Item description for Clowns Storytellers Disciples by Olive M. Fleming Drane...
Overview Part biography, part theological treatise, and part how-to guide, this gem is must-reading for all who desire cultural relevance within biblical parameters. Drane recounts her journey from personal tragedy to international clown ministry---highlighted with informed theological reflection---and provides practical suggestions on using the arts with scriptural integrity to enhance worship.
Publishers Description The call to be culturally relevant while remaining biblically rooted is arguably the greatest challenge facing Christians today. Olive Drane addresses this challenge in a unique style as she combines the story of her own spiritual journey with informed theological reflection on the bigger picture of what God is doing in today's world. This book contains an abundance of practical suggestions for ministry, such as interactive Bible study and guidance on how to use the arts with theological integrity.
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Reviews - What do customers think about Clowns Storytellers Disciples?
Clowning Around May 26, 2004
In this book you will learn the origin of two clown characters, Valentine and Barni; learn of the background, creativity and ministry that is Olive M. Fleming Drane; get a taste of the theology of vulnerability; and have a resource of tools and techniques that might be useful in the creative arts aspect of ministry.
Part 1, My Stories, God's Story, Your Story, is primarily a look at the author's life in clown ministry and is written in the form and prose of a journal. You will find highlighted Olive Drane's background, the birth of her clown characters and how her clown ministry has taken shape. If you are interested in clowning or do clowning this is a good place to start.
Part 2, The Meaning of it All, is a spiritual and theological reflection on clowning and creative arts in ministry. Start here if you want to get a feel for the validity and usefulness of clowning (and other creative arts) within the context of the church. Her main point (which runs throughout the book) is one of being open to the point of being vulnerable. As a clown, she has figured out a way to make even the flow of her performance an interactive event, yielding control to the audience at various points often with unexpected and amazing results. In a theological sense she seems to be saying that it is more important that the message of the gospel is accessible first. It should connect with people in the audience where they are at, not where she is at or where some theology dictates it be. Any theological benefit can be derived later upon further reflection (and she provides example and methods to assist with this). While her assertion that Jesus did theology this way (practice then reflection) is not really defensible, it is likely that this is how Jesus communicated his theology -- humor and life experience summed up in parables and lessons that challenged everyone from the theologian to the fisherman (and held their interest)! Her take on theology is a good challenge specifically to the traditional ivory tower approach - which is often deductive, overly academic and done in a vacuum. There's more to faith than pen and ink and this section offers some refreshing ideas in that regard.
Part 3, Putting it into Practice and the appendices, is a useful set of tools, tips and techniques. Drane has some great tried and true ideas in for clowning, dance, mask making, brainstorming, Bible reading and more. If you are just looking for a quick reference for some good retreat ideas, worship service activities or want to run a full blown clowning retreat, this is a great resource. In addition Drane provides a good rationale for creative arts in ministry - something that may even get your worship committee to allow some.
Overall I'd recommend this book to all who are considering clowning, to some that are storytellers looking for new ideas, and to any that are looking for some creative and useful tools to enhance their worship services or retreats.