The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Knit one, give too

Musical reflects the joy of giving

Our gifts live on and on, after we are gone. The good that we can do today will still be here when we're away. Listen to our song, and carry it along to do the good that Kiki would. Our gifts live on and on. Now spread the words that Kiki said .... If you have a gift, then give it away.

When the audience left the performance of Kiki's Hats — The Musical! at Kinsmen Lutheran Church, Houston, in August, they were humming a tune and lifted by this message: Our gifts live on and on.

Warren Hanson is a member of Kinsmen and an author and illustrator of many books, including Kiki's Hats (Tristan Publishing, 2007), based on a former neighbor, Ki Ki Gore, of St. Paul, Minn., who has been knitting since age 8. Last year Lynnae Schatz, director of congregational life at Kinsmen, asked Hanson to consider adapting his book into a musical for the children and adults to perform.

Children and Barb Velotas as
Children and Barb Velotas as "Kiki" from Kinsmen Lutheran Church, Houston, perform in Kiki's Hats — The Musical! The story's spirit of giving included not only the cast but friends, relatives, nursing home residents and retired teachers who helped knit 1,000 hats for the production.

"When Lynnae first asked me to do it, I thought, 'What makes me think I can do that?' but once the seed was planted, I couldn't let it go. I started hearing these tunes ...," said Hanson, who said he deliberately wrote a simple, short musical so other congregations could use it.

Schatz scheduled a choir camp the week before the performance to cast and rehearse the 30-minute musical.

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