JustThinking

Main Index

Longer Articles:

Home

Anselm's Explanation of the Trinity
How can the Father, Son and Holy Spirit each be God, but not be each other? This is Archbishop Anselm's explanation - the best I've heard so far.

Anselm at Starbucks
A new look at Anselm's argument for the existence of God.

The Divine Inferno
Why the existance of Hell is a demonstration of God's mercy.

1000 Easter Balloons
What if, on Easter Sunday morning, after services, every church in town released yellow balloons?

Scary Meditation
What is the difference between Eastern meditation and Christian meditation?

The Golfer of the Gaps
Have you heard that our God is a "God of the Gaps," only invoked to explain increasingly small gaps in science? Here's that logic applied to golf.

Esther's Japanese Origins
Using the approved "wild extrapolation" method, I've conclusively shown that the Biblical Book of Esther is of Japanese origin.

But I Was Born That Way
When people use this excuse, why do we keep trying to talk them out of it?

Digital Reality
Is reality digital? I couldn't care less, but if it is, maybe that's one point for the theistic view.

Church Economics
It's kind of fun to see companies becoming successful using the kind of financing churches have used for ages.

Legislating Morality
You can't legislate morality! Really? If you can't legislate morality, what can you legislate?

Paganism in Christmas and Easter?
A writer thought I ought to stop celebrating Christmas and Easter. It had pagan origins, he said. So what, I replied.

Shooting the Wounded
In which I launch a diatribe against a phrase I find particularly shallow and offensive.

Evolving Computers
What computers do - or don't - show us about evolution.

Are All Religions the Same?
A Buddhist's view.

Easter Balloon: Idea, Planning, Mini Service, Experiences

Easter Balloon Experiences

Following are excerpts from two letters describing Easter balloon releases from my friend, Pastor Bill Hunter. Bill has introduced the idea at two churches so far. Here are his experiences:

1998 Letter

A brief follow-up on the Cokato FBC balloon release yesterday. We have two services so balloons were released after both. I was afraid that the organization of it all would make it a bust. As it turned out my fears were unwarranted (they usually are!). Pastor Dan Swanson made the release part of the services in that he reduced his preaching time a bit and had the service adjourned to the parking lot in front of the church buildings. Each person was handed a balloon as they left the building. Florence and I were at ther 7:30 a.m. service, but everyone took the balloon and the atmosphere was one of dignity and interest. No one seemed to have an embarrassed or amused look by the whole thing, which pleased me.

The pastor had announced that investigation with DNR and other environmental sources had produced no legal opposition to the release and that the balloons were entirely biodegradable. That seemed also to have a salutary effect. The release itself was a simple thing. There was no singing. The pastor merely talked for a brief moment about the significance of the resurrection and then had prayer. He shouted out "Christ is risen" and the congregation responded "Christ is risen indeed!" and the balloons (as the pastor had instructed) were released. It was an extremely windy day so the whole lot of balloons swept up quickly and out of south moving toward the northeast. I didn't hear a negative word about it from anyone standing near me so rather imagine they genuinely liked the idea. The balloons were yellow and the pastor had commented on their brightness as significant of the bright hope of the resurrection. The balloons had been prepared by the youth group the night before. An entire tank of helium was used. The balloons were slightly deflated from what they had looked like the night before, or so the deacon in charge told me.

All in all, I would have to say the event was a positive and tangible, perhaps even especially for the young people, an extremely memorable event.

2000 Letter

The Cokato First Baptist Church did the balloon release again - third year in a row! The church at which I'm the interim pastor, Faith Christian Church in Maple Lake also did it. I made it part of the Easter worship service by putting it in the bulletin that the people were to exit the worship center during the postlude, pick up a ballon at a table readied for that purpose, and then proceed directly to the parking lot. Everyone participated. I had put together a responsive reading, then had them sing the first verse and chorus of "He Lives!", released the balloons (unfortunately it was windier than I would have liked so the balloons didn't quite soar too well), had them do a Handclap for the Risen Lord, then pronounced the benediction on the worship service. The folks really seemed to appreciate the whole arrangement so I think they'd be very much in favor of making it an Easter tradition.



© Copyright 2000 Brad Haugaard