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Shapleigh, ME Baptist Church

Sep 26 2016

Between 15 and 20 years ago, I had a student in my middle school class named Jessica.  While she was in my class, her parents booked my class's juggling troupe to do a show at their church in the small town of Shapleigh, Maine.  We have not returned, either with my class or with my family ministry, the Supreme Court Jesters, until last weekend, when my daughter, Rose, and I did two services in one morning in that same little, country church.

my wife, Sue, spent last weekend at a lady's retreat with the women from our church, so Rose and I went together to Shapleigh.  The Baptist church is a typical New England whitewashed church at a small town crossroads, but the sanctuary, although pleasant, had its challenges for juggling.  Although there are nice, high ceilings, there are also multiple chandeliers hanging down.  The permanent altar rails limited our floor space behind us, and the close front row did the same in front of us.  Nonetheless, we planned two complete shows with plenty of juggling.  That was, after all, why they had us there.

as the start of the Sunday School program drew near, a couple came in with three kids in tow.  While I didn't recognize her, I knew who the husband was right away. He was Jessica's dad.  The three kids, I was told, were Jessica's children.  I still picture her as the bright eyed 14 year old who loved to debate in my classroom all those years ago.

the shows went very well, especially given the limited space.  We did a full hour for Sunday School.  We were pleasantly surprised with the multi generational nature of the crowd, as well as the number of parishioners who were at both Sunday School and the regular church service. We focused on the Sermon on the Mount for the church service, including a new illusion to get the SOTM started with the beatitudes.  Actually, it's an old illusion the classic square- circle, but a new application.  Once I actually learn the beatitudes verbatim, the whole presentation should be a lot smoother.

anyway, both shows were well recieved and hopefully thought provoking as well.  After we were finished and packed up, Rose and I headed home, stopping only at Subway for lunch and Dunkin Donuts for coffee.  I am so blessed that God has given me a ministry that, rather than requires leaving my family behind, usually includes them whether we're going a few towns away or the other side of the globe.

 

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The presentation was fun and encouraging... The gospel message was clear and encouraging. I purchased your book and just finished it. Your scope is broad and again encouraging. May God continue to bless your ministry. I will encourage others to read your book. -Parishioner of a local church

"Hey, I just wanted to say that was a great message in chapel today! It touched something:) thanks for doing it!" -High School Student  

"We are so grateful that you brought your amazing ministry back to our church this year... The Gospel message you bring applies to all!  It is such a positive, valuable work that you do."  -Coordinator of Christian Ed. UCC Church

"There's no questioning it. This is powerful stuff. It's extremely touching at times, never less than entertaining, and I see a lot of sincere love for Jesus in you guys."  -Dwight Lilies, song writer

The Lord has given you a wonderful window through which to present the Gospel!   - Field Director of Alliance Missions to Paraguay

"What a wonderful ministry to both children and adults.  In past years it has been a struggle to arrange programing that would hold the attention of all ages, but also challenge each heart with God's gift of Salvation.  Thank you for sharing your ministry."  -Sunday School Sup't.

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