Monday, February 27, 2012

Science is Topic of Premiere Event in DC

From Eric Metaxas and Socrates in the City:
For years it's been our plan to bring the wit and wisdom of Socrates in the City to cities beyond New York! We've already done that in San Francisco, Chicago, Dallas, and Fort Worth -- and will continue to do so in those places. But now, on March 15th, Socrates in the City will hold its premier event in Washington DC!
Stephen Meyer
Our inaugural speaker will be the esteemed scientist and I.D. proponent Dr. Stephen Meyer of Seattle's famous Discovery Institute. Perhaps you've seen him in the "Expelled" documentary hosted by Ben Stein a few years ago. If you have ever wanted to know something more about the debate concerning what is science and what isn't science, this is your opportunity to hear -- and to question -- one of I.D.'s most brilliant advocates.

The event will be held in the spectacular University Club on 16th Street in downtown DC. Because of Dr. Meyer's popularity, we expect this event to sell out, so if you want to be in on the first ever SITC event in our nation's capital, please register today! We will also be having a Patron's Dinner immediately following. Details are at our website. Please visit and register by clicking here.
We look forward to seeing you there on March 15.

Eric MetaxasPresident and Host, SITC

Christian Artists Gather in New York

Church and Art Network will hold its second NYC-area regional gathering Saturday afternoon, March 10 att 3 pm for a time of fellowship and encouragement, as well as to hear from fundraising consultant Sarah Chung on "Talking So Donors Will Listen."
"Most arts leaders are responsible, on some level, for raising funding, communicating with donors, or cultivating support for our programs," said Church and Art Network Directpr Luann Jennings. "Yet finding investors who'd be interested in our work, or framing our mission and programs so that they get interested, can be quite challenging. As Christians, we can also feel caught in the tension between cultivating the virtue of humility and needing to speak boldly about the value of what we're doing for God's kingdom," she said.
Chung will talking about: Understanding Sources of Funding; Understanding Fundraising Channels; Communicating with Sources of Funding; Understanding Their Values and Speaking Their Language; and Building a Case for Your Venture. Even if you don't work within a non-profit organization, or aren't responsible for fundraising, the type of thinking involved in developing supporters applies to many areas of arts leadership.
Dinner will follow, then the group will attend author and arts theologian Jeremy Begbie's lecture at Redeemer Presbyterian Church (7 to 9 pm: "A World Made New: The Art of Resurrection and the Resurrection of Art."

Both sessions are free of charge (dinner will be at your own cost at an inexpensive restaurant). To attend the C&A session and/or dinner, email To attend the talk at Redeemer, visit here. RSVPs by March 6.

Lucky Duck Entertains Little Ones at the New Victory Theater

Looking for something for the little ones while in New York? The New Victory Theater presents the New York premiere of Lucky Duck, a musical from the Broadway team of Henry Krieger (Dreamgirls, Side Show), Bill Russell (Side Show) and Jeffrey Hatcher (Tuesdays with Morrie),geared toward tots aged 4-8.

With live musicians, clever lyrics and crisp choreography, this satirical, rags-to-runway musical created for young people puts a modern spin on classic musical theater. Lucky Duck will run at The New Victory Theater, 209 West 42nd Street, from March 16 through March 25.

Lucky Duck was created in Kansas City Coterie Theatre’s “Lab for New Family Musicals,” which was developed to connect accomplished Broadway composers to the field of professional theater for young audiences. “It all began with Seussical,” said Jeff Church, Lucky Duck Director and Coterie Producing Artistic Director, referring to the musical by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty that debuted on Broadway in 2000. “The experience with Seussical formalized the idea of bringing Broadway artists into the world of family musicals. In New York, The New Victory is the perfect theater at which to premiere our newest show, Lucky Duck” he said.

In this no-intermission, 75-minute production best for kids 4 to 8, doo-wopping ducks and other birdie beauties belt out show-stopping pop-soul numbers in exotic locales, like The Barnyard, The Forest and New Duck City.

Krieger received two Grammy® Awards for Dreamgirls: one in 2007 for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, and one in 1982 for Best Show Album.

Lucky Duck is directed by Jeff Church, with book by Russell and Hatcher, music by Krieger and lyrics by Russell. Music direction is by Anthony T. Edwards, orchestrations are by Harold Wheeler, choreography is by Ernie Dolan, set design is by Ryan J. Zirngibl, costume design is by Georgianna Buchanan, lighting design is by Jarrett Bertoncin, and sound design is by David Kiehl.

The Lucky Duck cast includes Seth Golay, Jennie Greenberry, Katie Karel, Greg Krumins, Tosin Morohunfola, Kip Niven, Tim Scott, Emily Shackelford, Julie Shaw and Francisco “Pancho Javier” Villegas.
General Ticket Information

Tickets for Lucky Duck at The New Victory Theater (209 West 42nd St., NYC) cost $25, $18, $12 and $9 for members and $38, $28, $18 and $14 for non members based on seat locations. To purchase tickets online, visit, and to purchase by phone, call 646-223-3010. The box office (209 West 42nd Street) is open Sunday and Monday from 11am to 5 pm and Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 7pm.

