Events – Folder

Reflections on “In Remembrance 2012”

From the Cast of In Remembrance 2012

One of the great things about American Musical Theatre is its ability to express emotion in ways nothing else can.  While I am very proud of our original concept for this show, the music, and the script, the real power comes from the people playing the characters.  Unlike any previous year, we have created new characters and allowed our cast to make them their own.  So instead of telling you why I love this show, I have asked the cast to share their insights (below).  ~Kyle Jensen, Co-Director

 

 

Kevin Sullivan (Jesus):  Jesus spends this entire show torn between his own human emotions and needs and the greater good of humanity.   Especially during the Last Supper, I am struck by the fact that this struggle is relevant to any time period and how much we still  have to learn.

 

 

Kevin Rorke (Judas):  My favorite moment in this show has to be the betrayal scene.  I love Judas’ dark side…and the character change that occurs in him by the end of the show.  I was raised Catholic.  So I grew up with the stations of the cross during lent and Holy Week.  This is way more fun!

 

 

Kerrin Mullen (Mary):  So often shows like these have such a strong message of tragedy and shame.  What I have discovered is that this show isn’t like any other!  Instead of leaving us with despair, this show has a message of hope for all people.  And we could all use a little hope.

 

 

Mathieu Burton (Peter):  Last year as Judas I was really told what my character should and should not do.  This year I’ve been able to create my own Peter.  I am so emotionally attached to this show and I know you will be as well.

 

 

Siobhan Downey (Destiny):  The end of the show has always had a reverent “make you cry buckets” mood.  This year, Beth and Kyle were brave enough to go in a completely different direction.  I’m pretty stoked about the result and I have a feeling you will be too!  The show lives up to its tag line “There’s only one love in the end.”

 

 

Melanie Mahaffey (Valarie):  So many people spend their lives trying to figure out God’s will.  Every character in the show struggles with this concept as they try to figure out who this Jesus person really is.  Peter, for instance, is ready to take up arms and run head-first into the rebellion  because he thinks that’s what Jesus has come to do.  Instead we hear Jesus teach love.  I think God’s will is pretty simple.  Love each other.

 

 

Laura Starcher (Reporter):  I have wanted to be apart of this show for the last couple of years and I am so excited to be involved!  Its been so interesting being the one that tells the story.  It has given me a much different perspective on Jesus’ life.

 

 

 

Jarrett Rivera (Pod-Caster):  I have never looked at this story from this viewpoint.   I love seeing the different sides!  This is a fantastic show with an important message.

 

REDEFINING RESURRECTION

The season of Lent has always been for me a curious time of mixed emotions and beliefs, going back to my upbringing in the Independent Bible Baptist Churches.  The concept of this holiday, with its focus on sacrifice, death, victory and ultimately eternal life, mixes the historical with the fantastic.

A large part of the teaching of my youth was the assertion that in order to win converts to Christianity, early religious leaders had taken their belief in Jesus’ literal death and resurrection and placed it on the calendar where the pagan rites of spring were already being celebrated.  This was done in an effort to be relevant to the cultures into which the early Christian missions were destined.

Thus, there was the warning from our church that while the virgin birth and the resurrection—two of the great mysteries of the Christian faith and of the historical figure of Jesus—were to be seen as literal events, we could not know for certain at what times of the year they had actually occurred.

Jesus’ birth as a human, death from human violence, then proof of his immortality through a miraculous resurrection, seemed to still be coated like sweet Easter candies in order to appear more palatable to the pagan revelers.  It seemed as bizarre as an all-knowing white-bearded man (also, apparently, immortal) who drove flying reindeer through the night skies—or as odd as an elusive, seasonal, egg-laying rabbit.

But like so many confusing and conflicting concepts we are exposed to as we mature, the God of my adult life has been revealed to me in far different ways than I was taught—or could have imagined. Perhaps, in the end, I am content to believe that it’s more meaningful for me, like the writer of II Corinthians, to “walk by faith, not by sight.”

For me, and for those who have come and gone during my time, I believe that there is something beyond this life, and maybe a part of that “something” involves all the answers becoming clear in God’s own time.

I have seen more than enough evidence of God’s resurrection power in my own life.  As I anticipate another celebration of this season, I find peace in knowing that resurrection is here and now, offering us all the opportunity to take what was broken and make it whole, what seemed dead to live again.

That is, to me, the lasting legacy of the resurrection.  I pray that it may be yours as well.

 

FINDING CONNECTIONS

As our 2012 retreat gets closer, I have been thinking more about the connections that I have in my life both personally and spiritually.  We are human, people need to be connected with other people to survive.  We are like trees that need to be connected to the earth for nutrition and a kiss from the sun to survive, if not the tree begins to lose its leaves and eventually dies.  If we do not have connections in our lives, we slowly wilt away.  We become hollow, like a dried out tree.

During First Tuesday, I shared my experience with depression.  Between the long work hours, traveling, and personal tragedies, depression set in and made itself a part of my life for three years.  In the beginning I was so sick I didn’t notice that I had no connections in my life, personally or spiritually.  I was hollow on the inside.

As I struggled to get “me” back, I started noticing how devoid of emotional connection I truly was.  My family and friends didn’t know how to help or what to do, and that helplessness caused them to became distant during those three years.

When my family started feeling comfortable with me again and had a better understanding of my illness, there was a noticeable change—more hugging and closeness.  With each hug my body had a reaction, like a tree being watered back to life, the tinglings of emotions began to reawaken within me.

As for my soul, it started to heal when I joined this church.  A class on prayer taught by Denise and Pastor Wes’s bible study class gave me the ability to see that God had always been there with me, I just didn’t have the awareness of that Sacred presence.  This church and the people in it watered my soul!

Recently, I attended a conference for LGBT youth.  I had the opportunity to listen to some of these young people share their experiences of being different and unable to make connections with kids in their schools.  They shared how this made them feel useless, shameful, depressed, and worthless.  These negative feelings and emotions drained the life out of them.

They told their stories of finding Gay-Straight Alliance groups or other supportive allies that brought life and self-esteem back to them. This just reinforced what I had already experienced—connections, we all need them!

What are you doing to get connected?  Join us for retreat!  I’m looking forward to seeing “What Happens When the Spirit Comes!”