No one seemed to know that a group of youngsters were up to anything special on a recent Sunday afternoon at The Commons playground in downtown Columbus. But by the time the children and their adult leaders broke into the upbeat tune, “Our God is Up to Something Good,” a sizable crowd of kids and parents watching knew that something was up indeed.
The flash mob, with about 25 youngsters from kindergarten through preteens, shared their faith in semi-impromptu fashion to honor retiring First Christian Church children’s minister Jenny Lowry, 63. In her 10-year tenure, the leader always dreamed of seeing the participants of the church’s kid-nect program take their Christianity into the community’s mainstream via such an energetic gathering.
“She has always been about bringing Jesus to the people,” said flash mob leader Sonya Vallette.
That includes a summertime Sidewalk Sunday School program that has gone into neighborhoods with music, Bible stories, games and food. Before her charges had finished their two songs and closed with a loud, “We love you, Miss Jenny!” Lowry watched alongside husband Craig with misty eyes and a beaming smile.
The youngsters beamed right back at her. Among them was 9-year-old Leah Hartwell.
“I had hoped it would be something like this,” Hartwell said. “It went better than I expected. I didn’t know there would be so many people here.”
Eleven-year-old Megan Vetter liked the surprise element of the gathering.
“At first, some people looked a little confused, like, ‘What the heck is going on?’” Megan said.
Sister Delaney Vetter, 8, liked the fact that other youngsters jumped into the dance lines and let the music crawl up their legs. That included a person or two on the Luckey Climber, where four First Christian kids busted a move from on high.
“It was fun seeing everybody join in,” Delaney said.
Kid-nect members practiced the two songs and the steps for several weeks as a group at church. Some rehearsed individually at home.
“I loved every minute of it,” Lowry said. “I think it was wonderful that they did it. I think kids like to do something a little different and edgy.”
Married couple Tim and Marcella Edwards stopped after the performance to tell Lowry how much they enjoyed the impromptu display. They had casually stopped by the playground with family.
“It really tickled me,” Tim said.
“We enjoyed it tremendously,” Marcella said to Lowry.
“I think that it shows that Christians can have fun,” Lowry told her.