COLUMBUS — One never knows what will come from a group of pastors having lunch together.
Normally, philosophies and ideas on community betterment arise. During a recent lunch, Pastor Will Sanborn with Columbus Berean Church brought an idea to the table.
Sanborn had heard of an illusionist who incorporates a faith-based message into his shows. This illusionist is also a cancer survivor who uses his performances to promote cancer research.
His name is Jim Munroe and he calls his show "The Maze."
Four other local churches and some religious associations got together to bring The Maze to Columbus. The show will be held 7-9 p.m. Sept. 13 at Nantkes Performing Arts Center with proceeds going to Sammy's Superheroes Foundation.
“Jim Munroe has a great track record in entertainment and with the message he brings,” Sanborn said. “With the experience he has with cancer and surviving, we figured he and Sammy’s Superheroes have a natural partnership.”
Munroe was starting a career as a professional baseball player when he suffered an injury that ended his future in athletics.
It was at this point in life when Munroe turned his attention to philosophy and other forms of belief. Then he delved into magic and illusion.
In 2009, Munroe was selling out venues all over the world with his talents in illusion. Not long after that, he received the devastating diagnosis of leukemia. The ensuing battle with cancer and a bone marrow transplant led him to change his views on faith.
When Munroe is not touring with his show, he is traveling the country giving motivational speeches.
Wayne Zysset, president of the Trinity Lutheran Church Council in Columbus, said this show is the perfect way to inspire local residents.
“It’s always an adventure to change our lives," Zysset said, "especially when we get to the point where we are at our wit’s end and we don’t know what we can do about it. For people to know Munroe’s story and see where he came from to where he is now, it can be pretty encouraging to people.”
Zysset said the show is also unique to small cities.
“They usually headline in cities like Berlin, Chicago and Kansas City,” he said.
Ginger Galvin, an event specialist for the show, said the performance serves an important purpose.
"'The Maze' is a mystery performance piece that uses illusions to share a message of hope," Galvin said. "This show in particular is the leading recruiter for the National Bone Marrow Registry.”
Pastor Dan Odom with First Baptist Church in Columbus said he's grateful for the community effort to bring this event to town.
“All of the proceeds from the show will go to Sammy’s Superheroes,” Odom said. “It’s a great opportunity to uphold and encourage Sammy’s. We really wanted to partner with something local and it was great to see how gracious Sammy’s Superheroes were to us.”
Advance tickets for the show are $12 for adults and $10 for students and can be purchased at www.whatisthemaze.com. Tickets are $15 at the door.
The show is not recommended for children under the age of 7 and all children ages 13 and younger must be seated with a parent or legal guardian.