This is not quite as elaborate as some years past. The key thing here is that we had 6 crosses hanging from the ceiling 3 on either side of the screen. And we used a series of raised platforms with the band that helped us utilize the space on our stage much better for the band. There was WAY more room than what we usually have on Easter.
The center piece is a stone representing the stone where they lay Jesus and was discovered empty on Easter morning. The service started out with some actor Marys approaching the stone and a video and all that Jazz. The stone itself is made of foam and was hacked, burned, and painted to look like this by our friends from Zeeland Record. We still have it in storage.
This was done in our lobby for Lent this year (2011). We had an Ash Wednesday service that was centered around the Lord's Prayer. People left the sanctuary half way through the service and went on a prayer walk across the church where we had these stations in the alcoves of the hallway. Each station consisted of a phrase of the prayer, an abstract painting, a plaque describing the meaning of the phrase, and a (heavily photoshopped) photograph (taken by me). I picked up the lumber at Home Depot on sale, and had an artistic person in our church paint the words on them. Then they were cut up and hung in the hallways. A separate person did the end of the prayer (which you can see in the picture they're different). We wanted to separate the end of the prayer from the rest of it. We still have all the materials for this including the photos.
A little too Dr. Sues? That's what we were afraid of when we put it up, but we never had a bad comment from a congregation member about it. In fact, one family asked if they could go up and take their family Christmas photo in front of it. We intentionally went as far away as possible from the 17 fake Christmas trees we had the year before. This was a much easier setup. Each tree is made of foam core and the color and patterns were printed on at local printing/design shop Zeeland Record. It turned out to be the best, most light-weight material for the job. Little plywood triangles were glued to the back bottom of each tree for standing up, and they were sitting on boxes and things for varying height. Then we wove some white fabric and lights around the bases of them. The backdrop is wood frame construction painted solid white (we've used these walls many times before).
It was super complicated to put together, but worth it. People were very skeptical at first not knowing where it was going, but once they saw a cross take shape, it took on a lot of meaning. We still have the paintings, but the aluminum frame was borrowed material, so we don't have that anymore :(
Looking ahead to Advent 2009, we thought, "last year we went away from the Christmas tree look, let's go back". And yes 17 fake Christmas trees by my count existed in our storage closet. I put out a church wide, week long Christmas tree assembly/decorating event the week of Thanksgiving for anybody and everybody to come in and put up some trees. Oddly enough, the youth group ended up putting 90% of these together (thanks Tom Greenwald/Youth Director at the time). We also had these "gobos" they call them, to put in some of our can lights that project shapes of light on the walls, ie wise men and angel. So back to the Macy's look I guess, for this year. we made an executive decision never to do that many Christmas trees again - way too stressful to find the help :(
In Advent 2008 we decided to do something different than the traditional Macy's fake Christmas tree look that we do every year. Instead our series was about the prophets foretelling the coming of Christ, so we set up a Bethlehem scene in the background cutout of 4X8 sheets of foam board and painted. The palm trees were made out of plywood, chicken wire, and fabric (technically more historically accurate than pine trees...). The palm branches (luckily were removable from some fake plants in our building) and stuck into little foam bricks in the top of the tree trunks. The star reappeared this year (a spandex 3D shape stretched over a wire frame). The hill underneath Bethlehem we had to build 2X4 construction with chicken wire fence coming out from it. Then we just pinned a bunch of brown fabric over it. Hopefully it looks like a city on a hill (we used it to bury the drums too :)