Talks Church

Tis’ The Season

It’s here! KWA season is upon the Shaver home!!

This will be the 3rd year serving in this fantastically magical event at Chicago Tabernacle. When we moved here in February of 2017 little did we know what lay ahead for us. Actually, costumes are my thing, Bruce just came along for me. We like to say that he joined the costume team for me and I serve in the young adult group for him. As it turns out both have enriched our lives in ways we never imagined.

This year’s Kids Week of Adventure theme is:

Yep, good ol’ Indy, Marcus and gang are on an adventure to obtain the crown of power. We’ve held a few character appearances in CT’s Playhouse, last week’s appearance was between the 2 rival tribes…it was also a test run for our costume and makeup teams.

As you can see we’ve become masters of the “Bad Guys”

This year’s efforts have included yards and yards of fake leather, or pleather as it’s called. Bark type, red, gold, black and our favorite/not favorite–Crocodile. We learned early on that our hobby type sewing machines were not up to the job of sewing this fabric, without a few lapses in “hate speech” from the team, (i.e…moi’). Our fearless leader, Maria petitioned the powers that be for a used industrial machine. It led to a day long search on my part (power shopping is my gifting) to acquire one speedily–to no avail.

After my disappointing efforts I searched Craigslist Chicago…low and behold Macy’s in a nearby northwest suburb was liquidating their entire alterations department and had 8 machines for sale @ $1-$200 each! I didn’t fully believe the ad so sent an email to confirm, sure enough it was true. I drug Bruce out there the next day to look them over (a prime example of him joining for me) and yep, they were there and available! 4 had already been sold, so we put our names on 2 of them and a week later we brought them to their workshop resting place.

YAY!!!

Mad dash to the finish line for this week’s big dress rehearsal. Sewing and more sewing. All happening at our new workshop too! That’s another divine provision this year, we have a new workshop. It’s amazing and wonderful and bright and clean and, and, and….

It’s also a fantastic avenue of connection for people who are joining the church and looking for places to serve. I recently stood in line for Sunday service (we stand in line at CT) next to a lovely woman who just attended a new members class. She opened up to me about not knowing if this church was exactly right for her because it seemed to have so many younger people and she was in a more mature place in life. I suggested coming to our costume night! We were going to have a our version of a “sew in” (not hair) and needed lots of hands. A couple of weeks later another woman in a mature place in life joined us and I immediately thought of my new friend. We all met together for breakfast the next week. We may start a club, or become a really small gang!

KWA is one of those times when the entire church steps up to serve. There are as many people serving as there are children attending. The atmosphere at church begins to resemble the week before Christmas. There is a countdown in CT’s Playhouse each week. Kids can’t wait to bring friends, cousins, siblings…

Parking is nuts–one year I Ubered…

Hours of prayer go into this event. Beginning with the theme, message goals, script, written in house, moving to the drawings for set and costume design, makeup and hair, technical designs for music, lights and video, casting, rehearsals–it’s a full on year of effort on the part of staff and volunteers.

When dress rehearsal happens, camera persons start to haunt the back rooms where the makeup, costumes, set and tech people hang. They film and shoot pics of all the behind the scenes action and ask for commentary on what KWA is about. One of our team members summed it up so beautifully when she said;

“We hope that these costumes help bring the characters to life for the kids so the message will stay with them and help change their lives”

Says it all

But KWA is about so much more than the kids. It’s about a church community coming together to do a Kingdom work that builds Kingdom character in their own lives. As I said, it’s an avenue for connections and those connections lead to life changing relationships.

I know they have for me

When I began to sew for the costume team, people thanked me each time I fixed a costume or made an item for them. They asked my name, told me theirs, laughed and joked with me. Welcomed me to the church. Gradually I started to feel appreciated and valued in ways that I hadn’t felt in years.

Church wounds from the past began to heal

The team co-leader started telling me how much she appreciated me, she said she was grateful for me. She told me that they were just waiting for God to bring me to CT. She told me she loved me. She came to my home and shared her own story with me and I wept. We became friends then sisters and I now cannot imagine my life without her.

She is now the head of the costume ministry! She has mobilized a team of people with various skills and creative talents. We have a great time while our hands are busy. Each person brings a talent and skill that compliments the team, adding to our overall ability to craft the costumes that bring life to these characters.

I may be able to construct a garment from a drawing but it helps enormously when someone else makes the pattern and cuts it out first. And while I can stitch, my imagination isn’t as vivid as others’ when it comes to creating bark-like leather from scraps of fabric and a glue gun. I’m great at solving construction problems, shopping for fabric (and used sewing machines) and I can make anything if you give me a pattern. But I couldn’t design a costume on paper if you paid me a million dollars. And to embellish something????

Sigh….not my wheelhouse

If ever there was an example of The Body at work it’s KWA….

“But God has carefully designed each member and placed it in the body to function as he desires. A diversity is required, for if the body consisted of one single part, there wouldn’t be a body at all!” I Cor 12:18-19 TPT

It’s a rich experience when a local church body functions in a Kingdom way…

I’ll take it any day!

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