Hudson -- "The Original Christmas: Rethinking the Birth of Jesus," will be presented in a free public lecture by the Reverend Brian Suntken at Barlow Community Center, 41 S. Oviatt St. in Hudson, on Dec. 13 at 7 p.m.

"Centuries of history have biased the reading of the Nativity stories as they are found in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke," Suntken said. "The birth narratives, read in their original context, are far richer and more challenging than most people imagine. What do these stories mean in the context of their primary Jewish setting? These narratives speak powerfully about humanity's deepest yearning for God's promises and passions. They are at one both personal and political."

Brian Suntken brings to his presentation thirty years of biblical study, numerous trips to Israel and the West Bank, and a devotion to presenting the ancient texts in their proper historical setting. A gifted teacher and preacher, Suntken has used his passion for God and God's people in a lifetime of dedication to the spiritual and intellectual growth and enrichment of every individual.

This lecture is sponsored by the Community of Saint John. The Community of Saint John was established in 2012 as an independent Christian Church with no affiliation to any denomination. The congregation is committed to following Jesus' way of love; a rich diversity; the work of reconciliation and seeking justice for all people. The Community holds regular services at Barlow Community Center, Sundays at 10:45 a.m. Worship is centered around the service of Holy Communion, led by Minister Brian Suntken and Director of Music Nicole Keller. Supervised activities that relate to the lectionary are provided for young people in the Memorial meeting room. Coffee and fellowship follows each service.

More information about the Community of Saint John can be found at