New Life Fine Arts is comprised of approximately 200 people from at least twenty different churches of all denominations spread over eastern Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. Most are evangelical, some are Jewish, some are charismatic, and occasionally they get a non-believer (though not for long). It is a body of believers each with a different role to play. David MacAdam adapted the 1843 Charles Dickens storying into a musical in 1984 to tell the story of his personal transformation from curmudgeon to a new believer filled with God’s love and purpose.

To put on a production they need actors, singers, dancers, stage crew, painters, set builders, sound teams, music directors, song coaches, lighting crews (for example, there are over 1,000 lighting cues in Scrooge), ushers, musicians, seamstresses, ticket sales, advertising, and an extensive prayer team to cover everything.

We have seen community theater and some commercial productions—New Life is nothing like them. The biggest difference is that the people in New Life really love and support one another. There is virtually no vanity or selfishness; they’re all in it to celebrate God and to play our part in bringing the message of Good News in a powerful and anointed way to the communities they perform in.

This has become a family tradition in New England. There are children everywhere and you almost always hear my favorite sound in the world…children giggling. In the 25 years of doing this, we have seen babies grow up to be a part of the show and their children becoming part of it as well. It is an enormous blessing to all involved.

This is not only a wonderful tradition, but it also illustrates an effective approach to operating in unity. The participants are a cross section of this broader community who come together for a common goal—community theater. It is not comprised of members of a single church or even a common spiritual tradition. Yet, this does not impede their ability to work together. If they were compelled to certify each participant’s interpretation of scripture to ensure “agreement”, nothing would get done. There would be no musical.

Yet in the process of operating in unity, what is real has a way of rising within. These relationships effectively plant seeds of truth, watered by others, but it is God who enables it to grow and prosper. Our goal cannot mandate “sameness”, it is not required and ultimately does more harm than good.

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