...at least she played the role of God in enacted prayer.
Thank you so much for your prayers! I could seriously feel them all day long.
Tonight I performed The Revelation and when I was done I added something spontaneously: I offered to put the mark of the cross on people's foreheads if they wanted to declare that they were a servant of the Lord.
One of the first fellows to come running up to be sealed was a young man who accepted Jesus tonight as covering for his sins.
The band played "one more song" as people filed out to be sealed. About 20 had been sealed when all heaven broke loose! We praised out of control to just a drum beat for over half an hour! This is day 3 of 8. Pray these students will keep going deeper.
This year the director of the program, Len Ballantine, is expecting even greater things:
The news is good. We will have at least 145 delegates plus faculty at Territorial this year! That is a significant increase over last season and the third year running showing an increase. While we know its not just about 'numbers' the stats do tell us quite a bit:
1. Music and the Arts continues to provide a relevant point of contact with the current generation.
2. The young people must like what's on offer.
3. They are spiritually hungry and we believe the 'buzz' is bringing them in.
4. The Lord has seen fit to honour our prayers and add to our responsibility. We accept the challenge.
I'll appreciate your prayers all week.
We're munching our dinner in the castle that overlooks the theatre which hosts Shakespeare in the park and tonights Two Gentlemen of Verona.
Very cleverly reconceived. I see why it won the Tony in 1972. The music (yup) is by Galt MacDermot (Hair) and John Guare, who also had a hand in adapting the script so that it could be understood by people on the streets when it toured the five boroughs in'71.
Buster the dog just proved the adage that you never want to be on stage with a baby or an animal. The pooch is almost as much of a scene stealer as Valentine's servant, played by John Cariani, the forensics tech from Law and Order.
The scene stealer of the second act was Julia's servant, played by Megan Lawrence, twice nominated for the Helen Hayes Award..
Its sensibilities remain in the '70's, with the exception of a spoof on the aerial combat of The Matrix and when the Duke of Milan rolled in on a Razor.
Usually by this point I'd be behind all the folks in the photo (now only 3.5 hours left), but reviews don't come out until tomorrow. Unless it's panned the lines will be longer starting tomorrow. With press in the house tonight could be the best show of the run! It's a gorgeous day. The woman two places behind me said after waiting for hours for the last Shakespeare in the Park it was rained out.
The longest lines in their history were for The Seagull. Mike Nichols directed Kevin Kline, Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Natalie Portman, and on and on. John Goodman had the smallest role. The woman next to me said she had a friend that got on line at 4 am. (I'm surprised she got a seat. I was there at 8 pm the night before.) One of the employees was counting people and tried to stir someone who had fallen asleep under a bush. They discovered the person was dead.
"That's worse than rain," declared the woman two spots down.
Our final service culminated in multisensory worship, complete with a chocolate fountain. It looks solid even from a foot away, but the chocolate is flowing. Our chaplain, Janet Munn, said that honey was the sweetest substance when the Psalms were being written, but today, chocolate is at the top of our list. So as we nibbled fruit drenched from the flow of confection we made our confession of God's sweetness in our lives.
We also had the opportunity to wash each other's hands, heads, and/or feet. We could gaze into mirrors and contemplate what it means to be made in the image of God. And, we savor the aroma of scented candles as we thought about how our prayers are a sweet aroma to God.
The revival of Thursday night has translated into action. The next morning we pledged to raise $10,000 by December 1, and $50,000 by TAM next year to build up an orphanage in Africa. The performance last night, which went very well, brought in $1,864 bringing our total to $2,659.
We're well on our way. If you would like to pledge to support these heroes for the poor, send an email to Ian Evans. He'll send you information on how to give.
These are the guys in my small group. Back: Kelly, Tony, Daniel, Elisha. Front: Terrylee, and Evan. We closed our session with the footwashing from my short piece, Journey to the Garden.
Pray for our whole conservatory as we perform our final piece tonight at 7:30 EST.
