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Friday, January 29, 2010

Practicing International Diplomacy - One Puppet At A Time

What follows is the kind of update anyone In Your Neighborhood might pass over the fence. The annual holiday pilgrimage to give puppet show performances for audiences in Russian orphanages made by former Pacific Northwest resident Christopher Arveson was chronicled at this reader blog on December 26, 2009 (Former Middle-School Classmate's Inspiring Pathway....).

Arveson, currently an ordained minister for small but tight United Methodist congregations in Brushfork, WV and Bramwell, WV, has been providing customized and entertaining puppet shows in Russia on a volunteer basis for a number of years as part teams affiliated with West Virginia Volunteers-In-Mission. He spent most of his youth in Kirkland, WA and is a 1973 graduate of Lake Washington High School.

His talents have been recognized on both sides of the Atlantic. Two years ago, he was named the organization's 2008 Volunteer of the Year when Saturday, June 7, 2008 was declared Chris Arveson Day!

Most recently during a tour of orphanages in Siberia one of Arveson's most beloved show stars - from his own production of Peter and the Wolf was invited to stay as a permanent resident as part of a popular exhibit at a little village museum near Tomsk, giving Reverend Arveson an unprecedented opportunity to belt out a melody along the lines of "I Left My Puppet in Tomsk" to that celebrated Tony Bennett standard about a well-known American city by a bay.

Humor aside read more about Arveson's heartwarming puppet ministry and check out his colorful, informative and interactive website here where he chronicles how following the 1982 birth of his first puppet, MacGillicuddy Monster a now international fan base was born!


Lorraine Hart said...

Heartwarming indeed my friend! What a WONDERFUL man!!

Stephanie Frieze said...

Yes, very heartwarming. Is the Russian Orthodox Church unable to help these children as well? Just wondering.