I felt strange and perhaps a little mischievous as I opened the church doors for R2D2 late Saturday night. I saw some of our neighbors peeking through their house windows with a shocked and worried look on their face. Perhaps that is why I slept so poorly on Saturday; I worried the reaction during worship would be the same.
R2D2 was to be our surprise Epiphany visitor from a land far, far away, so after giving him a tour of the sanctuary, I tucked him in the Sunflower Room, covered him with some blankets, and bid him goodnight.
He was in fine form when we woke him up on Sunday morning.
Thanks to Marina Kaufman and Phil Rhoads we have a video clip of his Sunday morning appearance. You can watch it by clicking here: R2D2 comes to Rainbow
It’s a rare and beautiful thing to look out and see an entire congregation smiling. And to see the look on the children’s faces was priceless. And Artoo’s message was great too:
Just because you are from a far away land or just because you look or act different or just because you speak a different language doesn’t mean you don’t have gifts.
We have Kevin Schwarz to thank for R2D2’s appearance at Rainbow. Kevin spent a year and a half building this unit. With a push of a button, his R2 model can make happy sounds, sad sounds, and he can even put together full sentences, which probably made a few hearing assistance devices go baserk on Sunday. Sorry about that.
Kevin’s brother Greg also deserves some credit. In fact this whole idea was his. And so even though I will end this post with a thank you note written by Greg, I first want to say to him: Thank YOU for making Epiphany Sunday a memorable one. And in case you have in mind that next year we will sing “We Three Droids of Intergalactic Are,” forget about it.
From Greg (pictured below):
I need to take the time to thank my brother Kevin Schwarz for letting me use Kevin’s R2-D2 for the children’s story at church today. I would also like to thank Ruth Harder or letting us bring R2D2 to share with the people of Rainbow Mennonite Church. I am really proud of what my younger brother has accomplished. Thank you for sharing your skills with us buddy.
Actually, Marina Kaufman was at the camera in the balcony. Joel Campbell had the morning off and sat with his parents!