There was a lot of clowning around going on inside Messiah Lutheran Church on Sunday evening.

The Clowns for Christ of Messiah Lutheran held a Life in Christ Clown College graduation ceremony for it’s two newest members, Amy Christiansen and Marie Beckwith.

Christiansen, who chose the clown name Mamie, has been a clown for a while, but becoming a clown with a Christian theme was new.

“I’ve always loved clowns,” she said. “I’ve been a clown, but not a Christian clown.”

After meeting a member of the Messiah Lutheran clown troupe, Christiansen attended a meeting there.

“I came and I just kept coming back,” she said.

Beckwith, whose clown name is Little Lite, met Joyce Olsen, who was also a clown named Ida No at Messiah Lutheran, when she came into the hair salon where she worked and gave her the idea to join.

“She came into the hair salon dressed as Mrs. Claus,” she said.

Life in Christ Clown College began in August for Christiansen and Beckwith. They met with the other clowns once a week for two hours.

“All the clowns have so many gifts,” Christiansen said. “One week we talked about makeup. They would put their makeup on to show us and give us tips. They gave us costuming ideas. We learned about the history of clowning. They touched on all different kinds of clowning.”

Beckwith said the classes awoke something inside her.

“The process is identifying the joy, love and happiness within you,” she said. “We seem to lose that in life but everyone has it.”

The new clowns had to write their own skits to perform at the graduation, which was nerve-wracking, Christiansen said.

“I was really nervous,” she said. “You want it to be long enough. You want it to be good enough.”

After the show, both women said they felt great about how their skits went.

“It was just so fun,” Beckwith said. “I didn’t want to stop.”

Christiansen agreed.

“It’s a big relief,” she said. “It was fun.”

Now, both women can perform with the Clowns for Christ when they perform at Messiah Lutheran or in the metro area.

Christiansen said she is excited to perform with the clowns because they made her feel so welcome.

“They are so welcoming,” she said.

“They are such a good group of people.”

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