A little over six weeks ago, I told you all about our latest Lenten installation that featured giant, vertical words that represented the six sermon themes for the season.
They were striking. Particularly on Maundy Thursday, when their silhouettes loomed over our commemoration of the darkest days of the season.
It was a powerful transformation when, by Easter Sunday, those words pointing to the gloomiest bits of humanity bloomed into something beautiful.
I had toyed with all sorts of ideas for what to hang from our ceiling this Easter. For the last three years, we suspended ribbons of coral fabric that radiated from the cross on the pipes. They soared into the ceiling and seemed to lift the whole building. But after three years, it was time for something new. Amazon Prime to the rescue.
My administrator/lifesaver, Carrie, found these tissue paper poofs online. We ordered 120 of them. Our women’s group helped to make them as did patient, faithful church members who sat and fluffed graciously.
Once they were all fluffed out, we put a binding clip on each one then strung them with floral binding wire.
Once everything was strung together, we carried them into the sanctuary and began to hang them on our fishing line cross wires.
We used a T-connection by wrapping the floral binding wire (which was cut at varying lengths) around the fishing line one direction, then back across the other way. This keeps the poof from sliding as we pull the cross wire into position.
The end result was stunning.
Seeing as though it was my fourth Easter at Westfield, I was desperate to make it as engaging and celebratory as ever. The challenge with starting down this path of creative visual worships is that you’ve got to keep coming up with new ideas!
The big idea for 2016: CONFETTI CANNONS. Yes. You read that right.
My friend, Sarah, used them a couple of years back at her church. So, with a grateful heart for the internet, we ordered five–one to test and four to use on Easter Sunday. Here’s a quick video of our test run (Listen closely. You can hear me say a little prayer: “Sweet Jesus.”)
And all I can say is, it worked.
We waited until the last “ia” of the last “alleluia” of the last verse of the last hymn: Christ the Lord is Risen Today! And altogether, as if it was planned–cause it was, the cannons shot their streamers into the room. We had two behind the pulpit and two from the balcony.
And PEOPLE LOVED IT.
(PROTIP: Want a standing ovation? Get them standing before they decide to clap. Boom. Standing O.)
I asked our church matriarch, Ellie, how she liked it. “I LOVED it!” she said. Whew. Good. I wasn’t worried too much about scaring people (although there is some noise associated with these). Mostly, I was nervous that folks would feel some kind of disrespect to the day. And while I saw at least one blank look (you just can’t make everyone happy!), everyone else burst into applause and laughter.
The poofs, while easy to create, took some time to put together. For a space like ours, it was important to have lots. We made a garland out of the extra ones and hung them above the front doors.
It was a tremendous Easter Sunday: the most worshippers since I’ve been at Westfield, tons of kids, great music, two baptisms, confetti, and the resurrection. What could be better? Happy Easter!
I LOVED it. It was a perfect ending to a great Easter sermon as well as my baptism that day. Thanks again Rev Jon!!!!!
Truly the most amazing Holy Week of my life. From the dramatic darkness, sadness and profound promise of Maunday Thursday, to the sense of one-ness in our work as a congregation on Good Friday eve and Holy Saturday, to the spectacular color-infused joy and celebration of Easter Sunday, it was, at a critical time for some of us, the proof that we needed to know, without equivocation, it worked!! We are so blessed to be led by a man of such passion and commitment to share God’s word by using so much more than words!