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March 2018

Local churches prep for Easter productions

Daniel Johnson comes ‘home’

Swampy Appleseed Mushrooms comes to the Boro

Spring into the arTS at Statesboro High



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Table of Contents

Editorial for March

mirth & Matter Editor’s letter

Daily Specials��������������������������������������������������������������������� 4 Calendar��������������������������������������������������������������������������� 6 ASHS students to perform Peter Pan���������������������������������� 8-9 Johnson Comes ‘home’������������������������������������������������ 10-11 Tailgate Tattler ����������������������������������������������������������� 12-13 Moscow Festival Ballet to Perform���������������������������������������13 Overthinking It �����������������������������������������������������������������16 Mushroom Nerd �������������������������������������������������������� 18-19 Ester Services in Local Churches������������������������������������ 20-21 Day Trippin ���������������������������������������������������������������������22

Behind the Scenes People who make it happen

Angye Morrison, EDITOR 912.489.9405 | Hunter McCUMBER, ART DIRECTOR 912.489.9491 | Stephanie Childs, MARKETING MANAGER 912.531.0786 |

Angye Morrison Connect Editor

It’s a great month to be Irish — and I am! I’ll be breaking out the green and wearing it proudly all month long. This month, we haven’t focused on the obvious holiday, although we hope you get your Irish on. Instead, we have featured some of our area’s most talented students who are performing in some local productions at Statesboro High School. You’ll enjoy reading about these young people, and come to appreciate all their hard work. You’ll definitely want to get out and see one of their shows. We have also featured Daniel Johnson, a local musician who has taken his talent beyond the Boro. Read about his travels and his music. We’ve also put a spotlight on some of the Easter productions that you will find this season in the area. Some of the Boro’s churches do some pretty fantastic Easter events, so check them out. Last of all, we interviewed a local mushroom farmer that you’ll be able to find at the local farmers market when it opens next month. His operation is fairly new, and his passion for what he does is obvious, as is the quality of his product. We enjoyed talking with him, and you’ll love what you see when you visit his booth at the downtown market. Enjoy the issue. And Beannachtam na Feile Padraig!

Tim Webb, Multimedia Darrell Elliot, Distribution 912.489.9425 | Jim Healy, Operations manager 912.489.9402 | Connect Magazine is published monthly (12 issues a year). The cover and contents of Connect Magazine are fully protected by copyright laws of the United States and may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without the written consent of Connect Magazine. We are not responsible for loss of unsolicited inquiries, manuscripts, photographs, transparencies or other materials. Such materials will not be returned unless accompanied by return postage. Address letters and editorial contributions to Connect Statesboro, Angye Morrison, 1 Proctor Street, Statesboro, GA 30458, Copyright © 2018 by Statesboro Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.

On the cover: Student director Harlie Carter, center, runs through a scene with Captain Hook, played by Andrew Pittman, left, and Smee (Justin Smith). (Photo by Scott Bryant)

October 2017


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October 2017


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The Arts Putting Us on the Map: Georgia and its Coastal Plain Statesboro Convention and Visitors Bureau A unique collection of maps that tell stories about Georgia, the Coastal Plain and Bulloch County. The exhibit will be on display until April 2018. The CVB is located at 222 South Main Street in Statesboro. Carolyn Morgan: Tapestries on Canvas Morgan has won the Roxie Remley Award three times in the Statesboro Regional Art Association Annual Juried Competition. Her highly imaginative work takes on the spiritual feel of stained glass windows, and she seeks to take the viewer on a journey that points out the “beautiful complexities of life and nature.” On display through April 6.

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Ongoing Give it a Spin! Workshop, 3rd Sunday each month Averitt Center for the Arts For those 16 years of age and up, from 1-4 p.m., this pottery class for beginners covers the basics. Bring a towel with you; all other materials provided. Cost is $25 ($40 for non-members). Paint-N-Party, 2nd Friday each month Averitt Center for the Arts Come and have fun with your friends and your favorite drink (21+ to drink). Price includes a 16X20 canvas and art supplies. Call Tony Phillips at (912) 212-2787 to register. Cost is $35 per session. Art Educators’ Exhibition Averitt Center for the Arts The Youth Gallery at the Averitt features the artwork of Bulloch County students each month. This month the spotlight is on Nevils and Stilson elementary schools. The exhibit will be on display throughout the month. An opening reception is held on the first Friday of each month at 5:30 p.m.