Online Instruction Offered for Ministry Leaders

The Christian Leadership alliance (CLA) will offer six new online modules powered by Azusa Pacific Online University in April. Class sizes are limited, so register soon. The cost of these 10-week modules is $350 for CLA members and $450 for non-members.

Spring 2012 CLA online modules:
(Modules begin April 2, 2012. Registration deadline is March 26.)

(Resource Development): Biblical Foundations of Development
(Resource Development): Major Gifts
(Resource Development): Development Strategy and Planning
(Financial Management): Effective Financial Controllership
(Executive Leadership): Biblical Foundations of Leadership
(Board Governance): Biblical Foundations of Governance

These online modules provide credits towards a Credential in Christian Nonprofit Leadership (CCNL). Or towards a certificate from CLA-APOU.
Learn more or Register for Online Courses

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Book Notes February 2012

News from the world of Christian books with information from the publishers:
Due out March 1-- "YESHUA: The King, The Demon and The Traitor" (Authentic Media ) by G.P. Taylor and Paula K. Parker.  The book takes readers back to witness the life of one man whose birth changed the course of history forever.

With vivid descriptions and historic details, these stories clothe the characters with flesh and bone, laughter and tears, love and pain, excitement and anger. The scenes and settings paint the ancient world with the grit and dust of Palestine alongside the opulence and decadence of the Roman Empire. Throughout it all, these stories honour the truth of the ancient book from which the narratives were drawn.

YESHUA will captivate the imagination of a generation that is perhaps more familiar with Hogwarts and Mt Olympus than Galilee and Jerusalem with these retellings of stories from the world’s all-time bestselling book.

Pre-order it here You can receive more updates on Facebook here:

The Shroud of Turin is one of the most famous relics in the world. Scrutinized by scientists and studied by debunkers, it also is honored around the globe by countless faithful devoted to the mysterious image of a crucified man that appears on the cloth.

In "The True Icon," available from Ignatius Press, German investigative reporter and bestselling author Paul Badde travels from the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem through Europe tracing the history and travels of what arguably is the most-investigated piece of cloth in human history. Along the way, he notes that the rediscovery of another ancient piece of cloth — the Holy Veil of Manoppello – actually answers questions that have kept some from acknowledging the Shroud as the cloth Joseph of Arimathea used to wrap Christ’s body for burial.

“The Shroud is an icon written in blood; the blood of a man who was scourged, crowned with thorns, crucified and whose right side was pierced,” said Pope Benedict XVI. “The image impressed upon the Shroud is that of a dead man, but the blood speaks of his life. Every trace of blood speaks of love and of life.”
In this lavishly illustrated new book, Badde analyzes the reporting in the Gospels that suggests the Shroud and Holy Veil not only are “the real deal,” but that they found their way to the East and, ultimately, to Europe through the hands of the true witnesses to Jesus’ walk on Earth — the Apostles.
“I doubt — frankly — a lot of things,” Badde writes in the book. “I doubt the latest news, I doubt my telephone bills and many prescriptions, and so on, but not that the Shroud of Turin accommodated Jesus of Nazareth after his death for two nights and a Sabbath.”

He reports on the chain of Shroud ownership through the ages, uncovering some fascinating twists and turns in the cloth’s path from the tomb described in the Gospels to Turin. In the process, he also offers readers a brief introduction to the Holy Veil of Manoppello, believed to be “the napkin” included in the Gospel of John report on Jesus’ resurrection.

Badde provided an extensive look at the Holy Veil in his bestselling "The Face of God," published in English by Ignatius Press in 2010.
This time, however, the Shroud is his focus; and Badde uses the same investigative tools to provide new insights into the well-known relics.
You can order it here

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

You Know You're in the Wrong Church When. . .

By Lauren Yarger
Being a part of a church family where you feel welcome and where you have the opportunity to serve the Lord and worship Him on Sunday mornings is a blessing. Finding the right place, however, sometimes can be a difficult, if not amusing, process.My friend Ron and I have attended a lot of church services over the years. We have different preferences – I like a contemporary style with larger numbers and an environment that is welcoming to those who don’t know Christ because I’ve never forgotten feeling like an outsider as a non-believer. Ron usually likes really good music, but prefers an intimate setting and a more liturgical service.
Once, after a geographical move that had him in search of a new home church, Ron asked me to come along while he checked out some prospects to give him some feedback. Over time, we developed, by trial and error, a checklist that made it easy for us to tell rather quickly whether we were in the wrong place, which unfortunately, happened quite a lot. We weren’t looking for perfection and we weren’t trying to be judgmental, but we found our list to be an accurate indicator. If we mentally checked off one or more of the items on it, we invariably found it difficult to connect with the folks attending there or with the message being preached. It took some time, but he eventually found just the right place to worship. The checklist for knowing when you’re in the wrong church lives on, however, and I offer it here as a tool if you are looking for a church home (and yes, it’s all true).