Carol Jaudes (CATS) performed with her troupe: Ian Evans, Chris Stoker, and Amber Peacock (my assistant here), with Karen Krinjak at piano. The play was Treasures of Eternity, written by a former TAM instructor, Becki Philips, and directed by my agent, Dale Savidge. The play was about heroes of the Salvation Army: people who made a significant difference in the lives of those around them. After the play, our chaplain, Janet Munn, leapt to the stage to challenge our students to become the heroes of the next generation. She invited them to pray toward that end, and one of the faculty members acknowledged that repentance was a part of preparing to be heroes. One of the students in my small group made an actual confession of a specific sin, and we covered him with prayer. Then others all around the room began confessing and praying for forgiveness and for other specific requests. We were sobbing.
It was awesome!
Pray that in the remaining three days the Holy Spirit will visit us again. For any online this morning we'd appreciate specific prayer over this morning's group devotion. Pray that our worship and prayer would be impacted in a deep way by what happened last night.
Like Janet said last night, "Fill us again, Lord. We leak!"
We had intended to take an after shot when we were all wiped out, pulling into the parking lot after midnight, but our conversations about the show kept popping! Our group got seats on the front row, so the only way to have been closer to the action would have been to be on stage ourselves.
Before hand I took my group to my office at the Helen Hayes Theatre, where the stage manager was kind enough to give us a backstage tour of the smallest Broadway theatre.
Our theme at TAM this year is Be a Hero, based on the book by the same title by Wesley Campell and Stephen Court (who was one of the leaders of the Territorial School of Music and Gospel Arts near Toronto last year. Stephen and his wife, Danielle Strickland led us into revival).
We're listening to a hero right now: Vergilio flew all the way from Mozambique to study the arts at TAM and to tell us about the work he does all over Africa ministering to AIDS orphans.
He said most of the people in Mozambique are HIV+, but still there is a stigma attached to the kids who's parents die of AIDS. The Salvation Army hires him to help the kids realize they're loved by God just as much as the other children.
We're hearing Ann Van Cleave sing "The Broadway Boogiewoogie" before seeing her on Broadway tomorrow night playing Miralla in Fiddler on the Roof.
She said the choreographer told them the reason he has their hands in the air so much is because he wants them drinking God through the palms of their hands.
This is the 5th year of the Salvation Army's Territorial Arts Ministries' Conservatory.
Right now Carol Jaudes, former CAT and director of the conservatory, is asking students how they've incorporated things they've leaned during previous years in their lives. We're hearing about people starting dance, theatre, and mime programs in their local corps (churches) and colleges all over the Northeast..
In the photo Emily Furman (one of my students 2 years ago) is sharing about an improv club she started at her school.
Pray for us this week as we equip these young people to go out and do more.
The performance this morning blessed me immensely. I know that's not necessarily how it's supposed to work, but this piece (Journey to the Garden--listed under short pieces) always brings me closer the Lord by portraying Him.
This church, Valley Community in Poughkeepsie, has grown over the years that I've been performing for them (you're only seing half of the sanctuary on a summer Sunday). They built a church at a major crossroads (as our church is called to do: scroll down to Westchester Chapel) and they've grown three times in size in less than 2 years.
..staying with people who have The Creature from the Black Lagoon as their guard dog.
Actually the Saloomey family has 5 guard dogs (but only 19 legs between them). They get host of the year award for providing corn on the cob picked that morning, eggs laid the day before, and 1st c. accoutrements for my performance tomorrow morning.
I'm cruising up the Hudson en route to Poughkeepsie, where I'll perform Journey to the Garden tomorrow morning.
In my rehearsal this morning I connected in a very deep way Jesus' prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane with his final words on the cross: "Take this cup/Your will be done" and "Why have you forsaken me?/Into your hands I commit my spirit." What a gigantic (too small of a word) sacrifice.
Pray I can communicate some element of that sacrifice in a deep way, and that the piece will make a lasting impression of the great love it represents.
In Christ alone,
If you'd like to invest in ministry through the arts in the NYC area, please consider supporting Westchester Chapel.
The artistic and spiritual seeds that were planted continue to grow as we've stayed in community through the internet: lifting each other up in prayer and encouragement. Last night we even had an online chat.
The Festival based their budget on some significant grants that they had expected year after year. The grants fell through, so they really had to scramble. They ended in the black barely, and now their doing the same thing in England. Please pray for them now, and if you can give to their mininstry, I'd be quite grateful: Support MasterWorks.
We're already looking forward to next year!
In Christ Alone,