“Into the Woods, and Out of the Woods” ..... And Just in Time for Pentecost!
First of all, a hearty round of applause to all of our actors, stagehands, stage manager, producer, costume mavens, director and all of the volunteers who baked goods, brought snacks, helped with costumes, and sets and music and all of the other pieces that came together to make “Into the Woods” happen.
Two things I loved about this show. First, that nearly every time I looked at the stage, I saw at least half the people were active members of our congregation. Second, In addition to the 30-40 members of the cast who aren’t members, we also had the opportunity to share a little bit about Memorial with 150 or 200 people every night. Some of whom may actually come back.
So the question for us is now that we are “Out of the Woods.” what happens next? The altar is slowly coming back into view, the stage is going back into storage, The acolytes are re-rehearsing the procession, and the choir is figuring out where their seats are. Throughout the show I introduced Memorial to the audience by saying that “we don’t mind having this stage in here because we as a congregation are more concerned with the mess of the world out THERE, than the little bit of disorder here.”
Which is true! Memorial has always been a church very concerned about its community, sometimes in really negative ways, but mostly in really positive ways. It was wonderful to see so many people out for the No Boundaries Clean Up last Saturday, and even more exciting to hear how excited folks are for future “field trips” into our local communities. So I hope, if you invited someone to church for the musical, you will invite them back for Pentecost on May 20! Or really for any service.
As we continue to explore the Book of Acts this Pentecost season, we continue to see the Early Church grow from 12 scared lonely disciples into a large church spanning three continents, many languages, races, genders, identities and ethnicities. At the same time, we can begin to imagine Memorial’s own growth and transformation as we become a church more in keeping with the end of the Book of Acts than the beginning.
The cast and crew of “Into the Woods” were a wonderful example of that diversity and the benefit of embracing such diversity along racial, ethnic and economic lines — it is my prayer that Memorial, and all of God’s Church, can follow suit.