OTHER Friday, March 2 F1RST Friday: Statesboro – Green Grits, 5:30 to 8 p.m. This month’s event theme is a combination of St. Patty’s Day and sustainability. Attendees will be able to indulge in green food and drinks provided by vendors and sponsors. There will also be a dog costume contest, so dress your pup up in green and you could win lots of treats and prizes. Thursday, March 29 Exploding Universe, Georgia Southern Planetarium Held at 6, 7 and 8 p.m. on March 29 and 30, Exploding Universe explores explosive phenomena and the impact they have on the universe and how we see It — out of devastation comes new creation. Tickets will be on sale beginning March 24, and can be purchased at

October 2017


Madelyn Wolfe, portraying Peter Pan, far left, rehearses a scene with her castmates as Statesboro High students prepare for the upcoming production of Peter Pan.

SHS students to perform Peter Pan this month Written By Lauren Porter • Photography by Scott Bryant Statesboro High School is embracing this spring by educating its students and the community in the arts. A stroll down the Fine Arts hall at SHS will open one’s ears to the sound of musicians preparing for their debut in the Cherry Blossom Festival, or chorus members rehearsing for large group performances. Students and faculty also work diligently to host a variety of events on campus for everyone to enjoy. This March, the SHS Drama Department will perform a live rendition of Peter Pan. Watch with awe as students transform the stage into a magical experience that is entertaining for all ages. Peter Pan, Wendy, and the rest of the crew will engage audience members with enchanting matinees on March 15 and 16 at 9 a.m. Admission for parents and students is $2. Public performances will be hosted in the SHS auditorium on March 17 at 7 p.m.


and on March 18 at 2 p.m. General admission is $5 and tickets can be purchased at the school prior to the shows. In addition to these events, the SHS Drama Department will put on student matinees of Mary Poppins on April 26-27 at 9 a.m. Public shows are on April 28 at 7 p.m. and April 29 at 2 p.m. The performances are under the direction of Eddie Frazier, assisted by student directors Harlie Carter and Marissa Hendrix. SHS will also host the third annual Sidewalk Arts Festival on March 17 from 9 a.m. to noon. The purpose of the event is to show how much of an impact art has on the community by creating positive memories for youth. It is a tradition that includes everyone, come rain or shine. Individuals can bring their own chalk or use the materials provided by SHS. Enter a world of color and compete for a chance to win prizes. High school com-

petitors that win will advance to the Savannah College of Art and Design’s (SCAD) sidewalk arts festival in April. As the semester continues, the SHS band will perform a concert on April 17 in the SHS auditorium. Symphonic winds will play a level six concert that includes pieces like “One Life Beautiful” and a Sousa march. Complementary to this, the concert band will perform a level four piece entitled “Earth Dance.” Following the spring concerts, band boosters will have a yard sale at the SHS practice field on May 5 from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. So, whether you enjoy drama, vibrant music or artistic designs, Statesboro High School’s Fine Arts Department has something creative and unique for everyone. They invite the public to join them in celebrating their hard work and traditions as they come to fruition this spring.

Surrounded by scripts, scores, and blocking charts, student director Harlie Carter runs through some scenes as Statesboro High students prepare for the upcoming production of Peter Pan.

Student director Harlie Carter, center, runs through a scene with Captain Hook, played by Andrew Pittman, left, and Smee (Justin Smith).

Wendy, played by Eastyn Durrence, center, gets her hair tugged by Tinker Bell ( Katie Ann Bowers), right, while rehearsing a scene with Madelyn Wolf as Peter Pan.

Madelyn Wolfe, portraying Peter Pan, flies off stage with shadow in tow as Statesboro High students prepare for the upcoming production of Peter Pan.

