Posted by: Mark Nielsen | August 10, 2007

RPC at 50: The Young Turks Grow Up

Yesterday I gave an overview of Reba Place Church’s history as a guinea pig for every religious movement to impact American Christianity in the past 50 years.

Not that we’ve rushed in where angels fear to tread (though in a few cases we did). Let’s just say this particular church was always a little experimental, a place for risk-takers, open to new gifts as they were identified.

So many gifts were allowed to develop, and so many people blessed (or challenged) by them, that the anniversary event last weekend barely scratched the surface in revisiting both the good and the hard times. A team of oldsters and newcomers worked hard to touch all the bases, logistically, religiously and “politically”. Over 400 people will likely tell you they (we) got it right… mostly. Sure, stuff got swept under the rug a bit, but given that it was a celebration and not a work of journalistic brilliance, that was inevitable.

And this blog cannot hope to encapsulate the essence of the three-day event, either. So we’ll have to settle for a few quick hits–the highlights, if you will.
[Note: Limited space here today… check tomorrow for more.]

#1 -The Saturday Night Music/Dance/Multimedia Program -it’s hard to argue about a good tune or graceful choreography, so this was a no-brainer. Home-grown liturgical dances & songs to help our spirits soar; the music of Jim Croegaert, plus a handful of other exotic worship songs, the Racial Reconciliation gospel choir, and Reba Praise (our talented current team, led by Helen Hudgens); a retrospective slideshow with music (which I built from mostly borrowed photos … not my best work, but good enough, especially when supplemented by pro photographer James Ewing’s contributions from the early 70s to the late 80s); a very sweet ‘In Memoriam’ slideshow by the Hoveys; and capping it all off, a new presentation of Croegaert’s “Creation”, a complex, moving, 25+ minute choral cantata, with nature photos by Mr. Ewing and a blend of highly creative old and new choreography).

[More to come!]

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