Since 1993, Asbury Memorial has used a picture of a clown as a logo for the church. There are several reasons why the clown has become a meaningful symbol for the people of Asbury Memorial. We call them the "Three Cs" — Christianity, Creativity, and Clown-Makers.
Long before the Christ figure was portrayed as a clown in the popular musical, Godspell, the clown was a Christian symbol throughout Christian history. The apostle Paul writes, “We are fools for Christ’s sake … God has chosen the foolish things to confound the wise.” In his book Perfect Fools, John Saward writes, “The fools for Christ’s sake are people made mad and merry by their faith in God ― a God who appears silly in a manger and foolish on a cross.”
As Christians, we are called to be “Holy Fools” ― to do what we believe God is calling us to do, even when the majority disagrees with us. This is especially meaningful for the people of Asbury Memorial, because they appeared foolish by staying with the church through its difficult years, instead of closing its doors and moving, as many had encouraged before 1993.
The Bible also says that “joy” is an important part of the Christian life. Jesus said, “I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.” The angel said, “I bring you news of great joy!” We sing, “Joy to the world, the Lord is come!” What better symbol for “joy” than a clown? The Asbury Clown reminds us of the “good news of Jesus Christ.”
The Bible tells us that the first thing God does is “create.” Thus, the first thing we learn about God is that God is a “Creator.” The book of Genesis also tells us that God breathed God’s spirit into us ― so we, too, are filled with God’s creative spirit. At Asbury Memorial, we believe that if we are not creative, then we are not being who God created us to be or fulfilling God’s purpose.
The clown has long been a symbol for the “arts,” so our Asbury Clown reminds us to be creative and artistic. We experience this emphasis in our worship services through music, drama, liturgical dance, and the visual arts. We believe that it’s beneficial to worship God using all of our senses.
Many years ago, the women of Asbury Memorial started a group called the “Busy Bees.” Every Monday, the group met to make “Clown Dolls.” At first, the main focus of the group was fellowship; but, when the church struggled during the lean years, the profits made from the clown dolls helped pay the bills of the church. In a sense, “the clown” is partially responsible for keeping the church going. The clown symbol keeps us in touch with our past ― with those hard-working Busy Bees. Many of these “saints” have gone on to be with God, but the memory of what they did will live on through the clown symbol.
The Busy Bees still meet today, and they invite you to join them as they stitch. They continue to produce Clown Dolls, which have been sold around the world. If you are interested in purchasing an Asbury Memorial Clown, you may do so by contacting the church office.