October 2017


Johnson comes ‘home,’ reflects on roots By Lauren Porter Blame it all on his roots, Daniel Johnson showed up in boots at Cowboys Bar to pay homage to his second home in Statesboro. It has been six years since the singer/songwriter did an interview with Connect. A lot has changed for Johnson since then, including his growth as an artist. Even off stage, Johnson has a compelling voice to describe his style. “I think as a songwriter in general, you are an observer of life. You find those snapshot moments and put them in writing for the world to connect with,” Johnson said. 10

Because of this perspective, variety is the key to quality, and the young artist has been tailoring his music to new sounds. Those unique sounds made a debut in his song “Morning After You,” which features a brassy jazz section. “A body of work is fun and I don’t think you can wrap your whole artistry around just one song. I’m trying to go a little more rootsy, dialing it back to a tone like the Eagles, or Jon Pardi, something with roots and rock. That is the kind of stuff I really identify with. The stuff that is a definitive country to

me,” Johnson said. Inspired by artists like Eric Church, Johnson released his latest single, entitled “Thank God for Church.” “It was a cool idea that I wrote with Ray Fulcher and Josh Phillips. I’m a huge Eric Church fan. So, one night I was on my way to Kentucky when I came up with a chorus for a song about what I learned from Church’s music. I decided to play up the church line, making it the title. I had a write with Ray and Josh that following Monday, where we wrote the song and called it,

‘Thank God for Church.’ We made that song for an audience who knows and appreciates Eric Church’s music. But then we decided it would be a cool spin if someone didn’t know a thing about him, and thought we were just singing about church. I think we nailed it.” The idea Johnson had later manifested into a music video, which was recorded in a pre-Civil War church just south of Nashville. Having recently moved to Nashville in 2016, Johnson is advancing in his career and living a life that is fully devoted to his music. Before moving to Music City, Johnson wrote around 10 songs in a year. However, living in Nashville is a different beast, albeit a good one. “My typical schedule includes booking songwriting sessions just as much as I book shows. So, the first year I was there I wrote around 115 songs,” he said. The structure that comes along with cowriting has the potential to enhance creativity. “What is really great about the whole co-writing side is that several people get to pitch thoughts to each other. What it turns out to be is a think tank, where

you can bounce ideas off one another and create something that you may not have thought about originally. It gives the opportunity to write a lot more, and writing is just like every other muscle. The more you do it, the better you get,” he contended. Sometimes Johnson writes up to two songs a day, which he confessed can be a little draining. But having all those irons in the fire has led him to write for labels such as Big Machine, and open for artists like Darius Rucker, Cole Swindell and Luke Combs. “It’s hard to look at performing as one steady graph that goes straight up. You hit milestones along the way. I picked around on the guitar and found a love for it. Later, I started writing songs. Eventually I was playing by the campfire for friends and making money. You just keep pushing until you find the next opportunity, whether it is a small gig, or a sold-out arena,” Johnson said. It is certain that Johnson has reached many milestones since his humble beginnings in Statesboro. “One of the first shows I did was in this place,” he said, while looking around the bar. “This was my first venue and the place was packed

out. It is bittersweet being back here and remembering all the people who supported me. Very early on I had friends that would say, ‘hey man, you should do something with this.’ They pushed me in a direction that I don’t think I would have gone in without them,” he said. Johnson will be performing at Gnats Landing on March 8 during a run of shows this spring. “Statesboro is like my second home. You can’t know where you’re going until you know where you’ve been, and I will always come back here for that reason,” he assured. Aside from his busy life on the road, Johnson is making big life plans, as well. He is engaged to Jamie Lynn Lebrun, who cheers for the Tennessee Titans when she isn’t on call as a nurse. As they plan for a wedding, Johnson will be working on a project this summer that includes a tour to introduce new music. To stay connected with his upcoming events, you can follow Johnson on social media and check out his website. His latest songs are available for download and can be streamed across all music platforms such as Apple Music, iTunes, and Spotify.

October 2017


Tailgate Tattler • By Chandler Avery

Future looks bright for Eagles Spring is in the air finally, though in the Ted Smith Family Football Center it is already sizzling. Last month I gave some insights to how I thought National Signing Day would go for the Eagles, but Coach Chad Lunsford and staff really blew me away! It was weird for me, as 12

it was the first time in four years I haven’t been in Statesboro around all the excitement. I used to sit in my 8 a.m. class in the back on my laptop and watch the updates roll in as the fax machine worked its magic, and then would celebrate the great work with some friends at

