Sunday, February 1, 2009

Puppets in Agape Land

I'm not sure how this happened, but somehow the folks at my small church found out that in the '90s I  directed a puppet ministry for ten years at our old church.  Some of them probably remembered when we visited them to do a performance.  See, the church we are in now is the one where I grew up.  I was baptized, confirmed, and married in this church.  Aren't the windows beautiful?!?  They are OLD!!!

When we had Rally Day (the beginning of a new school year), I was asked to have our youth do a puppet show.  I borrowed puppets from my old church (where we went for 25 years when we lived in a town close to where we live now).   Everyone was so excited that it was suggested that I write a grant to try to get $$$ to start such a ministry with our youth.  Sooooo, I did, and we were given $1000 from the East Tennessee Presbytery.  That, plus donations from people in the church, bought 6 puppets, two curtains, a portable sound system, and cds, etc... We also got a free puppet because of the size of our order. You'll see her at the end of this post.  She's very special. We ordered from here.  They were so easy to work with.  This is the company I always dealt with before.
Our first production was last Sunday night.  I just got pictures from a gentleman in our church who gave me a cd of photos he took.  The program was about The Music Machine and being transported to AGAPE land.  Agape for those of you who may not know is the type of love that God has for us and wants us to have for all  mankind.    Soooo the background is supposed to look like a beautiful agape type of place.  I made it with fabric scrapes I had.  I used double sided iron-on adhesive and just cut and ironed.  Easy!!!
As you can see the puppets were pretty expressive.  The Little girl with red hair and the little boy in blue in the center were transported mysteriously to Agape Land where they met the music conductor.  I made his outfit from scraps of this and that.  He introduced them to the Music Machine (the robot looking thing in the back,  see photo below).  I thought I had this cd set here so I could give credit to the company, but it's at the church.  I bought this set at Walmart.  It's really good.   You can put things like a smile, the Music Machine, and he makes music happen.  The extra two puppets were just backup singers.  In the photo with the four puppets they were actually whistling, that's why their mouths were closed. There are more songs to go with this that we'll do on another occasion.  We'll learn about patience, kindness, etc... in those songs.

The Music Machine is actually one of the dad's of one of our youth.  What a good sport he was!!  His costume is also just made from stuff I had in my sewing closet, velcro, and some boxes.
At the end we had a special visit from Aretha singing my favorite hymn, "What a Friend We Have in Jesus."  Let me tell you, she sang with more soul than any puppet anywhere has ever sung with!!  The young teenaged girl who worked her did an awesome job!!  Amazing.  You can tell from the blur in the photo that she was really "workin'" it!!  
The puppeteers received a standing ovation!!  This couldn't come at a better time.  Our church has been going through some stressful times.   You know the story; some people liked the preacher, others didn't and there were some very tense times.  Well, the preacher left, we got an interim and now we have this group of youth who are doing such awesome work.  
Today, after church, we displayed all the puppets and gave everyone the opportunity to suggest names for them.  You would not believe how excited the adults were about this activity.  I just  put little slips of paper on a table in front of the puppets in our fellowship hall.  I put a plastic cup in front of each puppet.  People crowded around the table to put their suggested names in the cups.  I couldn't believe it!! 
We've already been asked to perform at the church's Valentine's dinner (we're putting names of people in the church in Valentine's jokes and love songs - no background), a Methodist Church (we're doing the Music Machine program again) in town, and the nursing home where my mom is.  Fun, fun, fun!!!!  
Fun, but also time consuming when getting ready for a new program.  I'm going to try to keep it simple.  My DH is warning me not to get too tied down to this!!!


Rachel said...

The puppets are so cute and those stained glass windows are gorgeous!!!

Angelia said...

Thats awesome! What a fun ministry!!!

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