Tag: 031115

Celebrating Excellence in Music Theatre: Union to Present “Catch Me if You Can”

When the cast and crew of Union High School’s production of the musical comedy “Catch Me if You Can” takes the stage next week, the applause offered by each audience isn’t the only feedback they will receive. This year, the Union Fine Arts Department has enrolled in the Iowa High School Musical Theatre Awards, a relatively new program designed to celebrate the work high school students do in the area of Musical Theatre. Union’s 2015 entry into this event is their spring musical production, “Catch Me If You Can,” which will be presented at Union High School in La Porte City March 20- 21.
According to desmoinesperformingarts.org, the Iowa High School Musical Theater Awards, presented by Des Moines Performing Arts, celebrates the extraordinary achievements of young musical theater artists. The program aims to create visibility and support for high school musical theater programs and to highlight the importance of arts education.
Panels of community adjudicators comprised of performing arts educators and professionals will attend and review each participating school’s production. Students and directors receive valuable constructive feedback that can be used to improve and strengthen their future work. Based on reviews and scores, schools ultimately receive awards in honor of their achievements in categories such as choreography, design, lead and supporting performers, and overall musical production.
The Iowa High School Musical Theater Awards is designed to be celebratory rather than competitive in nature. Any student or school at an outstanding level is recognized for their achievement. Multiple honorees may be named in each category as performances merit.
The year culminates in a professionally produced Awards Showcase event featuring outstanding student performances. Held in June on the Des Moines Civic Center stage, the Awards Showcase is open to the public.
“We have always been proud of the quality work our students produce in the fine arts at Union,” said Co-Director, Tim J. Mitchell.
“Our philosophy at Union is always to strive to improve in each arts medium in which we participate. When we learned of this program, which includes theatre professionals attending our performance and giving constructive feedback, we jumped at the chance to help take our performance to the next level. This will be a great experience for all of our students involved in the production,” he added.
Reserved tickets for Union High School’s production of “Catch Me If You Can may be purchased for $5 each on weekdays between the hours of 7:30 AM and 3:30 PM at the Union High School office. beginning Thursday, March 5th. For more information about the production, contact Tim J. Mitchell at t_mitchell@union.k12.ia.us

Meditations – March 11, 2015

By Pastor Nathan Richardson   Heartland Community Church
What Arrogance Does?
Arrogance. John the Baptist, however is one of those guys that is the complete opposite of this. One might describe him as humble. Traits of being humble are that they think more about others than they do themselves. They do not necessarily have a low opinion of self but hold such a high view of the relationships they have that they are willing to do anything and everything for.
At Heartland right now we are looking to shift our souls from this attitude of arrogance to an attitude of humility. This is a work that is done in the fabric of who we are. We literally want to shift from a selfishness to a selflessness that puts God and others before ourselves. We call this shift from Me to You.
There are a few things that we have to achieve to see this happen. First we have to be real about who we are. Our opinion and perspective is not always truth. John the Baptist definitely knew who he was. John 1:19-34. (Please check it out.) John was talking with some others and they wanted to know who he was. Was he the Christ, Elijah, or the Prophet? He answered no to all three. So they asked him again who he was. This was his reply; “I am the voice of one calling in the desert. Make straight the way for the Lord.” Even his answer shows that he was humble in who he was. By pointing to the Christ, he took the attention away from himself.
Next we are to build up others, not yourself. The culture today would rather seek fame than character. We have replaced real heroes from the military, firemen, and police to those who become famous by releasing a sex tape, being on a reality series, or one who can play guitar. If we are willing to do anything for fame then we have lost our humanity in the process. John the Baptist never sought fame for himself but always tried to bring attention but to Christ.
Third we should be authentic enough to talk about our faults, not about the faults of others. John said this about Jesus, “the throngs of whose sandals I am not worthy to tie.” This is the job of a servant and he sees that he is not even worthy of doing something like this for Jesus. Our world is missing authenticity and humility in the worst way. How many of us would “rather serve than be served?” But this was the mission of Christ from the beginning. We must be willing to serve.
We must also use the gifts God blessed us with to build the kingdom. Some of you may be a little too humble, thinking that God could never use you because of your past or still present lives. Do not limit God by saying your gifts are not good enough. God is the one who gave you the gift, and he gave it to you to be used to serve the world and build His kingdom.
Galatians 5:22-23: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Law Enforcement: Be Safe This St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day is quickly approaching.Unfortunately, this holiday has become a deadly day with a dramatic spike in drunk-driving fatalities. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2013, 40% of all crash fatalities during the St. Patrick’s Day weekend involved drunk drivers, and that number rose to 55% in the post-party hours of midnight – 6 AM of March 18. Almost 75% of those fatalities involved drivers who were twice the legal limit. Over the last four years, nationwide, drunk driving kills on average 68 people each St. Patrick’s Day holiday.
Don’t let your St. Patrick’s Day end in tragedy. Before you take your first sip of green beer, make a plan. If you become impaired and don’t have a designated driver, call a friend, relative, cab or use public transportation to get home safely. If you think a cab fare is expensive, consider the average $10,000 expense of getting an OWI, including higher insurance rates, attorney fees, court costs, towing fees, lost wages, and other unanticipated expenses.
Be safe and smart this St. Patrick’s Day holiday! Extra law enforcement officers will be on the roads March 13-17, 2015, to keep Iowa motorists safe. Whether you’re buzzed or drunk, it doesn’t matter. Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving – drive sober.

Dodgeball Tourney to Benefit Local Food Pantry

Heartland Community Church is now organizing a Dodge Hunger Dodgeball Tourney at Union High School on Saturday, March 28. Registration starts at 8:30 AM with the tournament starting at 9. The cost of entering a team is $25. All proceeds raised will be donated to the LPC Food Pantry. Teams can pre-register by email to nathancrichardson@yahoo.com or by calling 319-540-5727. Non-perishable food items will also be collected at the door. All are invited to play or just come to watch and cheer on your favorite team.

View Point: Rural America – March 4, 2015

Rural America: It’s Complicated, Really Complicated
By Brian Depew, briand@cfra.org, Center for Rural Affairs
There are two closely held, widely believed, narratives about rural America. The national media narrative, with roots in the 1980’s farm crisis, is fatalistic. Rural places are dying. It lives on at the Brookings Institute and the New York Times, fueled by demographics that show decades of population decline across much of rural America.
The other narrative is woven by small town boosters. They point to new demographic data showing 30-49 year olds returning to small towns. They talk with passion about new businesses and housing shortages.
The challenge is, neither narrative is wholly accurate. The truth is far more complex. The fatalists, caught in a crisis mind frame, are wrong. Rural America will not return to a vast buffalo commons anytime soon. Meanwhile, the boosters lead with great local successes while brushing over underlying trends.
To build a vibrant small town future in America, we must understand clearly what challenges we face and where emerging opportunities exist.
Many small towns are losing population, yet young families moving in often cannot find housing. Much small town infrastructure is in decline, but contractors, plumbers and electricians have more work than they can handle, often with new construction. Small town grocery stores are under pressure but community-led efforts to retain grocery stores have seen dramatic success.
America’s small town reality is complex. Some places thrive, others struggle. And in every small town there is a mix of success and challenge. Understanding these dynamics is the only path to a vibrant future.

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