the signing day events. Unfortunately, Mickey Mouse isn’t as huge of a National Signing Day fan, and didn’t allow me a random Wednesday off to drive home to the Boro, but I still felt like I was there, thanks to the outstanding coverage on ESPN 3. Danny Reed, Collin Lacy, and all the behind the scenes staff did a superb job, one that truly made Georgia Southern seem big time. I scrolled through schools such as Alabama, LSU, and Georgia Tech to find the Eagles’ feed online, which is something people around the nation most likely noticed. As for the actual signing class, it was almost perfect. Besides JaQuon Griffin committing to Georgia Tech within a week before NSD, Coach Lunsford pulled off pretty much everyone they were targeting, including Justin Birdsong, Quin Williams, Andrew Cunningham, Brandon Cross, Jaden Moreland, and a group of others that all factored into the Eagles landing the top class in the Sun Belt, jumping Arkansas State, Georgia State, and Troy all on signing day. Talking to my friends who attended the signing day celebration, I confirmed what I had already been thinking: Georgia Southern is back! Spring practice is coming up soon and that will be our first true look at the new era of Georgia Southern football. Another big time move by Coach Lunsford was hiring the G.O.A.T (Greatest of All Time for those of you who aren’t up with millennial lingo) in Adrian Peterson as the Director of Student-Athlete Development. I think this is the perfect hire, as this position essentially is a mentor for the players, who tracks their grades, makes sure they are on track with personal development, and instills leadership qualities in the student-athletes. There is no one who embodies a leader, a hard worker, and a mentor more than AP. For those that haven’t heard his story, I really encourage you to check out his book “Don’t Dis My Abilities.” It is definitely worth the read, and also reinforces how great he was. This is yet another example of how Coach Lunsford is truly embracing the culture. In some logistical updates, the Eagles have dropped the Presbyterian Blue Hose and added the South Carolina State Bulldogs as a result of the Blue Hose beginning their transition to non-scholarship football in 2020. The Sun Belt dated schedule should be released this month, though we already know our opponents. Coming to Paulson will be South Carolina State, UMass, App State, Arkansas State, South Alabama, and Troy. The Eagles will be traveling to Clemson, New Mexico State (no

longer a Sun Belt team), Coastal Carolina, Georgia State, Louisiana, and Texas State. I see no reason why Paulson Stadium should not be packed full at each home game, as the big conference games minus Georgia State are all in Statesboro, which can truly help lead us to the conference championship, hopefully which will be held in Statesboro. A reminder for those who don’t know, the conference championship game will be held between the winners of the two divisions (A new aspect this year), and will be hosted by the division winner with the highest ranking. With that in mind, it should be every Eagle fan’s mission to #ShowUpShowOut to all six of our home games, so that we can create home field advantage and earn ourselves a seventh home game! Off the field there was some sad news to report, and most of you know by now, was the tragic death of former Eagle great Edwin Jackson. Lots of folks knew Edwin by No. 40 and have heard his story, but for me it was closer to home, as Edwin was one of the first people I met when I moved to Statesboro. On the day I moved into Centennial Place Residence Hall freshman year, I pulled my truck up and he was there to help me unload my belongings. I walked with him to my dorm room as he introduced himself, and was truly humbled by the fact I even knew who he was. That first semester, Edwin became the big man on campus, leading the defense all season and winning national awards. But though his play and stature was elevated, his attitude was not. He was the same person that helped me move in to start my college career, and he remembered me too. If we would pass on campus he would call me by name, he would always find me on the front row of Paulson after a win, and even over two years after he graduated, we bumped into each other in the Stagecoach in Buckhead (the Georgia Southern bar in Atlanta) he knew who I was. I say all of that because Edwin touched a lot of lives that people don’t know about. It wasn’t just me. It was every person he interacted with in Atlanta, Statesboro, Arizona, and Indianapolis. That is a lot of people all affected by one moronic decision to get behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated. Think about that the next time you consider driving, regardless if it is a 1- or 10-mile drive. One decision could affect millions. I truly hate being on a soap box on matters other than sports, but if I have learned anything it is that life is much bigger than any game, season, or sport in general. Just remember to heed Erik’s wisdom by “doing right.”

