Have Jesus, will travel

Flat Jesus riding in a hot air balloon. Photo: Courtesy of Chris Gannon
Flat Jesus riding in a hot air balloon. Photo: Courtesy of Chris Gannon
Published July 23, 2013

If God is everywhere, a laminated dude named Flat Jesus is doing his best to prove the point.

Just check out his Facebook page and you’ll find him riding in a hot air balloon with Virginia Episcopalians, accompanying mission trips to the Dominican Republic and Kenya, watching Despicable Me 2, assisting with sermons (is that cheating?), relaxing on the beach and snuggling a dog. He even hangs out with the much-taller Flat Andy, modeled after Bishop Andy Doyle of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas.

Flat Jesus is a laminated, hand-colored paper doll traveling the world this summer courtesy of St. James Episcopal Church in Birmingham, Michigan. The original “flat” character was Flat Stanley, star of a book by Jeff Brown in which a boy has remarkable adventures after waking up one day to discover he is flattened to half-an-inch thick. Today, schoolchildren routinely write letters accompanied by Flat Stanleys to friends and family, who provide fun geography lessons by snapping photos of the paper fellow posing at various local sites. There’s even a Flat Stanley Project app.

Stanley inspired other “flat” folk, including Flat Andy. Chris Gannon, Flat Jesus handler and minister to youth and adults at St. James, saw something about Flat Jesus online and thought, “Oh, wow, what a cool way to keep our congregation kind of connected over the summer.”

For the full story, click here


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