The traditional visit by the Three Kings to the Christ Child found in the bible will be reenacted in Stroudsburg on Saturday, January 4, 2014, with doors opening at 3 PM before the program and ending at 5:30 PM. Organized by FLECHA, the bilingual event will again be held in St. Luke’s Parish Hall on Main Street in Stroudsburg for the third consecutive year, concluding with gifts for children under 12 and refreshments for all.
Featured this year is the dramatization of the entire Christmas story by children members of the Tobyhanna community organized at Most Holy Trinity Parish by the husband and wife team of Marcia and Pepe Muñoz, talented professionals from their native Chile. The event will engage children in traditional villancicos, the Hispanic version of Christmas carols, but the afternoon is meant for all cultures and all ages.
“In Latin America, each of the three kings represented a different race: the Native American, the African and the European,” said Adán Stevens-Díaz, a doctoral student of religion at Temple University and a resident of Penn Estates. Once again, for the FLECHA event, the role of the King of the Indians will be filled by an authentic and local Native American tribal leader, Akitchitay Urayoel. Likewise, the King of Africa will be of African American heritage from Most Holy Trinity and a member of the Polish community at St. Luke’s has been invited to represent the King of Europe this year. “The vision of each of these different races kneeling before the Christ Child represented unity in diversity for Latin American Christians,” observed Professor Stevens-Díaz who has presented a paper on church and race to the American Catholic Historical Association. He added: “It’s a lesson for the USA as well.” The FLECHA celebration is highlighted with the arrival of the Three Kings in full regalia who lead the children in prayer before a representation of the Christ Child in the manger. Afterwards, the kings will give gifts to the children in attendance, since they began the tradition of gift-giving long before Santa Claus.
FLECHA is the acronym of the “Federation of Latinos for Education about the Cultures of Hispanic America.” FLECHA is a volunteer not-for-profit organization located in Monroe County that seeks to educate Latinos and Latinas as well as non-Latinos about the riches of culture. FLECHA has sponsored events at the Monroe Public Library and the local colleges, ESU and NCC, as well as the annual Mothers’ Day Vigil in front of the County Courthouse. FLECHA has gown to nearly a hundred members including members of churches of different denominations and from various political persuasions. Well known through the Poconos’ only Spanish language radio show, Tu Voz con Christina, FLECHA’s goals are: community, progress and cultural freedom. The January 4th event is free and open to the public.
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