Matters of theology: In order to be inclusive but not compromising in our position, we have adopted the Apostles' Creed which can be found in many prayer books. This is universally accepted by both liturgical and evangelical faiths as a solid confession of faith. If a person says this creed with his mouth and believes it in his heart then he is saved and has a personal relationship with Jesus. Our goal is that people, no matter where they are in their spiritual walks, be drawn to God and to His son Jesus.
The work of the Holy Spirit: I believe that when a person is born again, the Spirit of God speaks to, teaches, encourages, comforts, empowers and gives direction to his/her life. The Holy Spirit is referred to as the "paraclete"--the one who comes alongside as a friend.
Ecumenical platform: I was raised an Episcopalian, was Associate Pastor and elder in a Word of Faith Church, and now work a great deal with the evangelical churches, Baptist, Assemblies of God, etc. I find a rich heritage in the main line denominations and a scarlet thread of truth and hope in Christ-centered denominations and churches.
The body of Christ is wonderfully and beautifully different with many different colors and sounds. I continue to learn so much from the believers in the different churches and, as we come together in these missions, we all learn to appreciate the body of Christ from different perspectives.
Why the Arts: We believe that the word of God is the foundation to our faith. Art is simply a way to communicate beyond the intellect to the soul of man. Many intellectual people have written off the Bible and the principles of Christianity, and art is the only way that they can be touched. C.S. Lewis, one of this century's most profound writers and philosophers, said that when he was an atheist his soul was baptized by good Christian art.
I also know that when unbelievers are spoken to by a group of believers who represent many different expressions of the Christian faith, they are astonished by how we can minister together as we lay down our denominational flags and lift up the banner of Jesus. This is especially true in Europe where there is so much strife between denominations.
The Messiah Project, a Christian fine arts organization in Springfield, Missouri, has been glorifying God through the arts since 1992. Here is more about the history of our organization:The Messiah Project Inc. is a not-for-profit fine arts organization headquartered in Springfield, Missouri, whose visual, dramatic, and musical productions celebrate the Jewish and Christian heritage at the core of our nation’s artistic culture. Since its founding in 1991, The Messiah Project Inc. has been sustained by volunteers from diverse Christian traditions; in turn, The Messiah Project Inc. has provided artists with opportunities to turn performance into expressions of faith.
Having reached audiences in Springfield, across the American Midwest, and throughout the world, The Messiah Project Inc. has grown to become one of the most dynamic Christian-based arts organizations in operation today. We are also among the most innovative arts organizations, which has made a reputation for integrating classical music with dance and drama, thereby expanding the music’s impact upon audiences.
The Messiah Project Inc. began in 1991 with a production of Handel’s classical oratorio, Messiah, to which was added drama, dance, and visual effects. Over the intervening years, we have continued to integrate the arts in a variety of productions, including our New Dimensions Concert Series, Holiday Prelude Festivals, Amahl and the Night Visitors, national and international Saviour Tours, Orient Tours, and public displays of international nativity scenes.
Our productions have visited 23 countries worldwide and toured throughout the United States; at the same time, we are proud to call Springfield our spiritual, artistic, and logistical home base. Thousands of people around the Midwest have been touched through a variety of performances, such as community-based holiday prelude festivals; special works, such as Beethoven's "Mass in C," Puccini's "Messa de Gloria," "Clara's Gift," and Vivaldi's "Gloria"; as well as concerts featuring a variety of musical and artistic works.
While The Messiah Project Inc. draws its talent from across the United States, Europe, and Asia, our core team hales from the Ozarks, whose artistic and spiritual soil proves especially rich. We are fortunate that so many of the region’s professionals, trained semi-professionals, and students join artistic forces with us, volunteering their time and financial resources to perform in Messiah Project productions. Then again, we believe that The Messiah Project Inc. has succeeded by offering powerful, public expression of our community’s highest cultural, esthetic, and spiritual values and aspirations.
In our quest to provide more collaborative events for the city, we produced the “Heritage of Hymns Concert,” a 2008 premiere event that brought together choir members from 26 churches across the community, the Springfield Symphony, and Steinway artist Larry Dalton. As a pioneer in adapting fine art to ecumenical Christian ministry, The Messiah Project Inc. is one of the Ozarks’ finest cultural assets, enabling members of our community to perform on local, regional, national, and worldwide stages.