Moscow Festival Ballet to perform at GSU March 6 By Angye Morrison The Moscow Festival Ballet will bring the romantic ballet classic Swan Lake to the stage at the Georgia Southern University Performing Arts Center on March 6. Set to the music of composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Swan Lake follows the fairytale love story between Prince Siegfried and Odette. At his coming of age celebration, the prince is inspired by a group of swans heading toward a nearby lake. When he approaches them, they transform into human form, and he is taken with the beauty and grace of swan queen Odette. He falls in love with her instantly. Odette tells the prince of a curse cast upon the swans by a wicked sorcerer, Rotbart, which can only be broken with an oath of everlasting love. Prince Siegfried vows to save her, but when Rotbart learns of his quest, he tries to tear the couple apart.

In the past several decades, the Moscow Ballet has taken extensive international tours and, under the direction of Sergei Radchenko, has brought together the highest classical elements of the great Bolshoi and Kirov ballet companies. The Moscow Ballet was founded in 1989 by Radchenko. Leading dancers from throughout Russia have created, under Radchenko’s direction, such timeless classics as Giselle, Don Quixote, Paquita and Carmen. The Moscow Festival Ballet has toured extensively throughout the United States, beginning with a coast-to-coast tour in the winter of 1997. The curtain goes up on the performance at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25, and can be purchased by calling (912) 478-7999, or online at

October 2017




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October 2017


Overthinking It • By Katherine Fallon

Jack of some trades I have mentioned before that I am not good at not being good at things. Historically, I have shied away from anything that didn’t come naturally to me the first time I tried. It’s safe this way, and there are plenty of things I already love to do. I don’t need new hobbies, I tell myself, I can hardly keep up with the projects I’ve got. Just ask me about my grilling. And yet. As of the new year I challenged myself to take an adult ballet class. My mother took ballet while I was a child and some of my fondest memories are from the studio, watching her practice from beneath the bar, or finding stray sequins on the lobby carpet after performances. I have always loved the ballet and saw a lot of live dance when I lived in New York and Philadelphia. I have favorite choreographers, and I frolic around like I’m on stage sometimes when I’m home alone. When people ask me, now that I’m an adult with a career, what other path I would like to have taken, I oftentimes say 16

dance. It has just always seemed like something I’m supposed to do, and like I should be able to do it well. I tried to take ballet once before, over a decade ago, while I was in grad school. In graduate school, I studied poetry, not dance, and I knew I wasn’t as graceful or trained as the people around me, so I turned my intimidation into self-mockery. I laughed at myself, made light of each step I failed to master. There were a lot of shrugs and, looks. I stopped trying entirely. It was the only class in which I did not receive an A in graduate school. People found me entertaining; it didn’t matter if I knew what I was doing. I thought then that I just wasn’t taking it seriously enough, which was undeniably a large part of the problem. I’m beginning to understand now, though, a few classes into my new tenure as ballerina, that this may not be something in which I excel. This time, I am taking it seriously, and I’m still a joke in toe shoes.

Knowing about myself that I tend to quit things I can’t do flawlessly, I went ahead and prepaid for a certain number of classes and bought myself official leotards, tights, and shoes. I did this to ensure that I would feel guilty if I didn’t follow through. I have tried to practice outside of class, using YouTube videos to learn steps I bumbled in class. At home, I run into doorways, find myself facing the wrong direction, lose count or count to odd numbers. I get dizzy when I spin around, even though I know the trick of “spotting.” No matter how much mincing I do around the house in my spare time, come class time, my anxiety and impressive lack of muscle memory refuse my progress. Sometimes in class, when things goes very wrong, I still catch myself being the silly, selfeffacing 20-something, and I honestly wish, as annoying as that version of me was, that she would reappear for good.


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‘Mushroom nerd’ to bring wares to Boro farmers market this spring By Angye Morrison All of these are terms that bring a particular scenario to mind — a person obsessed with food and armed with a cell phone and a social media account (or two or three) on which to post photos of their favorite dishes. When the terms first emerged, the trend pointed to high culture. These days, anyone who likes food and can aim a camera at a plate can call him- or herself a foodie. But whether you call yourself a foodie or you just, well, love food, in Statesboro, you’ll want to make your way this spring downtown to the Main Street Farmers Market. Open on Saturday mornings from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. from April through November, the market is located at the Charlie Olliff Square at Sea Island Bank on Main Street. At the market, you can find fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, honey and dairy. You’ll want to come hungry, because you’ll also find some of the area’s best food purveyors. You can also find some great arts and crafts vendors as well. And beginning this spring, you’ll be able to find a genuine “mushroom nerd.”


