Tag Archives: Flat Jesus

Traveling with Flat Jesus – Part 2

JULY 10, 2014
While we were on our way to Chicago, a couple of First UMC kids were on their way to Wisconsin Dells for a little family fun time – and of course, Flat Jesus went along, because he is with us always! (And apparently, Flat Jesus knows all the words to all the songs in “Frozen” to sing along in the back seat…)

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Meanwhile, we headed north, toward Green Bay, WI. No matter which NFL team has your allegiance, Flat Jesus cares about each one of us, so stopping by Lambeau Field should not be taken as an endorsement of the Green Bay Packers over any other team. (One of my friends asked if Flat Jesus could curse the field as he once cursed a fig tree in Matthew 21:18-22. I had to remind my friend that Jesus said we should love our enemies – Matthew 5:43-45 – and Jesus is always with each of us, even Green Bay fans.)

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From Green Bay, we drove north to Two Rivers, WI, which is right up the road from Manitowoc (pronounced MAN-uh-twok), home of the Maritime Museum. We toured a WWII submarine there, and Flat Jesus really got interested in the model boats and the fishing nets on display. I guess he kinda misses his time with Peter, Andrew, James, and John, as they fished together on the Sea of Galilee.

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While we were in Two Rivers, we stayed at a place that has its own miniature golf course! Flat Jesus liked the lighthouse a lot – it reminds us that he is the Light of the world, and that he told us we should let our light shine before others, so they can know how much God loves them. This was one of those places where a stranger came up to help us take the picture, and we got to tell the story of Flat Jesus to our new friend and his kids. Sharing the story of Flat Jesus was a lot of fun. Our new friend said, “That is so cool!” I hope he remembers that Jesus is with him always, too!

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We also stopped at the Wood Type Museum,

2014-07-01 12.14.58and Flat Jesus was glad to see his friend, Flat Gutenberg.  2014-07-01 12.14.36  Johann Gutenberg invented the movable type printing press, so Bibles could be printed for everyone to read.

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After we walked on the shore of Lake Michigan (the water was cold, but we did get our feet wet! You can’t see Flat Jesus in this picture, but he was definitely with us) we drove to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and stayed for a few days with family who live there.

Flat Jesus had fun walking on the water (again!) 2014-07-02 16.39.41 and diving off the swimming platform.2014-07-02 16.40.37 He even went sailing with Bruce one afternoon. As we left Crystal Falls, it was raining, but Flat Jesus stayed with us.

Be sure to send me your Flat Jesus pictures as he travels with you this summer. Whether we see him or not, whether it’s raining or sunny, Jesus is with us always.

Here’s one last picture of Flat Jesus, back home at First UMC – come see him this Sunday! Worship is at 9:30 am. See you then! – Pastor Jo Anne

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Traveling with Flat Jesus – Part 1

Note: this post comes from the webpage for First United Methodist Church of New Ulm, MN, under “From the Pastor’s Desk.” 

You know the children’s book, Flat Stanley? Well, this is the same idea.  Only this time, instead of mailing a picture to different places,  the children of First UMC each received a picture of “Flat Jesus” to take with them through the summer. They were invited to color in the picture, maybe even cut it out, and take the picture wherever they might go. Heading to Grandma’s house? Bring Flat Jesus along! Going to summer camp, or on vacation with the family? Flat Jesus is there! Children were encouraged to have someone take a picture of Flat Jesus at each location, and send me the photos by e-mail or Facebook.

It might be difficult to see in the photos, but across the bottom of each Flat Jesus are the words, “I am with you always!” from the Great Commission (Matthew 28:20). The whole idea was to remember that Jesus goes with us wherever we go, and will always be with us, no matter what. Isn’t that a great promise?

Since teaching by example is something Jesus did, and I want to be like Jesus,  I decided to kick off the summer with my own Flat Jesus itinerary.  I headed off to Chicago to be ordained to Word and Sacrament in the Evangelical Covenant Church (how I ended up in a Methodist church is a different story for another day!) and took Flat Jesus with me for the journey. After ordination, my husband and I took a few days of vacation before returning to New Ulm.

We learned along the way that total strangers really like helping to take pictures of Flat Jesus, once they hear the story. It was a great way to meet people, and to share the Good News of Jesus with people we might not otherwise have talked to. Here’s where we went, and what we did, remembering that Jesus is always with us, no matter what.

When we got to the hotel in Chicago, the first thing we did was check into our room…

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Then we took a walk to find something to eat. There was a Mexican restaurant nearby that had a great chips and salsa bar – we chose a few different kinds of salsa, and Flat Jesus liked them all!

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After supper, Flat Jesus sang really loud during the worship service!

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The next day was full of meetings, and Flat Jesus thought those pictures would be pretty boring for you, so I won’t post them here. But he was there, believe me! When the delegates voted to approve the 83 ordination candidates, he was very happy!

On Friday, Flat Jesus stayed with us as we took my mom and my sister to eat real Chicago pizza at Lou Malnati’s. On Saturday, he had to check out the ordination stoles during a break in the rehearsal for the ordination service. Then he graciously posed with Donn Engebretson and me – Donn was the Vice President of the Evangelical Covenant Church the year I served on the worship planning team for our midwinter conference, and it was a blessing to learn that he would be the one laying hands on me during ordination. This is all I have time to post right now – I’ll let you see where we went after Chicago tomorrow! Peace, Pastor Jo Anne

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Flat Jesus checks out the stoles, which were each made by my friend, Vicki Twigg.
83 stoles – that’s a lot of sewing!