‘Narnia’ Sparks Unusual Sermon Series

Post a Comment » Written on December 19th, 2005     
Filed under: News
By Stan Friedman

ROCHESTER, MN (December 19, 2005)  – Worshipers at Rochester Covenant Church  have been stepping through the wardrobe and into Narnia each Sunday.
They step through the church’s front doors that are painted to resemble  the famous wardrobe through which Lucy enters into the make-believe  land. They first arrive in the narthex decorated with globe lamp posts,  numerous flocked Christmas trees and a bench. Cotton batting is used to  resemble snow.
Decorations in the church are being changed on a near weekly basis to  coincide with a sermon series that draws from the C.S. Lewis classic and the new movie, The Chronicles of Narnia. Recently, the narthex included the  beaver hut from the book.
A bench and lamp post also have been placed in the chancel, from where  pastor Gary Downing gives his children’s message, which is based on  passages from the book he reads to them. Downing puts on a sweater and  glasses as he prepares to read to the children.
“The kids are really enjoying it,” says Downing. “There are a large  number that come up. For little kids walking around, it’s like walking  in a winter wonderland.”
For the second week of Advent, Sue Zahasky made real Turkish delight  candy, which was handed to each of the children because that was the  candy one of the story’s characters used to entice Edmund.
“It’s been very, very fun to do,” says Zahasky, the coordinator of  children’s and visual arts ministries. The project, which started in  early fall, has taken a bit of research, including finding the Turkish  delight recipe online. Artists Chuck and Bonnie Potter also have helped  with the work.
“It’s been a riot,” says Zahasky. “We’ve had a lot of positive responses  from the congregation.”
Following is the sermon series with the weekly changes:
  • First Sunday in Advent: We Live in Two Worlds. “God comes  from beyond to give us hope,” says Downing. “Like Lucy going into the  wardrobe, we get a glimpse beyond.”
  • Second Sunday in Advent: The Problem with Me. During this  message, Downing discussed the forces of evil that reside both within  and beyond us that we must overcome. “God’s coming shows us how,” he  notes. Artwork included a cardboard cut-out of a witch’s sleigh and a  queen’s castle.
  • Third Sunday in Advent: There is a Prophecy. This message  included the children’s musical. The sermon focused on how the coming of  the Messiah fulfills the ancient predictions that God is with us and we  must open our hearts to let him in.
  • Fourth Sunday in Advent: Enter the Lion. This theme is  incorporated in the service of lessons and carols. Puddles from melting  icicles and snow appear on the narthex floor. Some artificial spring  flowers also are placed in the church. A sound of running water also is  played. Downing says he focuses on the joy that the promise of God’s  love will eventually overcome the evil within us and the world.
Nothing new is added for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day services. The  series does extend until the Sunday following Christmas, when the focus  is on knowing Aslan. The church will be decorated with thrones, a white  stag and armor items. Each service also includes parts of the movie’s  trailer.
To learn more about this unusual series, contact the pastor or other  church staff by telephone at 507-289-2990 or by email at office@rochcov.org.
Copyright © 2011 The Evangelical Covenant Church.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Report This Post

Leave a Reply

Report This Blog