BRYAN, Texas —
On the third Sunday of every month, a dozen puppets take to the pews at the First Christian Church of Bryan/College Station.
Grandma Sweetie, a baker with a penchant for quoting scripture, Grandpa, a grumpy mage and mentor to puppet kiddos Katy and Timmy, and a host of other eclectic characters perform skits packed with biblical lessons.
Members of the church since around 2000, married puppeteers Ron and Jane Colbert lend a hand (more specifically, four arms) to the puppets’ performances.
“It was very nice of God to give us something we enjoy doing so much,” Ron Colbert said.
Over a decade ago, the Colberts began their muppet ministry with a single puppet performance sans a set. Now, Ron and Jane have a stage, and, with some help from the church's Christian Women’s Fellowship group, a colorful cast of characters.
“It’s something that I’ve been called to do and I think we’re blessed because of it,” Ron Colbert said.
Before each performance, Ron and Jane develop a puppet skit script that ties in with the themes preached during the Sunday sermon. They said they began the puppet ministry to make worship time more meaningful and memorable for the children who attended the church with their families.
“A puppet can say things that make people think without being preachy so you can learn from puppet shows,” Jane Colbert said.
The couple said the puppet ministry markedly improved their marriage.
“When we were first married, we had a kayak, a two-person kayak,” Jane Colbert said. “We would work on coordination with that so we wouldn't be going around in circles. This is a lot like that, getting out and floating on a puppet skit.”