About this blog:Discussing religion, spirituality and values. Amy Umble is the religion reporter for The Free Lance-Star. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last week, I attended the annual Religion Newswriters conference in Denver. Many faith-based retailers attend the conference to show off their goods. I did not, however, notice anyone promoting Believer Bands. These religious versions of Silly Bandz feature shapes from Bible stories, church culture and more.
By no stretch (ha ha) of the imagination are these little rubber bands to be taken seriously. They’re “silly.” But they’re also fun. For a few pennies, the joy these knick-knacks give to children is like gold. And it is easy to see how they create an opportunity for community (including between parents and their children) as the kids go happily sporting their new treasures. While many may see the use of such things as crassly consumerist — a bending under the various peer-pressures abundant to all of us in the world today. Yet in this church, the gift of these little ornaments offers a strategic opportunity to meet people where they are. No pastor believes Silly Bandz are important. But right now many kids do.