In September of 1996, Hessel Park Christian Reformed Church in Champaign, Illinois, had the pleasure of installing a new minister. As we prepared for the service of installation, the worship committee wanted to try something a little different. We used one of the shorter forms from our church hymnal (Psalter Hymnal, pp. 992-4), but we added a new twist to the section of the form called "Instruction."
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The legend began on a Good Friday in Bermuda, sometime before the turn of the century. A Sunday school teacher was having a difficult time explaining Christ's ascension to his students, but he finally had an idea. He took his class to the beach, where he launched a large kite on which he had painted a likeness of Christ. When the kite reached its maximum height, he snipped the string, allowing the kite to ascend even further and become lost in the clouds.
During the 1990 Lenten season at Hessel Park Church in Champaign, Illinois, a local artist, Linda Vredeveld, demonstrated that liturgical art can be as unassuming as a pile of dirt at the foot of a cross. She chose common materials such as dirt, light cloth, and twigs and gave them new meaning in the worship setting.