You know you’re in the wrong church when . . . (to keep reading, click here.)

Friday, February 3, 2012

Elements Theatre Company Plans NY, PA Performances of Twelfth Night

A scene from Elements' Twelfth Night, courtesy of the company.
One of Shakespeare’s earliest, most effervescent comedies: Twelfth Night will be presented by Elements Theatre Company, Orleans, MA, for students at New York and Philadelphia schools this semester.

Set against a Mediterranean backdrop of sun, waves, and summer breezes, this production of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night weaves a captivating and uproarious tale of mistaken identity, earnest social climbers, impulsive lovers and, above all, people passionately seeking to break free and make a new life for themselves. 

Tour performance schedule:
Thursday, Feb. 9 – Nyack College, Nyack, NY, 7:30 pm, Pardington Hall, 45 South Boulevard
Free Admission. Call 845-675-4420 for tickets to reserve seating. For directions visit:

Tuesday, Feb. 28 – Saint Joseph's University, Philadelphia
SHOWS:   4 and 8 pm Bluett Theatre, Admission limited to SJU community
STUDENT WORKSHOPS 11:30 am; Organized by the Medieval, Renaissance and Reformation Studies Program.

Thursday, March 1 – College of Mount Saint Vincent, Riverdale, NY
SHOW:  4 pm Hayes Auditorium, 6301 Riverdale Ave. Riverdale, NY
Free Admission. For directions, visit

Elements Theatre Company is an ensemble of 16 actors who explore the vitality of the word and the deepest truths present in the text by storytelling with imagination, honesty, and authenticity in both classical and modern works. The transformative work to become the text with a new and fresh perspective – to inhabit another world and live another’s life – is both pleasure and privilege.

Their mission: Living honestly as a community in the rehearsal room provides a foundation of trust and dedication to this level of work and allows us to be available to the divine moment when inspiration, faithfulness, and love merge - transporting us beyond the familiar into something new.

Elements Theatre Company performs year-round in Orleans, MA, and tours regularly, presenting workshops and performing at conferences, schools and churches. 

Danielle Dwyer, CJ - Artistic Director has directed works from Oscar Wilde’s Lady Windemere’s Fan, Neil Simon’s Rumors, Anton Chekov’s The Cherry Orchard, and co-directed the New England premiere of the opera Pilgrim’s Progress by Ralph Vaughan Williams.  Recent roles include: Malvolio,Twelfth Night; Eleanor The Lion in Winter ; Mephistopheles, Doctor Faustus; Queen Elizabeth, Richard III; Lettice Douffet, Lettice and Lovage.

Dwyer earned her MAA from England’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and the University of London. She trained with Joanna Weir at Central School of Speech and Drama, David Male of Cambridge University, and Shakespeare & Company.

For more details: contact Melody Edmonson at 508-255-3999 or Visit online at

Daily Inspiration

The Blind Side

Read about the real life mom from "The Blind Side."



Read Matt Mungle's review of the movie at

Lauren Yarger, Bio

Lauren Yarger has written, directed and produced numerous shows and special events for both secular and Christian audiences. She co-wrote a Christian musical version of “A Christmas Carol” which played to sold-out audiences of over 3,000 in Vermont and was awarded the 2000 Vermont Bessie (theater and film awards) for “People’s Choice for Theatre.” She also has written two other dinner theaters, sketches for church services and devotions for Christian artists.

Yarger trained for three years in the Broadway League’s Producer Development Program, completed the Commercial Theater Institute's Producing Three-Day Training and produced a one-woman musical about Mary Magdalene that toured nationally and closed with an off-Broadway run.

In 2008 she was a Fellow at the National Critics Institute at the O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT. She writes reviews of Broadway and off-Broadway theater with a Christian perspective for Reflections in the Light ( and is editor of The Connecticut Arts Connection. She also is a contributing editor for

She also reviews books for Publisher's Weekly and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. She formerly was Connecticut theater editor for CurtainUp, a national theater web site bsed in New York and a reviewer for American Theater Web.

She also served as Executive Director of Masterwork Productions, Inc. and worked in arts management for the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford and the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.

She is a freelance writer and member of the Drama Desk, The Outer Critics Circle, The American Theater Critics Association, The League of Professional Theatre Women and The CT Critics Circle.

A former newspaper editor and graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, Yarger lives with her husband in West Granby, CT and has two adult children.

Copyright Notice

All contents copyright © Lauren Yarger 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013. All rights reserved. For reprint permission, contact

Scripture from THE MESSAGE Copyright 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

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