FUMC players: Let's raise the roof

Fellowship, food and a side dish of comedy
May. 14, 2013 @ 04:54 PM

At First United Methodist Church in Thomasville, the cast and crew are hard at work for the the annual Spring Fling set for 6 p.m. Saturday, May 18.

This year marks the 15th  anniversary of this celebration of fun, food and fellowship.

The annual tradition began as a Sweetheart Dinner in 1998 to celebrate Valentine’s Day. The meal was catered so all members could participate in trivia quizzes and other games and enjoy the entertainment.

When the planning committee realized that some church members had hidden talents and enjoyed taking the stage, the event evolved into dinner and a variety show, performed by church members, who laughingly refer to themselves as the FUMC Players. After a couple years of bad weather delays, the event was moved to May and became known as Spring Fling.

The addition of Rob Porter, church music director in 2006, allowed the cast to perform with live music accompaniment and better sound equipment.

Each year the show includes a variety of music acts and comic performances. Door prizes and games are an added feature. Favorite themes of past Spring Flings include “Lil Ole Opry,” “VIVA Las Vegas,” “Pease, Love and Disco” and last year’s “Love Is In The Air.”

The audience looks forward to returning favorites, such as the oldest cast member, 85 year-old Bill Jarrett, who has donned a variety of silly costumes through the years. He has performed as a cow, a baby, Shirley Temple and Cupid, just to name a few. Another favorite act is the “Lady Players,” who keep the audience in stitches as they perform comic skits with lots of surprises. Even church pastor, Cris Uren gets into the act with appearances as a nerd, a jewel thief and a police officer. Everyone is always excited to see what these folks will do next.

Members of the FUMC Players have come and gone, but none is missed more than Richard Call, who passed away six years ago. Richard’s enthusiasm for the show and his comic portrayal of celebrities from Willie Nelson to Liberace made him the “Most Valued Player.”

This year is the second year that the Spring Fling will be a fundraiser. Profits will go toward replacing the church roof. The theme is “Let’s Raise the Roof.” Several weather-related songs will be showcased, including “Singing in the Rain” and “Stormy Weather,” “Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head” and “You Are My Sunshine.”

The FUMC Players, ranging in ages from 5 to 85, will delight the audience with a wonderful fellowship opportunity.

Pastor Cris Uren and music director Rob Porter will be featured entertainers. The meal will be catered by the talented cooks of the church’s United Methodist Women and the youth will serve as waiters and waitresses. The menu includes chicken pie, green beans, cole slaw, sweet potato casserole and assorted homemade desserts. The cost is $12.

First United Methodist Church is located at 100 East Sunrise Ave. in Thomasville. For additional information, call the church office at 476-4223.