Mt. Olive Lutheran Church is giving an offering to a longtime congregant rather than receiving one.

At 3 p.m. Sunday, March 2nd, the Santa Monica church, at 1343 Ocean Park Blvd., will have the premiere Gift of Love Mass, in honor of the musical theater star Kathryn Skatula.

The renowned voice teacher is fighting amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

The progressive neurodegenerative disease has taken away Skatula’s use of her legs, arms, soprano voice and breathing to a large extent. However, the event’s organizers say it hasn’t taken away her sense of life purpose of joyful love and caring devotion.

Composer Michael Isaacson, known for Jewish sacred music, came up with the idea of creating a choral work that depicted his friend’s gift of sharing and inspiration of love.

Isaacson brought the notion of a Lutheran Mass composition to Mt. Olive’s pastor, Stephanie Jaeger, at a healing service for Skatula and her partner Ali Olmo. After hearing the suggestion on a Sunday afternoon late last year, the pastor encouraged Isaacson to proceed.

Now, the church reports a friend of the community has provided a $10,000 matching grant with the stipulation that the remaining $10,000 be raised in the form of $100 co-commissions, which are currently being accepted.

The entire creative fee will be donated to Skatula and Olmo to assist with medical care costs.

The Sunday service will last approximately an hour and a half, with readings and the recording of the choral work.

A 45-member community choir will perform, including colleagues from the Musical Theatre Guild and singers from Lutheran churches in the Westside area of Los Angeles.

Free-will offerings will be accepted.

Information, (310) 452-1116

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