The Root Beer Bear Arises From His Slumber

The Root Beer Bear came out of hibernation a couple times this week.

On Thursday I took a co-worker and some root beer to a local senior center where it was Staff and Resident Appreciation Day. The residents really enjoyed having me walking around in a bear costume handing out root beer floats. Despite the fact that I was sweating more than when I played hockey, I had a wonderful time seeing smiles on tired old faces. One woman kept calling me Mike each time I would walk by her. It was sad and funny at the same time. The half hour I spent there reminded me of the weekly church services I used to hold at the senior center in the community where I live. I miss those people. It was a rare time where I allowed myself to be loved simply for who I am instead of as the person I think others would like my to be.

Then yesterday another co-worker and I visited a local elementary school carnival. The Bear was a massive hit with most the kids. Except for a few terrified little souls with buried in the parents arms, most of the students were happy to hug, high five or shake hands with me. Of course there were those 5 or 6 little parent-less punks who kept pulling my tail (one even punched me in the nose!) but I just endured them for the sake of the others.

I think there is real potential for a children's ministry to use a mascot. I am definitely not endorsing the idea of some kind of Christianized super hero, but I think some sort of costume character would be a huge hit. I would even bet that more kids would want to bring their friends to church on Sundays. What do you think? Is anyone doing this?