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Uncharted waters

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Youth pastors adapt Gilligan's Island to teach Seven Deadly Sins

By Greg Summers

LIBERTY HILL – On one hand are the Seven Deadly Sins – pride, envy, gluttony, lust, anger, greed and sloth.

On the other hand, is the tale of a fateful trip that started from a tropic port aboard a tiny ship.

The two subjects don’t seem to have very much in common, but a group of local youth pastors have found a connection between “Gilligan's Island” and the capital vices.

They are in the process of weaving together their own local tale of “a mighty sailing man, a Skipper brave and sure, and five passengers who set sail that day for a three hour tour” to teach teenagers about the seven deadly sins in the upcoming months.

Dubbed “SNL,” youth pastors from Bethlehem Baptist, Catawba Baptist, Hyde Park Baptist, New Horizon Community Church, Pleasant Dale Baptist and Spring Hill Baptist went to Lake Wateree this week to start filming the seven segments based on the 1960s sitcom.

New Horizon’s Cliff Henson said he learned of the correlation between the seven castaways and the seven vices while attending Fruitland Baptist Bible Institute in Hendersonville, N.C.

Henson said he helped out with a Vacation Bible School at nearby Mud Creek Baptist Church in Hendersonville, where the theme was “Gilligan’s Island and the Seven Deadly Sins.”

Given that, Henson said this isn’t an ocean-themed voyage in uncharted waters.

“The Seven Deadly Sins aren’t really laid out in scripture, but it’s the things that young people and adults struggle with each and every day,” he said. “Our goal is to let them know that you don’t have to go down the same paths. History doesn’t have to repeat itself.”

Henson said each one of the show characters represents one of the vices.

Gilligan is lust, the Skipper is gluttony, Mr. Howell is greed, Mrs. Howell is sloth, Ginger is pride, Mary Ann is envy and the Professor is anger.

“If you look at church growth, it’s been on the decline for the last 25 years and it’s only been in the last couple of years that it’s reached a plateau,” Henson said. “In that period of time, many have developed a mind-set that these sins are OK, when they are not. Our goal is to reverse that.”

While the pastor’s goal is serious, that doesn’t mean they aren’t having a little fun with their roles. The cast of local castaways will also be putting their own unique stamp on some spoof commercials and “Saturday Night Live” type skits. There will also be more than a few outtakes to share.

“We are following some guidelines but will make up our own skits,” said Jessie Adams, youth pastor at Pleasant Dale Baptist Church, laughing. “Any time you’re involved with Cliff, you fly by the seat of your pants.”

Brandon Helms, youth pastor at Spring Hill, said “SNL” will meet on set Saturdays from 6 to 8 p.m. at each of the host churches on a rotating basis. The exception is one session that’s scheduled for St. Patrick’s Day (March 17).

And it’s just not limited for youth from the six churches who have put it together, either. Anyone with questions or who is interested in bringing a church group to “SNL” can call Helms at 285-8008.

“There is no cost whatsoever,” Helms said. “Our only goals are helping young people deal with the issues they face every day and to have a little fun in the process.” 

‘SNL’ schedule

– Jan. 31 – Bethlehem Baptist Church, 1841 N. Rocky River Road, 6 to 8 p.m.

– Feb. 28 – Pleasant Dale Baptist Church, 133 S. Potter Road, 6 to 8 p.m.  

– March 17 – New Horizon Community Church, 1906 Great Falls Highway, 6 to 8 p.m.

– March 28 – Catawba Baptist Church, 1144 Riverside Road, 6 to 8 p.m.

– April 7 – Hyde Park Baptist Church, 1898 Flat Creek Road, 6 to 8 p.m.

– April 28 – Location TBD, 6 to 8 p.m.

– May 16 – Spring Hill Baptist Church, 2245 Old Camden Highway, 6 to 8 p.m.

– For details or more information, call Brandon Helms at 285-8008.