Ancil Jacques is the owner and self-described “nerd” behind Swampy Appleseed Mushroom Foraging and Sales, located in Reidsville. Jacques is an expert in wild and cultivated culinary mushrooms, and is passionate about not only finding these delicious natural gems, but also educating people about what is growing in their own backyards. Many of you will already be familiar with Jacques, having either heard him speak about mushrooms at one of his many speaking engagements in the area, or having sampled his wares through the Market2Go. Open yearround, the Market2Go enables local residents to place an order for locally produced items and then pick them up at Sugar Magnolia’s Bakery, located at 106 Savannah Avenue in Statesboro. Jacques grew up in Dixie Union, Georgia, where he said kids had to entertain themselves. “It’s a very rural community. They got a gas station after I graduated high school,” he said, laughing. “We grew up making our own fun. My parents were both science teachers and

we kind of had that influence to appreciate the world around us from early on.” That appreciation has stayed with Jacques, who has learned to look around South Georgia’s long sub-tropical climate and “find these amazing things that weren’t there the day before — and all in the same woods you were just playing in yesterday.” So when asked why he got into mushrooms, his answer is ready and clear. “How do you not get into them?” After earning an English degree a few years ago, Jacques was considering whether to apply to graduate school. He had been interested in mushrooms for some time at that point, but he said a rare find was a game changer for him: the pecan truffle. He’d been looking for the truffle for years, and when he finally found it, he took it to a local chef and made his first sale. “It was $30 an ounce or something. I just made it up before I walked in, basically. Here’s a wild truffle that no one else has got,” he said. The following day, he found about 2

pounds of them. Once he “got the eye” for finding them, he started finding them in Brantley and Ware counties, in addition to Tattnall. He’s coy if you ask him for specifics on the locations. “Under a tree, under the sky, in the ground,” he says, laughing. He decided at this point, that he would start cultivating his own mushrooms. And about nine months ago, he started producing a few hundred pounds of mushrooms a week, and decided to dive “all in.” He is a regular fixture at the Forsyth Farmers Market in Savannah, and regularly sells his wares to restaurants in Savannah and Atlanta. He’s hoping that Statesboro will follow suit. One of Jacques’ favorite things to do is to talk about mushrooms, educating people on what’s available in the area, how to recognize them and what to do with them when you find them. He has a mailing list of about 900, and he regularly sends out e-vites to go on walks in the woods with him. “I always have big turnouts. Everybody always wants to learn about mushrooms,” he said, smiling. He has spoken at garden clubs and has held cultivation workshops, teaching people how to grow their own mushrooms. He often sells mushroom grow kits alongside his mushrooms. Jacques cultivates and sells Oyster, Lion’s Mane and Trumpet mushrooms. His grow facility is in a shipping container, which he is able to keep at 65 degrees, with 90 to 95 percent humidity. The mushrooms are grown in bags of supplemented wood chips inoculated with fungi. Jacques has a hard time understanding why people ignore this abundant resource. “I do the speaking events because I think absolutely everyone in South Georgia needs to know more about mushrooms. I grew up in deep rural Georgia, and everybody is poor as dirt, eating catfish out of mercury-ridden waters,” he said, adding that on the way to catch those, people are passing mushrooms by. “On the way, you’re stomping on hundreds of Chanterelles, $20 a pound, high cuisine, gourmet, clean mushrooms. And no one knows about it,” he said. Last year, Jacques found 500 pounds of Chanterelles. “That’s a lot of food. We have a valuable natural resource around here,” he said. “Everyone should know better. Why isn’t everyone taking advantage of this local resource?” To participate in the Market2Go, go join

the online market at Orders can be placed from Friday at noon until midnight the following Tuesday. Pickup is on Thursdays from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Sugar Magnolia’s. Opening day for the Main Street Farmers Market is April 7, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The day will feature fresh coffee and homemade lemonade, and live music, in addition

to fresh fruits and vegetables from local family farms. You can also browse unique and handcrafted items. Contact Swampy Appleseed Mushrooms at (912) 288-1687 or e-mail at Find more information at, on Facebook (Swampy Appleseed Mushrooms) and on Instagram (SwampyAppleseed).

