Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Friends In the Journey

Prayer works!  Brian and Jill are headed back from Russia with a brother for Daniel!  God is good all the time...

Over the years in Kissimmee we were blessed to have some amazing speakers, musicians and artists join us for special events.  Because we had such incredible financial support from the church budget, we were able to explore options that many student ministries do not have.  I have already written of the contributions of Lost And Found and Spooky Tuesday to our ministry; today I want to remember a few more of the artists who joined us on our journey to discover more about Jesus

Duffy Robbins-  Duffy was and is one of the cornerstones of the National Youth Workers Convention, and I had become acquainted with him through that event.  He joined in the summer of 1996 to kick-off our Youth Week, and he was amazing.  I remember him telling a story about riding the Swamp Fox, a great old roller coaster in Myrtle Beach, when he was a kid.  Duffy's humor and deep insights into the faith-journey of teenagers made him the perfect guest speaker.  I remember being a little irritated (ego, you know!) a few years later when the same students who could not remember what I said yesterday could still remember everything Duffy said...

Sundry-  I met Danny Stephens when he was the keyboard player for the Smalltown Poets.  A couple of years later he had left that band to go into managing other bands, including a band from Atlanta called Sundry.  He gave me a call and we booked them to play the Fellowship Hall on a Sunday evening.  Sundry rocked hard, and I remember them as being pretty good.  They had just lost their guitarist, and so they had borrowed one from Skillet to fill his shoes.   They were very bold in their faith.  But what I really remember is a stunt they used where the drummer set one of his drums on fire.  It was very cool (and a complete violation of the fire code...).  The band never made it big, but we had them at FUMC-K!

CPR-  There is nothing much funnier than improv comedy when it is done well, and no one (not even Whose Line Is It Anyway?) did it better than Carl, Pete and Rodney (and then later Ringo), the improv group known as CPR.  They joined us for Youth Week '99 and neither Rodney nor Ringo were there; I have no idea who the "R" was that night, but he is pictured with Carl (Carl is on right).  They did their usual hilarious show (in the Sanctuary; the whole church family was invited), and then Carl, Pete and I drove over to Pleasure Island at Walt Disney World and I took them to the improv comedy club there.  Sitting in the crowd with professional improv guys at an improv club was one of the best nights ever.  It was hard to know who I was laughing at- the comedians on stage, or the ones sitting next to me. 

Mike Williams-  Also known as Dr. Comedy, Mike joined us during Youth Week '99 with his unique brand of prop comedy and music.  Mike use to be a writer for some famous stand-ups, but then his faith led him to sharing his story through comedy.  His songs were hysterical; The Thunder Rolls was a parody of the Garth Brooks song that told the story of a man who ate a little too much Taco Bell, and I Wish They All Could Be Southern Baptist Girls speaks for itself.  The crowd was small that night, but those who were there had a blast.

Curt Cloninger-  Yet another friend I made at the NYWC, Curt is a brilliant actor and writer whose one man shows Godviews and Witnesses are legendary.  Curt came to Kissimmee to do his Witnesses show, and once again the whole church family was there.  His performance was riveting; you laughed at Abe the Banana Man, you cried with Doubting Thomas, you were stunned by Barabbas and you celebrated the resurrection with Peter.   Between the video of that show, and seeing it live at least 4 times, I almost have it memorized myself.  Very few things have brought more depth to my own faith walk than the insights of Curt Cloninger.  If you ever have the opportunity to see him, GO!!!

These are a few of the visiting artists who had an impact on our student ministry at FUMC-K.  Those of you who were a part of those years will notice that the name of Geoff Moore is missing.  That story will get its own post at a later date.  Tomorrow, we will begin to take a look at what my lovely wife and I were up to 15 years ago this week.  You don't want to miss it.

Because of Jesus,

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous7/13/2010

    I remember Curt and that wild Banana guy. That was one of the best shows I ever saw. JW


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