Northwest NEWS

September 2, 2002


Pastor plans to 'clown around'

Sunday School begins Sept. 8
   Jeffrey Spencer, pastor at Tolt Congregational United Church of Christ at 4851 Tolt Avenue in Carnation, says he hopes to spend the afternoon of Sept. 8 "clowning around." It's all part of the church's celebration of the beginning of the Sunday School year.
   "We do something each year to celebrate and to encourage a big attendance," Spencer says. "If there are at least 90 children and adults participating in our 9:45 Sunday School hour, I'll spend the afternoon in front of the church dressed as a clown – complete with clown make-up – waving to passers-by."
   Spencer says that he, Sunday School Superintendent Jack Ballard, and the church's Christian Education Committee are hard at work planning the day's festivities. He says he hopes neighbors and Snoqualmie Valley residents who are looking for a church will come by.
   The day will begin with Sunday School at 9:45 a.m., followed by a worship service that is appropriate for people of all ages at 11 a.m., and a potluck picnic at noon.  Everyone is encouraged to bring some food to share along with plates and utensils.
   If the 90 are there for Sunday School, Spencer says he'll start clowning around during the picnic.
   "This will be a day of celebration and welcome," says Spencer. "We will begin with singing and end with playing. In between, everyone, young and old, will learn together, worship together, and celebrate communion together."
   According to Ballard, they are planning an intergenerational gathering for the 9:45 Sunday School hour, focused on the day's theme:  Welcoming All People. "We are calling back the body of Christ," Ballard says. "All adults and children are welcome to grow as learning and leaders."
   "'Welcoming All People' is the opening line of our church mission statement," Jeff says. "We want to kick off the school year living out that identity."
   Jeff says that the theme will continue into the worship service that begins at 11:00. "I won't be preaching a traditional sermon," he says. "We will use visual arts, conversation, and maybe a little drama to worship God."
   "So, remember this day – Sunday, September 8," Spencer says, "and these times – 9:45 Sunday School, 11:00 worship, 12:00 potluck picnic. And come and grow in Christ."