October 2017


Photo courtesy of Emit Grove Baptist Church Performers in costume gather at sunrise for the annual Easter production at Emit Grove Baptist Church.

Much preparation leads to Easter services in local churches By Julie Lavender Getting ready for Easter, for most, involves shopping for a new outfit, planning a ham and egg menu and wrapping Easter gifts in cellophane. Preparation for the Easter celebration in most churches, however, looks quite different and begins months and months ahead. The presentations at local churches, though varied and unique to each congregation, center around the last week in the life of Jesus Christ. Tom Sye, music director at Statesboro Primitive Baptist Church and Julia P. Bryant music teacher, began looking at cantata selections almost a year ago. He chose “Portraits in Grace: A Cantata for Holy Week,” by Joseph M. Martin. “He’s one of my favorite arrangers,” said Sye. “The cantata portrays activities of Christ during that last week before his crucifixion, the Holy Week.” Choir members began learning and rehearsing the songs for the production when 20

the new year began, meeting weekly to practice the cantata songs as well as the songs for the upcoming Sunday’s services. The title of the musical production lends itself to visuals, and Sye has begun gathering props. “For each song, I plan to have a portrait, a visual or object that will point out what the song emphasizes,” he said. The cantata allows those in attendance to be taken back in time to Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, his final meal with the disciples, the garden scene and the crucifixion. Sye said, “At the end of the cantata, the audience leaves the darkened church in silence, following behind a young girl in a white robe carrying the extinguished Christ’s candle. It represents the extinguished life of Christ in human form.” Statesboro Primitive Baptist Church, located on the corner of South Zetterower and East Main Street, will hold the cantata service at 6:30 p.m. on Palm Sunday, March 25. On

Easter Sunday, the day begins with a joyous celebration, the Easter sunrise service at 7 a.m., followed by the regular service later in the morning. Emit Grove Baptist Church, located at 1567 Emit Grove Road, began preparing for their Easter production over seven years ago. Well, not exactly, but sort of. Emit Grove presents an outdoor drama for Easter. Senior Pastor Tim Huffingham has actually lost count of the exact number of years his church has presented the drama, but thinks it’s seven or eight years. “We started off small and the drama has grown,” said Huffingham. “We’ve purchased costumes that include full-scale Roman soldier costumes with helmets and props.” They’ve written their own script for the drama, and church members have built the outdoor props and sets. “We have massive crosses made from wooden beams and a depiction of the Gate at Jerusalem. With the church owning 30 acres of property out here, we have the space to do some unique things. We have an area set up that is permanent for the drama, but we try to make it a little different each year,” he said. Huffingham said that though the storyline is the same every year, the drama takes on a different perspective. A couple of times, the set needed rebuilding. “Doing it this many times, we’ve learned some things,” said Huffingham. “We’ve rebuilt to make the sets more weather-durable at times, and we had to rebuild what Hurricane Matthew blew down.” Huffingham lines up the actors from volunteers in the church about a month before the presentation. “We have a core group of about 20 actors and actresses who have performed over the years. We use about eight to 10 actors most years, sometimes more for a bigger production, so most of them know what to do. We’ll have usually two full-scale rehearsals with everyone, and then smaller rehearsals for those with speaking parts. The drama takes place at 7 a.m. Easter Sunday, which typically puts it close to sunrise each year. “One year, Easter was so early in the year that we were off by about four or five minutes and we waited to start because it was too dark to see otherwise,” Huffingham remembered. The choir, led by Connie Sherrod, presents a cantata during Sunday morning worship.

Left: Music Director Pierce Dickens leads the Statesboro First United Methodist Choir on Ash Wednesday in preparation for their Easter program. Bottom Left: Members of the choir rehearse on Ash Wednesday in preparation for their Easter program. Below: Music Director Pierce Dickens, reflected in his piano, leads the Statesboro First United Methodist Choir on Ash Wednesday in preparation for their Easter Program.

