Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I was mentioned in an article called "The Funny Side of Faith" in Ode Magazine. The entire issue for August 2009 is about laughter and my congregation, Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Lansing, Iowa, was noted for the laughter we induce by celebrating Holy Hilarity Sunday each year.

The section of the article about faith and humor is by Carmel Wroth. It reads:

THERE IS NOT MUCH HUMOR IN THE BIBLE. But some Christian churches make up for that by posting witticisms on their outdoor signboards, such as "Does life stink? We have a pew for you," "Google cannot satisfy your every search" and "Read the Bible. It will scare the hell out of you." (Create your own virtual sign at the Church Sign Generator: Laura Gentry, pastor of Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Lansing, Iowa, brings the humor indoors. Gentry's been known to give sermons in a pink feather boa and lead her congregation in gales of laughter. She's also among a small number of Protestant pastors to adopt a medieval tradition known as risus paschalis, or "Easter laughter," in which priests tell humorous stories around Easter. Contemporary pastors call it Holy Hilarity Sunday. "The resurrection is God's joke, the banana peel of the Christian faith," Gentry says. "When Christ rose from the dead, that was the great joke on death." On Holy Hilarity Sunday, Gentry's congregation dresses up in silly costumes, and even does the bunny hop to the hymn Lord of the Dance. The point is to experience laugther in church, in pastoral counseling, even at funerals. "It's one thing to say, 'I don't fear death,'" Gentry says, "but to laugh out loud somehow drives the idea home. It embodies our theology." —CW

Here's a photo of the article at Ode (page 43, August 2009).
Double click it to enlarge:

Click here to read The Medicine of Mirth: Why a laugh a day keeps the doctor—and the cardiologist and the psychiatrist away from this same issue of Ode. It features the teacher I first studied laughter yoga with, Sebastien Gendry.

1 comment:

BeeARawFoodie said...

I continue to be in awe. ODE is awesome, and even more awesome now since they found you!