By Marsha M. Brown
As many of you know, my sweet husband Billy and I used to write programs and plays about veterans that were performed each year; the first being in 2011 – and the last in 2014. We planned ahead each year for the celebration and promotion of our veterans (his brothers & sisters) to take place on the Saturday of Veteran’s Day weekend. It was our joy to create & develop the story line but also the goal we hoped to achieve for which the events were intended…to showcase the brave men and women who have loved and served our country throughout history.
The play utilized men, women and children members of Manteo First Assembly where we are members but we also appreciated members from other churches and the community overall who took part so effectively as well. As a result a closer bond was created between cast and crew and many involved in the event shared ways in which they were personally moved by the different aspects of the script. It was our plan to do it again and again and again but life’s twists and turns changed things and because of his terminal illness diagnosed last February, we were unable to create and write the veteran tribute for the fall as we had hoped. Instead church members Elizabeth DeHart and Crystal Ambrose rose to the occasion and put together a wonderful veteran tribute to honor our Fallen during Memorial Day weekend. The event was well attended and greatly appreciated…especially by Billy and I. The young women worked hard to get it all together and with the help of Sarah Smith, Becky Smith and others they pulled it off. God bless them for all that they did. Billy was moved to tears touched by their respect for him and his inability to be a part of it. Elizabeth has a love for veterans looking up to her veteran Dad and Crystal, the young mom of a recent U. S. Coast Guard enlistee, Ben Ambrose,…she (they) wanted to honor all veterans as well. The girls (Sarah) even came to our house to set up a live streaming of the program as it unfolded at church so my sweetie pie Billy could watch it from his hospital bed in our dining room. How precious and thoughtful was that? Thank you again girls…I’ll never forget what you all did.
Since Billy passed last July I have thought about writing another play maybe for 2018 but I’m currently working on a book…about that special man in my life. It will be my tribute to him and his loyalty to this country; about his respect for God and for his love and devotion to his family. It will be a priority for me and I believe God has pressed it on me to see it through.
If perhaps you’ve attended one of the veteran programs you know our church has a large seating capacity; that it’s comfortable and that as a ‘body’ we eagerly embrace our visitors. You may also know that each year some of the same folks (some being veterans themselves) who acted or assisted with our veteran plays also participated in the annual Easter Drama.
What am I getting to? Am I just proud of our church, its members and their generous attitude toward humanity? Yes of course…but what I’m getting to is inviting you all to attend this years’ sixth original production celebrating Easter and the transition to faith and how it affects our lives. I’m inviting you all to join us for “CLAUDIA – The Story of Pilate’s Wife” both written and produced by Associate Pastor Mary Ann Sherwood. The almost two hour drama will touch, enlighten and inspire you…it’s a MUST see! For anyone unfamiliar with the location: Manteo First Assembly is the big brick church at 812 Wingina St., Manteo (the street that Manteo High School is on or you can access it from the highway & across from Outer Banks Hotline Thrift Store). The outstanding drama will be performed beginning Saturday, April 8th, Sunday April 9th and Monday April 10th at 7:00 PM. The church will provide nursery for children ages 3 and under. Admission is FREE.
Though the drama is not about veterans, it is about Easter and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is also about the transformation of an unbeliever to a believer and it is destined to touch your life. The cast members alone number 40…WOW! And you know what else? While there isn’t an admission fee, there will be an opportunity to donate if folks are able and willing and the collection proceeds will benefit OBX Dare Challenge. Also, many of the men who are students and staff of the successful faith based rehabilitation center are cast members, have helped with set building/painting and lighting etc.
Faith varies from one person to another…how much we believe; what we believe and who we believe in…it’s a personal matter…very personal…but as for my U. S. Army veteran husband who I love and miss so much, faith in God and prayer (he told me) was a huge part of what got him through the jungles of Vietnam and back home again. As for our church? Like everyone else…we love our church…but my Pastor Steve Smith, whose Dad is also a Vietnam veteran, loves our vets and he gave Billy and I the blessing of his help, labor and prayer for the veteran events we enjoyed being a part of for five years. Pastor Steve Smith, (I call him ‘Preacher Steve’) has a love and passion for Christ, people from all walks of life no matter what regardless of what they have or don’t have and most especially for the men of all ages who have resided of Dare Challenge. He loves them, he embraces them fully and wholeheartedly and it is his hope that everyone who is able to see “CLAUDIA” will be moved to love our neighbors as God loves us and to help support the very worthy faith based ministry that has helped to change countless lives. I hope to see you there…I’ll be looking for you!
Please save another date!! The big annual Outer Banks V.F.W. Post 10950 fundraiser is coming up soon! Saturday, April 22nd 5-8PM at the Colington Fire Station located 108 Old School House Rd., Colington (left after 2nd bridge). They’ll be serving delicious BBQ/Chicken, sides & dessert for $10 donation…YUM, YUM! I’ve ‘been there…done that’ and it’s a blast! Lots of great food, fun, and they’ll have a new live auction this year and raffle starting at 6:30 PM! Besides that, you’ll be in the company of some of the greatest people on earth…our VETERANS! Yay! More info will be forthcoming but for now, please mark your calendars to attend on Saturday, April 22nd. Good Lord willing I’ll be there and sure would love to see you all!
Lastly, for those veterans who might be interested, I have just acquired a good supply of the brand new NC4VETS RESOURCE GUIDE magazines. This is the third year we have gotten them and I’d love to get one in your hands if you’d like one…just call me at cell: 252.202.2058.
Until next time be happy, be safe and be proud…we have so much to be proud of! God bless you and I love you all! Stay tuned!