Brownsville church plans 1800's-era holiday service
By Joe Napsha
Published: Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013, 7:50 p.m.
The Christ Church Anglican in Brownsville will present an 1800's-era Christmas service on Saturday in the tradition of that experienced by Brownsville's pioneers, including Jacob Bowman and his family, which will be portrayed by a Brownsville family dressed in period costume.
The one-hour church service, led by the Rev. Deacon Donald Bowers, will begin at 6 p.m. Saturday in the Anglican church at 319 Church St. It will include Christmas carols, the only deviation from the original worship.
Members of the congregation will be dressed in period clothing for the solemn, meditative service, which is taken from the 1789 prayer book of the Anglican Church. The doors to the church, which seats about 200 people, will open at 5:30 p.m.
“As a church, we want to do things that are meaningful for the community. We want to share the history of our church, spread Christmas cheer and create a memorable celebration of the season,” said Mark Kovscek, who will portray Jacob Bowman. The remainder of his large family portrays the Bowman clan.
A 10-minute prelude focused on the church's history, architecture, liturgy and decorations, will be performed prior to the service, Kovscek said.
The prelude will feature a dramatic performance by Kovscek and his family, dressed as the Bowmans. Jacob Bowman's father was German and Kovscek said he will speak in German, a small section of a Christmas poem written for children by the famed church reformer, Martin Luther. Kovscek's 7-year-old daughter, Emily, will recite the poem in English.
Following the service, the “Bowman family” will go to their homestead, Nemacolin Castle, to perform Christmas carols as part of the Brownsville Historical Society's candlelight tours. Bowman built the original wing of historic Nemacolin Castle in 1789 as a trading post.
Kovscek will portray Jacob Bowman as a 43-year-old man, the same age as Kovscek. His wife, Heidi, will portray Isabel Bowman, the Irish wife of the businessman.
The Bowman children will be portrayed by the Kovscek children: Hannah, 17, portraying Mary Sterling; Olivia, 15, as Annie Elliott; Emma, 13, as Harriet Elizabeth; Nathanael, 11, as James L.; Ava, 7, as Matilda; and Gloria, 3, as Louisa. All but two of their ages match those of the Bowman children in 1805.
Kovscek, who is president of a small software development firm, has been portraying Bowman for about three years.
“I have a fascination with history and the connection between Christ Church (Anglican) and the Bowman family,” said Kovscek, who is senior warden of the church, the highest lay position. Bowman also was a senior layman of the church.
“The parallels are fascinating,” Kovscek said.
Kovscek said his family's historical impersonation of the Bowman family evolved out of his daughter, Hannah, writing a tour guide for a historic church tour of Brownsville during a recent Market Street Arts Festival.
“One thing led to another and the next thing you know, we were the Bowmans. We kind of got the bug after that,” Kovscek added.
The elaborate period costumes worn by the family were made by Jackie Lapisardi, who also is involved with the Market Street Arts Festival.
Kovscek and his wife, Heidi Gearhart Kovscek, grew up in Belle Vernon and have lived in Brownsville for about 15 years. They moved to Washington, D.C., and then moved to Brownsville, where they were involved in youth ministries.
Joe Napsha is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-5252 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- First Federal, Community Bank join
- Charleroi Regional makes 3 drug arrests
- Ozarks tournament filled with pageantry, top players in 1961
- Fire rips through Rostraver house
- Charleroi Regional Police Board nixes council request
- Stockdale firefighter finalist for National Firemark Award
- Monongahela drug bust nabs 5
- East Vandergrift man arrested in Charleroi after allegedly arranging to meet girl, 15, for sex
- Another Donora bank building getting new tenant
- Smithton native charged in Ohio with faking illness to raise money
- Mon Valley Hospital’s Ramusivich finalist for ATHENA award