Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Puppets Come To Life With Helping Hands

One unique activity Gerard and I are involved in at church is the puppet team. We use scripts that are on tape and Jim runs the sound and does the lighting. Different scenes are painted on sheets for background and the stage is made of a wood frame with sections on hinges for easy storage with material stapled to it.

We use a double stage with a front and back row. Puppeteers in the front kneel on old sofa cushions for foam rubber to protect their knees and the puppeteers in the back row can stand. This enable elderly people to still be able to do it.

The youngest member of our team is 5th grade. We have several 6th graders and then it jumps to an 18 yr. old, then people in their 30s, 50s, and 70s. A very wide range makes this a unique group. Pam, the children's minister at Parma Heights Baptist Church is our director who has been doing it for years and years. She is a visual thinker, well organized and easy to work with. She is very patient and always has a picnic for the puppet team at her house in the fall and a party at her house in January.

Here are the basic rules of our puppet team:
1) Always wear gloves when working the puppet.
2) Never let kids see a "dead" puppet (one that is laying around).
3) Do not let anyone know what puppet you have so that if someone goofs up, no one knows who it is and so that the audience will watch the whole production and not focus on one certain puppet.
4) Everyone helps set up and tear down.
5) Attendance at practices is mandatory (unless sickness or death).

Last Sunday we performed a Christmas presentation for the children in grades 1-6 during the 11:00 service. At the end an invitation was given to trust Jesus as their personal Savior and be forgiven. About 10-12 children prayed for forgiveness and accepted Jesus as their personal Savior! God has used this particular ministry to speak to children's hearts. Even some parents hang around to watch and are usually impressed by what an elaborate production it is.


Mary said...

I work with puppets in our church too! It is part of our Creative Ministry which includes mime, movement, sign language and dowel rods. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

How wonderful for children to hear the Gospel in such a creative manner!
Working with such a diverse group must get a little challenging at times. May God greatly bless your faithful service. Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

Wow, that looks like so much fun and such a worthwhile activity too! I really enjoyed learning about your puppet shows and the pictures were fantastic.

Karen and Gerard said...

It's so nice to meet another puppeteer! Our youth group does some mime drama and we have a few who know sign language as well but I'm not involved in either of those. I am, however, on the drama team.

We just all have a good time working together. The purpose is the thing we all have in common regardless of age.

Mountain Woman,
I have several of our shows on video, but maybe if I can transfer them to a DVD I can make a short video clip for my blog sometime. Glad you liked the pictures.

Sandee said...

I'd hang around to watch it too. Good for the both of you.

Have a terrific day. :)

Anonymous said...

This sounds like such a fun activity to be involved in. I bet the kids just love it!

Karen and Gerard said...

The kids do enjoy it. They especially like the animal puppets who always receive special applause it seems!

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