Ecumenical cooperation inspires playwright

Posted: 12/12/2017

A theater company performed an Advent-themed show Dec. 2 in a Tennessee church. The actors put on a worthy performance, but the real headliner was the Christian community.

For more than three years, Father Steve Pawelk, pastor of Glenmary's missions in Union and Grainger counties, Tenn., has been part of a unique prayer group. Most Thursday mornings, Father Steve and pastors from area Pentecostal, Methodist and Lutheran communities gather to pray, but on Dec. 2, they invited their congregations to the party.

More than 50 people from the various church communities assembled under Revival Vision Church of God of Cleveland's roof to watch Christian theater group The Word Players perform its original play, "Sleepers, Wake!" Ethan Norman, author of the play, was so moved by the audience that he shared his feelings on The Word Players' blog.

"What really makes me proud, however, and what I consider worth talking about, is a bunch of Catholics, Methodists, and Pentecostals gathered under one roof (on purpose), and The WordPlayers being in the middle of it. Yeah, it really happened," he wrote.

"They pray together every Thursday morning," he continued in the post, "Full Moon over Maynardville." "This is monumental. The performance went well, but I don’t know who was more inspired. They spoke highly of us, but I just wanted to grab them by their ears and shout, 'What you are doing is beautiful, and it is the thing that will make the Kingdom of God visible to the world!'”

The play was sponsored by Revival Vision Church of God of Cleveland, Miller's Chapel United Methodist Church and Glenmary's St. Teresa of Kolkata Catholic Church. 

Father Steve, who had encountered The Word Players previously, suggested the churches host the event together. He also gave the closing prayer at the event. 

To read Ethan's full blog, CLICK HERE.