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The power of prayer
If your church has ever faced tension between the younger and older generations, struggled with questions of worship styles, or have members dealing with issues such as substance abuse or homelessness, an original play being staged here in Rockdale might speak to you.

Pleasant Hill CME will perform a gospel play and musical, "I Couldn't Hear Nobody Pray" on Saturday, Nov. 7, at 7 p.m. at the Rockdale County Auditorium, 903 Main Street.

The play, structured as the meeting of a fictional church's board, explores five issues that are brought before the board by congregation members and works through some of those issues throughout the course of the play. Those issues include a former board member with a drinking problem, a single mother trying to make a living for her family, the teen generation, straying from hymns during worship and homelessness.

"We think we're hitting on issues every church may have," said Director LaFaye Cooksey. "As churches grow, you're going to continue to see these types of problems."

"We're hoping it sends a message and someone will see something in it that can speak to their heart and help them understand that you have to have a prayer life and you have to pray for these people that have all types of issues and not put them out of the church or see them as outcasts."

For the members of Pleasant Hill CME, which is headed by the Rev. Dr. Cheryl R. Collins, taking on the challenge of staging and presenting the play for the general public was a big first step.

"This is the first time we decided to do a drama and gospel play and take it outside of the church," said Cooksey. "I didn't think at first it was going to become this much. But we look back and we're thinking God has positioned us to this point."

The 16-plus cast members and musicians, who range in age from 3 to 70-something, have been spending long hours practicing on weekends under the direction of Cooksey and Assistant Director Violet G. Bailey.

"The cast, they have so evolved from the first day of practice reading the script in their hands to last week when they made it their own," said Cooksey.
Although the play is a drama, that doesn't mean there aren't light hearted moments. "It's dealing with serious issues, but you laugh because you see yourself in it."

In the end, the take home message is reflected in the title, said Cooksey. "That's what we want people to really understand. That it's all about prayer."

Tickets are $15 in advance and can be purchased at the church at 1201 Pleasant Circle, NW, Conyers, and $20 at the door. For more information, call (770) 929-1529.