By The Rev. Nathan Gragg
Two South Carolina Synod pastors took the stage this past weekend at the Village Square Theatre in Lexington for a production of Newsies. Pastor Nathan Gragg from Zion, Lexington and Pastor Stephen Mims from Pisgah, Lexington are a part of an all ages cast performing the show during the month of February at the community theater in Lexington. Based on the hit Broadway show and the 1992 Disney movie, Newsies is a rousing tale filled with big songs and high energy dances that inspires all to fight for what’s right and seize the day.
For Gragg and Mims, the appeal of being a part of the production wasn’t just the great show, it was the unique way that being involved in the theater allows them to connect with their community.
“Our mission at Pisgah is ‘We share our gifts to show God’s love,’” says Mims. “Participating in community theater gives me an opportunity to carry out that that mission by sharing one of my gifts with people outside the congregation – and have a great time doing it!”
“The community of support and encouragement that’s developed over these many weeks is really life giving,” says Gragg. “I didn’t know many of these friends until so recently, and I now I am cheering for them and counting on them. It’s humbling and exhilarating stuff. God is doing something here.”
The kingdom of God is like Community Theater. How so? A group of people of all ages, some who know each other, others who began the process as strangers, coalesce into a community. People are supportive of one another and working together brings them joy. Children benefit from the encouragement of experienced adults and adults enjoy being an important part of the experience of the children. There is care, accountability, mentoring, and a striving toward a common mission.
Is that a community theater or a community of faith? Could be both. Could be any place where God gathers people to use their gifts to create something joyful and beautiful.
Interested in seeing the show Feb 14-16, Feb 21-23?
For tickets to Newsies at Village Square Theatre in Lexington,
go to www.villagesquaretheatre.com/tickets.html
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ELCA South Carolina Synod
1003 Richland Street
Columbia, SC 29201