That story is the life of Jesus, and choir members have been rehearsing since January in preparation. Pierce Dickens, director of Music Ministries/organist at Statesboro First United Methodist Church chose “The Crucifixion” by John Stainer for his church’s Easter music. Called an oratorio, the musical production tells a story, like an opera, but without costumes, staging or narration. FUMC choir members have also been rehearsing since the beginning of the new year. Dickens said he purposefully starts early so as not to require extra or late rehearsals. Two soloists for the oratorio are university choral scholars. Tenor James Allen is a sophomore Georgia Southern student from Savannah, and bass singer Alex Smith is a senior from Brooklet. The performance for FUMC takes place on Good Friday evening, at 7 p.m. “I don’t know how you can truly celebrate Easter if you don’t first reflect on the crucifixion,” said Dickens. “With this program, we hope to heighten people’s awareness to the

events leading up to the crucifixion, because if you try to envision the suffering and the sacrifice, I think it makes the celebration of resurrection even more real and moving.” Trinity Episcopal Church on Country Club Road has a host of events leading up to Easter that actually began with the Shrove Tuesday pancake supper the night before Ash Wednesday. On Feb. 14, the first day of Lent, Kilian carried on the tradition that she has for the last couple of years, called, “ashes to go,” for those who possibly couldn’t get to a an Ash Wednesday service like that of their church at noon and 6 p.m. on that day. Kilian imposed ashes on the foreheads of those who wanted to take part on the courthouse square and at the Georgia Southern Rotunda. “As I impose the ashes from last year’s palm branches and make the sign of the cross on the forehead, I say the words, ‘Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return,’” she said. Each Wednesday during Lent, the church has a light soup and sandwich supper at 6

p.m. with some type of service following the meal. Events for those nights include hearing from newly-elected Mayor Jonathan McCollar and “52 Weeks of Giving” founder, Cindy Hatchell ,as well as about luggage restoration for foster children, “laundry love” fellowship at local laundromats and a game night. The culminating events that take place during Holy Week begin with a congregational entry on Palm Sunday, each person carrying palmetto fronds as reflective of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. Passionate about all the events leading up to Easter, Killian said, “You have to walk through Holy Week to really understand Easter.” Trinity offers programs each evening during Holy Week. The church has a noon and 6 p.m. service on Good Friday. “It’s a very somber time,” Killian added. On Saturday evening at 7 p.m., Trinity holds the Great Vigil service. Sarah Hancock, Trinity Episcopal choir director, said, “It’s the most sacred service of the whole year.” October 2017


Day Trippin’ • By Kenley Alligood

Hunting Island is ‘wealthy’ in animal, plant life Located a short drive north of the popular beach destination of Hilton Head, Hunting Island is a nature lover’s paradise. Over a million people visit this state park each year to relax, hike, and to enjoy all of the natural beauty the South’s barrier islands have to offer. Hunting Island was designated a state park in 1935 and is still the most visited state park in South Carolina. It owes at least some of its continued popularity to its historic lighthouse which was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in the 1970s. The light is the only publically accessible lighthouse in the state and, while it is no longer in use and the original lenses are on public display, a smaller lamp is maintained and in permanent use. The lighthouse was rebuilt after its destruction by Confederate forces during the Civil War. The original structure was built in 1859. Lighthouse tours begin at 10 a.m. daily with the last tour running at 4:45 p.m. Tickets are $2 per person. The park is open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily with the park office and nature center observing more limited hours. The nature center houses several species of reptile and amphibian native to the island, including the American 22

alligator. Located at the south end of the island, it is open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The biggest draw to Hunting Island, as promised, is the wealth of animal and plant life which calls the island home. Loggerhead sea turtles return annually to the island’s 5 miles of beaches to build their nests. Around 3,000 acres of salt marsh provide a habitat for deer, raccoons, alligators, egrets, herons, and wood storks along with various crabs and fish. The island’s 8 miles of hiking and biking trails wind through mature maritime forests where keen-eyed birders may spot migratory species like orioles, tanagers, and painted buntings. Another great place to spot wildlife is the man-made lagoon which the wildlife has truly made their own. Species rare to shallow Atlantic coastal waters such as Barracuda and even sea horse have been spotted. Though the park suffered damage in last year’s hurricanes, all facilities are back open and the majority of the trails are accessible, though fishing is still prohibited at this time. Make sure to check at the park office to see which areas are open for visitors. The entry fee for Hunting Island is $5 for adults and $3 for children 6-15.




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Statesboro Herald Connect Magazine March 2018

Smag 3 1 24  

Statesboro Herald Connect Magazine March 2018