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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Take a trip to 'The Castle'

It can make your stewardship program sing

Can stewardship be fun? Entertaining? Even artistic? The ELCA stewardship team says "yes" — and demonstrates how with a one-hour musical in which just about any parishioner can participate.

Congregations can use To the Castle: A Musical for Stewards to promote creative stewardship, as well as other aspects of church life. In fact, more than 1,500 congregations already have done just that, says Bob Sitze, ELCA director for congregational stewardship development.

The production is set in medieval times and stars a pig-keeper in disguise (more on that later). The word steward comes from the Anglo Saxon sty-warden — a pig-keeper who oversaw the sty and delivered a steady supply of meat to the castle or manor. The job developed into a position managing most essential aspects of a castle community's daily life.

Lighthearted and serious at the same time, the story tells of a ruler who masquerades as a lowly sty-warden to observe what the community's various members do for the good of the whole. There is considerable emphasis on what we call "time and talent." The characters — including knights, a cook, a tailor, nobles and, yes, the pigs themselves — learn there are appropriate ways for each to contribute.

The script and music, with piano and optional instrumental parts, are by Jay Beech. A well-known composer of popular contemporary hymns and liturgical music, Beech is director of music at Trinity Lutheran Church, Moorhead, Minn.

A director's guide includes the script, scores and a CD that can be used for accompaniment or just to hear what the production can sound like. Also included are ideas for how to adapt the musical and Bible study helps.

Order To the Castle (6000178158) from Augsburg Fortress, Publishers: (800) 328-4648; www.augsburgfortress.org; supplemental material for leaders from the ELCA stewardship office: (800) 638-3522, Ext. 2767.


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