Smiles All Around


Almost thirty years ago, before I attended seminary, I went to Clown Camp. It was a training camp for adults in the arts of clowning. I spent a week on make-up, magic tricks, juggling, stilt walking, and physical comedy. At the time, I was was in college and had formed a clown troupe at my church. We would go and visit folks in the hospital and entertain children at Sunday schools, V.B.S., church camps, and town picnics. It was lots of fun and a great way of sharing God’s love. In fact, I credit my experience of clowning instrumental in my decision to go to seminary. It was a compelling joy for me to share the love and grace of God.

Over the years, I have incorporated clown arts into my ministry with children. Sometimes, I would don my colorful red wig and put on makeup. Other times, I would leave my clown character, Talofa, at home and just be goofy Pastor Walt (be kind!). The kids and teachers of St. James Lutheran Early Education Center have experienced this side of my ministry on a weekly basis as I do ‘Jesus time’ with the kids.

This coming Saturday, I will be doing my first full “kidshow” at St. James. It will be on Saturday morning from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and feature a variety of things from stories, magic, juggling, puppets, and general silliness. A snack and balloon animals will be provided to each child that attends. The theme is centered on God’s love - the source of all our smiles. Though I will be leaving my make-up at home - I will be wearing a big (natural) smile on my face.

An additional joy for me is that my son Mark will be taking part. He is amazing with puppets and will bring a bunch of his furry ‘friends’ with him.

Although the show is designed for children ages 3 to grade 1, kids of all ages are welcomed to attend. With the cold weather that we have been having, causing schools to close multiple days, I’m sure that more than one parent will be a little stir crazy by the time the weekend comes. Parents, see this as an opportunity to get out of the house and let them enjoy something a little different.

Like God’s love, there is no charge for the program. So that we can get an idea of how much snacks we need, if you could sign up (Click here) it would help matters.

I look forward to seeing many smiling faces on Saturday… and, of course, on Sunday too.

in Christ’s Light,

Pastor Walt