Explore the land of Narnia with First Broad Street UMC

Holly Viers • May 12, 2018 at 8:30 PM

KINGSPORT — First Broad Street United Methodist Church is bringing “The Chronicles of Narnia” to life, and you’re invited to join in on the fun.

The church’s popular Narnia program will be back for its 36th year starting next month, and registration is open now.

“It’s not just a study or a church event; it is an experience that shapes how you see and experience the world,” said Angie Allman, one of the organizers. “In Narnia, we build relationships, we play together and use our imaginations, and we get to meet God in a way that is fresh and outside of church walls and expectations.”

When did the program start?

Allman said the church started the Narnia series in the early 1980s as a summer program for middle school youth. It grew to include more ages and variations in the late 1980s and the 1990s, and it was re-envisioned in 2012 for 21st century families.

“However, the heart of the program remains the same,” Allman said. “As a community of people, we use our imaginations and the power of story to know God in new and deeper ways.”

When is this year’s event?

Allman said there is an adventure session for each book of “The Chronicles of Narnia,” and the program concludes with a graduation ceremony and Narnian banquet for those who have completed certain requirements to graduate as a Friend or Knight of Narnia.

Sessions are held on Sunday evenings from 4-9 p.m., though they conclude a little earlier once school starts back. The program follows the original publication order of the books, which Allman said is different from the order they are published in now.

Those who can’t attend every session are still welcome to participate. The full schedule is as follows:

• June 10: “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”

• June 24: “Prince Caspian”

• July 1: “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader”

• July 29: “The Silver Chair”

• August 12: “The Horse and His Boy”

• August 26: “The Magician’s Nephew”

• Sept. 9: “The Last Battle”

• Sept. 23: Narnia graduation

What can you expect?

Allman said each adventure session has several key components: an activity connected to that session’s book, a Narnian-inspired meal, discussion groups and closing with favorite readings from the book and a time for reflection. The location for each session is connected to the book for that week.

“We encourage participants to read or listen to the books before each session to get the most out of the experience,” Allman said. “Activities include things like a lake day, caving, orienteering with compasses on a scavenger hunt and a customized Narnia Creation planetarium show.”

Who can participate?

Allman said the Narnia program is designed for elementary school-aged children through adults. It is not well suited for young children, such as toddlers and preschoolers.

Elementary school students must have an adult participate with them, and families are encouraged to participate together, Allman said.

Is there a cost to participate?

There is no formal cost to participate, Allman said, though a $10 donation per person is requested to help cover costs. Participants are occasionally asked to bring specific food items as well.

When and how can you register?

Anyone can register online at www.fbsnarnia.com. To ask questions or be added to the Narnia 2018 email or text list, email fbsnarniaprogram@gmail.com.

For those who would prefer to register in person, a registration table will be set up at the church between and after services every Sunday this month.