PORTAGE la PRAIRIE, MB – Pastor Kevin Bunski had been opposed to thespians his whole life until a member of his congregation came forward to help him see the light.
“I’ve suspected there were thespians in our congregation but until recently I never really knew anyone personally who was,” Portage Church Pastor Kevin Bunski said.
A few weeks ago, Randall Mason approached Bunski after the pastor had made some negative comments about the Portage Thespian Society and its members.
“I’ve notice since I’ve been attending, he will make disparaging remarks about thespians and the society and that he seemed a little confused,” Mason shared. “He doesn’t like to be questioned in any way so it was tough to have a conversation at first.” Mason has been a member of the Portage Thespian Society for over a decade while still attending The Portage Church.
“There are a few of us thespians here and we’ve just kept quiet to keep the peace but I just got tired of being told I was a sinner and stuff just because I was a thespian and that God hates thespians,” Mason said. “I just don’t see anything in the Bible than even talks about it. Jesus was kind of a thespian with his sermon on the mount and parables and stuff.”
Mason was able to explain to his pastor that the Portage Thespian Society was just trying to make Portage a better place by putting on plays with local thespians two to three times a year.
“When Randy mentioned they were just a bunch of actors I told him stop pretending and just be what God made him to be,” Bunski explained.
Reluctantly, Bunski admitted his understanding of thespian was perhaps not accurate and he was not aware of all the good they did in the community.
“I’ll admit there is nothing in the Bible that would suggest being a thespian is wrong,” Bunski said. “I’m still not one hundred per cent comfortable with a bunch of thespians getting together and calling themselves a society.”
Bunski revealed that while he accepts it may not be a sin to perform plays that are fictional, he is more focussed on the truth.
“I like true stories. I don’t understand why so many people, even some in my church, like made up fictional stories so much. We should always be seeking God’s truth and there is a real danger with these fanciful, make belief tales,” Bunski cautioned.
Several members of his congregation disagree with the pastor’s stand on this issue but offer some grace and perspective on why their pastor thinks the way he does.
“You have to realize that all his formal education took place in Saskatchewan,” Mason said. “He went to bible school there and before that he was home schooled and went to a rural private Christian school. You need to give people like that some time and space to come around.”
The Portage Thespian Society has offered Bunski two complimentary seats to their next performance of Mousetrap and the pastor is considering whether to attend.
“I’m thinking about it, but I want to make sure the church doesn’t get the wrong message,” Bunski offered. “It’s a good reminder for me that I can love the sinner but hate the sin.”
The Portage Thespian Society’s production of Mousetrap opens next month and runs every Friday and Saturday night for four weeks. Saturday’s performances include a supper provided by local award-winning restaurant Will’s Stinky Toes BBQ and Taco. Tickets are available at the box office starting Monday, starting at $25.
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