The April edition of The Call newspaper featured Steps of Grace, a dance team from Stone Dam United Methodist Church in Johnson City District. Steps of Grace was selected to perform in the opening ceremonies of General Conference along with other dancers from across the denomination. Here, team mom Jennifer Teague reports on the girls' experience.
APRIL 24, 2008
Steps of Grace arrived back from General Conference tonight. Last night's performance was the highlight of a wonderful week. When we arrived on Sunday night, we met with the youth group at Crowley United Methodist Church in Crowley, Texas ...
Crowley's liturgical dance team is called "Spirit Moves." They were also invited to participate in the opening worship service, but had to decline because their students were involved in state testing. Crowley hosted a gathering on Monday night (April 21) during their usual dance practice. Our dance team was invited to share our original dances, along with Adirondack Liturgical Dance Troupe from Plattsburgh, N.Y. We ate pizza together, then ended the evening with beautiful dances that praised God with every step and movement. Later in the week, both groups came to see us perform in the opening ceremonies. Here we are together ...
Tuesday (April 22) was a long, hard day spent in rehearsals at Fort Worth Convention Center. But Wednesday was the day we had waited for. Bishop James Swanson made a point to find us after the bishops rehearsed. The girls were so excited to meet him. (Later, in an e-mail to us, Bishop Swanson said he was "as proud as a papa" and "the girls were wonderful.")
Then came the opening worship service where the girls danced their hearts out. Angela Johnson was the dance choir coordinator, and she pushed the girls to the limit. But she had a definite vision for what the dance should look like, and it was absolutely beautiful and everything we dreamed it would be. These photos are by Maile Bradfield of UMNS ...
On our return flight home, I passed around a piece of paper and asked the girls to reflect on their trip. Here's what they said:
Abby: "I feel so honored to have danced at General Conference. It was amazing to dance and praise God in front of all those people."
Katie: "I had a great time worshipping God at General Conference. It was sad for me to leave because I made a great friend, Kelcey. This was an amazing experience I'll never forget."
Natasha: "It was really amazing to dance at General Conference because I didn't know that we had that many bishops. I made a lot of new friends that I will never forget."
Terra: "I'm so glad that I had a once-in-a-lifetime chance to dance at General Conference. It was a fabulous experience that I will always remember!"
Ashley: "Well, General Conference was wonderful! The music and the speaker were both amazing. It was so much like Resurrection! Worshipping God through dance is just awesome."
Raelynn: "General Conference was an amazing experience. I met many new friends and had a blast bonding with my fellow teammates. Praising God through dance is an easy way for me to worship. The experience was unforgettable, and I can't wait to do it again."
Cortni: "My experience at General Conference can be summed up as worshipful. It was so amazing to worship God through dance in front of all of the United Methodist leaders."
We took the trip of a lifetime and made memories and friendships that will last forever.