For this week’s Thursday Thoughts, I wanted to share the behind-the-scenes story of our Easter butterflies.  I attended a New London Clergy Association UCC Lent Planning session in January of 2020.  We talked about interactive projects for congregations to do during Lent.  The idea was shared to make origami butterflies.  By the end of Lent, you could turn them into a large mobile just in time for Easter.  That was the idea I brought back to Nicole.  We came up with the plan to have our congregation make butterflies mostly during coffee hour as an intergenerational activity, and pictured a mobile hung somewhere in the sanctuary for Easter. 

Then Covid came onto the scene, so all these grand plans were shelved for 3 YEARS! 

When Nicole and I started planning Lent and Easter for 2023, we went back to our 2020 plans.  We made the mistake of going on Pinterest and Googling “origami installations” and our idea became much larger!  What if we decorated the sanctuary all over with butterflies?  Hanging from the chandeliers, hanging from the balcony, placed strategically to draw peoples’ attention upward?  We can’t just have 500, we need 1,000 origami butterflies to make this work! 

Nicole went on YouTube and sat through tutorials to figure out how to get the butterflies to be suspended in air so it looks like they are flying.  She needed to get out her needle nose pliers, sewing needle, thimble, and fishing line to thread the butterflies together, using crimp beads so that they would be spaced apart.  Otherwise the butterflies would be in one big clump at the bottom of each line.  As I said on Sunday, Nicole is the Butterfly MVP as it took her 53 hours in total to make this vision a reality.

We assembled “The Butterfly Crew” to put our plan into action: Neill Ostrout, Lauren Ostrout, Nicole Hosford, Rich Hosford, Christine Miskell, and Tom St. Louis.  Let’s face it, Rich and Neill were basically “voluntold” to help with this Easter surprise.  But we are so glad that everyone said yes to help!  They were sworn to secrecy to not ruin the surprise.

On Good Friday (a few hours after our Stations of the Cross Service), the crew gathered in the sanctuary to make the vision come to life.  It took a little over 3 hours and there ended up being 1,053 butterflies when all was said and done.  Nicole even had the brilliant last minute idea of getting some pastel tulle to bring it all together.  It’s amazing to see a vision come to life and hopefully brighten anyone’s day who comes into our church’s sanctuary.

Thank you to EVERYONE who made the origami butterflies throughout Lent. 
None of this would have been possible without you!

It was wonderful to celebrate the Resurrection of Christ together on a glorious Easter morning.  And the butterfiles will stay up throughout Eastertide.  Easter is not just one day, it’s a season after all!  (Plus, my nerves need to recover after seeing Neill on top of that ladder).

Pastor Lauren

Thursday Thoughts 4/13/23