Palms, Pussy Willows, And Puppets

Palm Sunday: parades, processions, palms, pussy willows and… puppets? Yes, puppets! Full-sized parade puppets, including Jesus entering on a donkey, a puppet donkey of course!

This was the scene at Grace Presbyterian Church, 1659 Rosewood Avenue, at their Palm Sunday service. To the loud "Hosannas" from the booming organ (played by H. Leslie Adams) and the singing congregants, giant puppets waving palms processed through the sanctuary, bringing smiles to young and old alike.

The project was the brainchild of Nancy Sander, Lakewood's resident puppet lady. "The Easter message should never become humdrum," said Sander. "We wanted to try something refreshingly joyful to go with the season. Puppets have always been joyful so it was a natural choice."

During the month prior to Easter, volunteer members of Grace met to turn bleach bottles, masking tape, ski poles, yarn, faux fur and foam into puppets the size of children. Diane Russell wanted to build a puppet in honor of her dog "Buddy," who had recently passed away. Everyone agreed, so Buddy was lovingly crafted and marched with the others.

"Presbyterians are known for their broad umbrella in accepting all who seek God," said elder, Joyce Biehl. "We are free to experiment with many ways of worship. For us, laughter is part of that mission, so the puppets are par for the course!"

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Volume 15, Issue 10, Posted 7:51 PM, 05.08.2019