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Luther: The Rock Opera

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Two kids in the youth group –  let’s call them Michael and George were hanging around the church youth room this summer playing some music. They found a Luther Rock The Opera package that got mailed to the church but somehow never opened and a cool graphic novel.  They wondered if they could play the simple songs.  Turns out, they could! 

So they went to the youth director who still had $500 left in the budget and tried to convince her that this would be a great thing to show in the sanctuary upstairs. George would play the piano. Michael would bang out the simple cords on the guitar. 

The other three youth group members would sing along and maybe pound on that cajone-thingie-box that the intern nobody liked left in the closet three years ago. They’d find someone to project the 300 comic book images that came with the package and show it all on screen above the altar one night this fall. “Maybe Halloween? That falls on a Wednesday this year.”

The youth director paused. “Are you going to charge money?”

“No,” said George. But if we took donations we could maybe make your $500 back and even give some money away to a good charity like Lutheran World Relief. “You know… quilts…fair trade coffee… emergency relief and all that stuff.”

The three went to the pastor, who was looking for an excuse NOT to teach confirmation this fall. “If you take my four confirmation students into this from September 19 to October 31, it’s a deal.”

Michael didn’t like it, because his annoying little sister was in confirmation, but if he could get her to run the projector, she’d be 100 feet from him at all times, so he finally agreed. Kind of like a restraining order.

So they ordered the 24 songs and 300 slides and pdfs to build a giant Wittenberg Door and an Ox Cart online. (It all came in a downloaded packet.) They pulled together their team, handed out the song scripts and all got going by the third Wednesday in September. 

And do you know what? 

Six Wednesday rehearsals later, they put on the hour-long show for the whole town. (It would have been 7 Wednesday rehearsals, but George smashed his car into the garage door and got grounded.) 

By Wednesday, October 31, over a couple hundred people showed up for the show. Four neighboring churches brought their confirmation classes – did we mention it was a Wednesday? Michael’s mom and her friends made pies and coffee. The Senior Center next door bussed in a ton of guests. (Roughly 11 guests). Even the retired priest in town came over to see what all the commotion was about.

In the end, they made enough in donations to pay back the youth budget and donate a chunk of change for quilts and coffee and emergency aid through Lutheran World Relief. 

Ms. Dottie from the local newspaper even came over and took a front page picture, reporting that not all kids are bad and a good time was had by all.