I figure it's about time to post a an update on what is going on with Sacred Groves. If you've been following the website at all, you'll see that, among other things, we have posted a fair amount of video material related to Adam's Road, a band of Christian musicians who all come from an LDS background, and most of whom were LDS missionaries in the not-too-distant past (and some of whom encountered the true, living Jesus Christ while on their mission!)
Over the past few months, we've posted, on the SacredGrovesOnline.org website, a series of short video clips (and a longer feature that is a compilation of those clips, called "The Adam's Road Testimonies") that share the story of how these young men encountered Jesus. Very compelling stuff, I think, and we've had some good feedback, as well. We also have posted the entirety of their uncut interviews--more than three hours of material in total, for those who might wish to watch the whole thing. (I especially recommend it if you're at home, sick, or stuck with a long layover in an airport with wi-fi. You can even download them to watch on the flight you're waiting for! Whatever your situation, it'll be a good use of your time.)
When we sat these guys down in front of the video camera in the Main Street Church sanctuary back in September of 2009, we weren't really prepared for what we were going to get. We did this at the encouragement of a Utah pastor who told us that we really needed to get these guys' stories on tape. So...we did. But as we sat there, captivated by their moving testimonies and their penetrating insights into the reality of God's marvelous grace, it dawned on us that we really "had something" here. Of course, much to our chagrin, we "had something" using a cantankerous, eight-year-old camera, and an inadequate lighting setup. While this might have been okay for some informal Internet video clips, it really wasn't the sort of quality that would serve for creating a feature-length testimonial documentary that only now did we realize was just screaming to be made from these stories.
So a couple weeks ago, armed with a donated high-definition camera and some new, proper lighting equipment, I flew out to Florida, where the Adam's Road band members call home. Specifically, the place they call home is the historic Edgewater Hotel, which is managed and operated (and occupied) by the band members and their families, in the Orlando suburb of Winter Garden. (Highly recommended, by the way, if you're looking for a great, affordable place to stay in the Orlando area. Check it out at www.HistoricEdgewater.com.)
I was received there with the gracious hospitality that would do any true Southerner proud, and was made to feel very much at home. Over the course of four days, I re-interviewed all five band members with our improved equipment and setup, as well as several others that are closely associated with them, either by relation or ministry. In between I got a chance to spend some very encouraging, enjoyable time with the guys and their families, and really came to appreciate even more their sold-out heart for ministry, and their unabashed dedication to sharing the good news of Jesus with Mormons, and anyone else who they encounter. That is their true passion. Their musicianship, excellent as it is, is simply the vehicle for that passion.
All in all, I came away with about 25 hours of footage, representing some 12 hours of interviews and several hours of "b-roll" on miniDV cassettes--quite a bit more than the four hours that we had initially gathered back in September of last year.
And again, it's powerful stuff, I gotta admit. My job was easy, really--set up the camera, sit them down, and let them go to town and share their stories. We will eventually get these interviews posted on Sacred Groves Online, both in easily-digestible topical video clips, as well as in their entirety (for those who are interested in seeing the whole thing...a lot of material, to be sure, but worth watching!)
However, the objective is the production of a feature-length DVD that presents the true Gospel of the living Jesus, as told through the story of these lives that were changed by an encounter with Him. It's a story that I am anxious to share with seeking Latter-day Saints...and anyone else, for that matter, who is earnestly desiring something real and something true, who wants to know Jesus in a deep and authentic way.
It is our (ambitious) goal to have this project completed by the end of summer. I say "ambitious" because I've done video projects like this before, and not once have I ever managed to hit my self-imposed deadline. But there are some "deadlines" looming that aren't entirely self-imposed, that further motivate me to get this project done, not the least of which is to have it available for the Adam's Road band when they begin their tour of Utah in the late summer.
So if you're a Mormon who is looking for "something more" I urge you to stay tuned to SacredGrovesOnline.org, and watch for new postings over the next few weeks and months. We'll be glad to talk with you about any questions or concerns you may have...just contact us! And when the DVD is done we'll be delighted to send you a copy of the finished product for you to watch and share, free of charge, no strings attached.
If you know Jesus, then I beg you to pray for us, please! This is a daunting and overwhelming task that is set before us. But I am confident that God will provide both the strength, stamina, and resources that we need to complete the project according to His timetable, for His purposes.
If you haven't already, I invite you to to become a fan of Sacred Groves on Facebook, and this will allow us to keep you better posted about new video clips, and progress on the DVD project.
To Jesus be all the glory!
Scott, for Main Street Church & Sacred Groves Online