May 25, 2016

Piano-Strings Evangelism

Festival season is gearing up, and hopefully congregations are spending some serious creative time thinking about how to make the most of these evangelism opportunities.

St. James Episcopal Church in Piqua, Ohio, has one idea: Invite folks to make a joyful noise. On a newly decoupaged piano.   

Reading between posts on their Facebook page (the small congregation has limited office hours), it appears that the church received a generous gift of a grand piano. So what to do with the trusty, but no longer needed upright piano? Members decoupaged it with brightly colored pieces of paper and wheeled it out onto the sidewalk.

The city held its annual Taste of the Arts festival this past weekend, and the good people of St. James invited folks to tickle the ivories, plunk out a turn, make a joyful noise.

I’m sure the piano was a sight on the sidewalk, with one green leg, one purple, and pinks, blues, and yellows all over. (Feels like there should be a joke in there. What’s green and purple and decoupaged all over??)

The presence of the piano, with its warm, fun invitation, is a great example of how even a very small congregation can engage the community, especially during citywide celebrations. Perhaps without even realizing it, neighbors see and absorb this type of action; it imprints on their minds that this is a church of and in the community. Not one only interested in its own activities.

I’m not sure how often the congregation plans to wheel out the piano but I hope it’s frequently. While the decorated piano is pitch perfect for special events, it would be fun to have the piano out on Saturday afternoon for no particular reason other than sharing the gift of music, making people smile, and offering no-strings-but-piano-strings evangelism. 

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