Singers from 16 churches took part in what has become an annual event in Lehighton: a Christmas Cantata.

The program was held in Zion United Church of Christ, Lehighton, with an estimated 200 people attending.

Besides the 16 churches, also represented were members of Zion Opera Workshop, a non-denominational group which has been in existence for decades and puts on annual musical at Zion Church.

Backing the Cantata was a 22-member Zion Festival Orchestra under the direction of Bradley R. Cressley. Cressley also was director for the Cantata, which was started a number of years ago by his father-in-law, Paul R. Smith.

Narrators were Doc Holiday and Kathy Long.

Rev. Allen L. Heckman, pastor of the church, presented the call to worship, telling the audience members, "We come from different backgrounds, different experiences, and yet we long for the One who will bring peace and hope."

He added, "Fear and jealousy cannot be barriers to our faith."

Among the soloists in the Cantata were Robert Fatzinger, who did the number "Be Born In Me," and Joy Dougherty and Brent Harris, who sang "Love's Pure Light."

During the prelude, Kenneth Leffler performed a clarinet piece, "All is Calm."

Churches which took part in the program were:

Ÿ Lehighton - All Saints Episcopal Church, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, First Presbyterian Church, Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, St. John's Church, Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, and Zion United Church of Christ.

Ÿ Ashfield - Dinkey Memorial Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Ÿ Bowmanstown - Emmanuel United Church of Christ.

Ÿ Northampton - Hope Lutheran Church.

Ÿ Poconos - Life Church.

Ÿ Trachsville - Jerusalem United Church of Christ.

Ÿ Franklin Township - St. Matthew's Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Ÿ Summit Hill - St. Joseph's Catholic Church.

The Zion Choraliers also took part.