From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Play shows United Methodists' 250 years of involvement in

From NewsDesk <NewsDesk@UMCOM.UMC.ORG>
Date 19 Jun 1998 13:12:54


June 19, 1998	Contact: Linda Green*(615)742-5470*Nashville, Tenn.

NOTE: This story may be used as a sidebar to UMNS #372.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) -- United Methodist educators attending the
recent 1998 Institute of Higher Education became the first to witness a
play depicting the church's 250-year involvement with schools.

"The Vision," a play about Methodism founder John Wesley and the start
of the Kingswood School, premiered June 16 at Belle Meade United
Methodist Church. 
 Commissioned by the churchwide Division of Higher Education, the play
is part of a yearlong celebration of Methodism's work in education.  

In 1748, Wesley and his fellow Methodists opened the Kingswood School in
Bristol, England, to give the children of miners an education and a
chance for a better life. The school gave early Methodists the chance to
practice their educational theories. 
Written by Rex Stephenson and Mike Trochim, professors at United
Methodist-related Ferrum (Va.) College, the play captures the spirit of
Wesley's age and shows the vision that has motivated church-related
education for two and a half centuries, said Robert Armour, a staff
member of the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry. 

People of all faiths will find issues in the play that remain important
in the relationship between education and religion today: making
church-related education distinctive, assuring the quality of education,
finding funding, and hiring committed faculty and staff, Armour said.
Through drama, music and humor, the play explores some of the human
issues surrounding any church's investment in education, he said.

"The Vision" aims to place the current relationship between the church
and its related schools into a historical context, according to the
Division of Higher Education. In the introduction, the division
encourages any church or affiliated organization to perform play: "The
production of it should serve to stimulate and renew the commitment
between the church and education."

# # #

NOTE TO EDITORS FOR OPTIONAL USE: For copies of "The Vision" or more
information, contact Tommye Cherry at (615) 340-7402.

United Methodist News Service
Releases and photos also available at

Browse month . . . Browse month (sort by Source) . . . Advanced Search & Browse . . . WFN Home