Kentucky-Tennessee division unveils new take on fellowship with ‘The Unveiling’
By: Brad Rowland
With a desire to bring young adults together across the Kentucky-Tennessee Division of The Salvation Army, a group traveled to six locations – including four in a single holiday weekend – to share “The Unveiling.” The Unveiling is a mystery dinner theater program designed and implemented by the Youth Department of the division, with seven characters executing an interactive show accompanied by a meal.
The ensemble traveled to four corps – Frankfort and Henderson in Kentucky, Knoxville and Jackson in Tennessee – and two college campuses – Asbury University and Trevecca Nazarene University. Combined, over 200 young people attended, with the idea that this kind of fellowship could be brought to young adults, rather than asking them to come to a central location.
“Rather than having everyone drive to one location, the idea of a tour allowed people to avoid driving a long distance,” said Joel Collier, divisional music director. “It still allowed for fellowship but also for a level of convenience and cost savings.”
While a large portion of each program was dedicated to the enjoyable and entertaining mystery program, things transitioned to a time of praise and worship, followed by a dedication message. Lieutenant Mark Cancia, Trevecca student ministries, delivered the word on multiple occasions, with Captain Matt Cunningham, divisional youth and candidates secretary, also bringing a devotional time along the way.
“I think it went quite well in every stop,” Collier said. “We were pleased with how many people got involved and attended. I think people enjoyed it and had fun, but it was also great to keep people engaged with the dinner theater and be able to transition that into active worship and spiritual study.”
The tour, or something like it, could be implemented again, either later in 2020 or in the years to come. Beyond that, the idea was simple, yet effective and replicable, planting the seed for similar activities in other parts of the territory and across the Salvation Army world.
“It’s important to remember that this came out of a desire to fellowship together and that it can be very easy to put something like this together, even without a designated financial budget,” said Alicia Collier, divisional creative arts director. “This is something that can be both fun and impactful. If there is a desire or a need, people can get out there and just make it happen.”
“Our young adults simply wanted to be involved and wanted to have something they could participate in,” Joel Collier said. “Ultimately, I think that’s why they turned up and invested their time, to be a part of a fellowship together.”