Magazine article Anglican Journal

A Bit of Clowning around Is Allowed: Colourful Ministry Adds Playful Touch

Magazine article Anglican Journal

A Bit of Clowning around Is Allowed: Colourful Ministry Adds Playful Touch

Article excerpt

A cheerful beart is good medicine, but a crashed spirit dries up the bones. (Proverbs 17:22).

Clown ministry has a rich tradition in the church. In medieval times, services were in Latin, clowns were used to assist parishioners in understanding the service. In a "divine interruption," clowns used humour to explain what was going on or to explain a point of theology. Yes, clowns in church.

What is the purpose of clown ministry? A good clown is a funhouse mirror, a warped reflection of a person, trait or society. The purpose of ministry is serving your fellow human beings, and by doing so, serving Jesus Christ. We should be serving our brothers and sisters in the way that the Lord has called us to with whatever talents He has given us.

Combining the two words, then, clown ministry is serving our brethren (if brothers are brethren, are sisters cisterns?) through clowning. This might be in a church service, youth group, Sunday school, a church picnic or in outreach. In a "nut" shell, that is clown ministry--humbling ourselves to lift others up, which is the heart of a clown.

Clown ministry has had a rebirth--professional clowns are taking "a leap of faith" and teaching the Word of God through clown ministry. It started at my church, St. Mark's, a small parish in London, Ont. …

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