The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

February 6, 2013

Mike Pound: Church play to raise money for youth group trips

By Mike Pound

— I wasn’t supposed to write this column today.

I was supposed to write this column Tuesday about an event at Grace Episcopal Church, 820 Howard St. in Carthage.

My boss, Carol Stark, told me about an event they have called Musical Mondays. She said folks get together on the first Monday of the month at the church to enjoy music.

“It’s a brown-bag event,” is what Carol said.

Carol thought Musical Mondays sounded fun and suggested that I check it out.

So, being a semi-professional journalist, I called the church about 1:30 p.m. and asked what time Musical Monday started that night.

Wouldn’t you know it? It turned out that the event took place over the noon hour.

Now that I think about it, that explains the brown-bag part.

Oh well, like I always say, “When life gives you lemons, say, ‘Cool! Free lemons.’”

While I was chatting with the nice lady at the church, she said, “I thought you might be calling about the play.”

That’s when my semi-professional journalist training kicked in.

“Play?” I asked.

As it happens, the folks at Grace Episcopal Church are working on a play that will be performed on Feb. 14, 15 and 16 in the church hall. The play is an annual fundraiser for the youth group travel fund.

The name of this year’s play is “The Marryin’ Kind,” and it was written by Barbara Mountjoy, a member of Grace Episcopal. Barbara told me that the annual play was the brainchild of the Rev. Steve Wilson, who is the senior pastor. Steve — or Father Steve as he is better known — thought a dinner theater would be a good way for folks at the church to raise some money for a good cause and, at the same time, have some fun.

He was correct.

Barbara said this is the fifth play she has written for the church. This year’s play is a comedy.

“Is it funny?” I asked.

“Well,” Barbara said with a laugh, “I think it’s hilarious, and so do the actors. We just hope the audience thinks it’s funny.”

I’m guessing they will. The main reason the people involved in the play are working so hard is to ensure that the teenagers in the congregation get to enjoy a truly neat experience.

Barbara said the youth group, because of the various fundraising efforts sponsored by the church, normally gets to travel to amazing destinations. In the past, the youth group has traveled to places such as Israel, Jordan and France. This year, the youth group is traveling to Turkey.

Barbara said all of the trips have one thing in common: “They all go to places that are steeped in religion.”

The neat thing about the trips — aside from the religious aspect — is that they often open the eyes of the teenagers to worlds they have never experienced.

This year’s play is directed by Jennifer Cartright and features a cast of 22. Barbara said just about every member of the church is involved in the play in one fashion or another. She said members are either in the play or helping with sets, costumes or backstage. In addition, a host of folks prepare the dinner served before the play, and members of the youth group act as servers for the dinner.

The dinner features roast pork loin with salad, sides and drinks. Keeping with the theme of the play, wedding cake will be served for dessert.

Seating for the play will begin at 6 p.m., and hors d’oeuvres will be served at 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner and the play.

Tickets are $30 and may be purchased by calling the church at 417-358-4631.

DO YOU HAVE AN IDEA for Mike Pound’s column? Call him at 417-623-3480, ext. 7259, or email him at Follow him on Twitter @mikepoundglobe.