'Flat Jesus' project encourages Heartsong children


Among the many places 'Flat Jesus' traveled with families of Heartsong United Methodist Church was the chapel at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. To see more photos, visit Facebook or Instagram and search using the hashtag #HCflatjesus.

This summer, Heartsong United Methodist Church (UMC) in Cordova, Tennessee, has been encouraging children to take Jesus with them everywhere they go—literally.

Dubbed the “Flat Jesus” project, children got to cut out, color and laminate a cartoon picture of Jesus. Over the summer, they took photos of “Flat Jesus” on vacations or doing fun activities and posted them to social media sites.

Leading the children was Jenny Williams, the church's director of children’s ministry.

Stephanie Behymer, director of ministry operations at Heartsong UMC, said the photos serve as reminders that Jesus follows us through our everyday lives.

“We encourage(d) them to take him along in their excursions and take pictures to share,” she said.

Behymer said Heartsong UMC adapted the idea from the “Flat Stanley” children’s book series and subsequent letter-writing project. The project educates students on geography as their “Flat Stanley” is mailed around the word.

Behymer said the church also encouraged adults to create their own “Flat Jesus,” prompting them to remember the importance of attending and giving to the church.

“It turns out, some of our adults took to ‘Flat Jesus’ better than the kids,” she said.

To see current photos of the project, visit Facebook or Instagram and search using the hashtag #HCflatjesus.

~Compiled by John Vaught