.5 hours with intermission.