This year, Parables is creating sacred spaces.

With the help of Deb Brubaker, professor of music, and Gwen Gustafson-Zook, minister of worship, the Parables worship team developed the theme “Wherever You Are: Creating Sacred Space” for the 2012-2013 season. The group is comprised of Stefan Baumgartner, Rhianna Cockrell, Micah Detweiler, Hillary Harder, Gloria Showalter, Jake Smucker and Seth Yoder, all sophomores; and Ruth Weins, a senior. The theme “was developed out of our song choices,” said Yoder.

“The theme explores the journeys we take through life, meeting other people where they are in their journey and making a sacred space with them,” said Baumgartner.

The theme was also chosen as a way of embracing diversity and global citizenship. The theme not only fit the selection of songs, but also the desire to allow congregations and other audiences to interact with the program.

The program is about 50 minutes long, made up of 1o songs, two skits and three faith stories. The group goes on several tours throughout the year, as well as visiting about two churches a month. The program acts as the church service for that congregation as the group performs the litany, the blessing and a children’s time during the service.

The group also uses several instruments and takes advantage of the talents of the group outside of acting and singing. Smucker arranged the final song of the program and Detweiler arranged the classic hymn “Amazing Grace” on boomwhackers, which are hollow, color-coded plastic tubes tuned to musical pitches by length.

The dynamics of the group are especially strong this year. Baumgartner said, “We are all individuals and that is how we came to this space, but we work as one.”

“We’re all friends and we’re all really fond of each other. I look forward to hanging out with Parables. I deeply value the friendships I’ve made in this group and am pretty sure we’ll be friends for the rest of our lives,” said Cockrell.

“I’m in a group where everyone accepts me,” said Smucker.

The experience is also a particularly powerful one, especially spiritually for the members. “It gives me a chance to think about faith a lot more and to be a part of other people’s journeys,” said Yoder.

The group’s next program on campus is on January 30, 2013, in the Reith Recital Hall at 6:00 p.m.