Basic information on auditioning, rehearsing, and performing for church-affiliated actors, actresses, directors, and the whole gamut of those who love and practice the theater.
By Mark D. Harris
Churches around the world use drama in their ministries, and for good reason. The arts, including drama, music, and dance, communicate eternal truths to the human soul in a way that philosophy, mathematics, and other disciplines could not. Our church, Memorial Baptist Church in Beckley WV, has an ongoing children’s ministry involving music and drama, and will be expanding into adult drama next year. In the interest of having useful instructions for older children, parents, and adults, I have edited information gleaned from the websites below on auditioning, rehearsing, and performing. I hope that this information is useful to other churches as well.
Continue reading “Acting in Church and Community” →
A 15 minute (or so) play about a good and faithful but worn-out pastor who needs to be reminded about what really matters at Christmas.
By Mark Harris
- Pastor Tim – male, mid 40s
- Cindy – female, late 30s, Pastor Tim’s wife
- Michael – son of Pastor Tim, 12-13 yo
- Candali – daughter of Pastor Tim, 9-10 yo
- Rinna – daughter of Pastor Tim, 7-8 yo
- Jenny – Church secretary, female, 50s to 60s
- Jose – male, mid 30s
- Mariana – female, late 20s
- Joshua – infant
Setting – A Baptist church in Detley, South Virginia. Pastor Tim and Jenny the secretary are the only paid staff. Tim’s 4th grade daughter Candali and 2nd grade daughter Rinna are doing homeschool work in his office. The roof is leaking, with drops falling into a bucket on the floor.
Time – late Tuesday morning
Continue reading “Remembering What Counts at Christmas – Play 15 minutes” →
Statues are coming down all over America, some in a raging mob amidst political pandering, and others with government-directed construction crews. Few memorials are coming down after calm debates and reasoned decisions. Why do we have such statues in the first place? Which ones is it appropriate to remove? Which not?
By Mark D. Harris
The mass killing of Jews and other “undesirables” by Nazi Germany during the Holocaust (1939-1945) was one of the worst crimes in modern history. The Holocaust spilled oceans of blood, and its cruelty was beyond imagination. Concentration camps like Auschwitz in Poland and memorials and museums in places like Berlin and Washington DC educate current and future generations on what happened in the hopes that such an atrocity will never occur again.
Continue reading “Smashing Statues” →
A medical musical tale of love and survival between an American man and a Chinese woman in the world of the new corona virus.
The Ballad of the Corona Virus (tune “Open Arms”, Journey)
Lying beside you, here in the dark
Feeling your fever so high
Weakly you touch me, pain so severe
Why did I stay for the night?
I thought it was true love, I wanted some fun
But now, I just want to run
Cause it’s Corona virus, twelve thousand cases
It has got you, will it get to me too?
Oh why, did I, visit China?
Can I catch a plane, or a boat or a train, outta here?
In California, hospital bed
Aching and coughing up blood
In isolation – gloves, gowns, and masks
Chills come on me like a flood
Nurses and doctors, don’t know what to do
There’s no vaccination for me.
Cause it’s Corona virus, often fatal
Waiting for doctors, insurance won’t cover
But soon my lady will arrive from Wuhan
I’m fading away, but we’ll beat you someday, Corona
Choruses in church are great, but let’s not lose our powerful legacy of hymns in Christian ministry.
By Mark D. Harris
Last night I led a Hymn Sing and Soup Supper in the Fellowship Hall at our church. Between bowls of vegetable soup, chicken soup, tortilla soup, bean soup, and a host of others, we sang To God Be the Glory, I’ll Fly Away, Victory in Jesus, and more favorites. Elderly women in the back, members of the choir when we had one, harmonized to tunes they had known as children, while teenagers in the middle sat in silence. We had no slides with words on a screen as we do in our sanctuary, but used white hymnals with gold embossing, small letters, and cryptic little symbols called notes along with the lyrics on each line. The piano was a little out of tune, but we all carried on, singing at the top of our lungs. There was no sound of strumming, drumming, or picking. Having grown up in church singing hymns, I appreciated the change.
Continue reading “In Praise of Hymns” →