EFUMC crowns Mardi Gras Royal Court

From Church Reports

The Eupora First United Methodist Church celebrated its fifth annual
Mardi Gras Pancake Supper with the crowning of a Royal Court.

“In the past we have only crowned a king and queen, but this year our
Social Events Team went all out with a full court. The kids, in
particular, loved it,” said the Rev. Trey Harper, pastor.

Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday, referring to the practice of
the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual
fasting of the Lenten season, which begins on Ash Wednesday. As such,
it became popular in Western European countries to celebrate with
pancakes. In the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and
Canada, Mardi Gras is also commonly known as “Pancake Day” or
“Pancake Tuesday” because of the tradition of eating pancakes on the
day.

This year, following a huge supper of green pancakes, bacon and
sausage (provided by the United Methodist Men); the church cuts the
traditional King Cake and then crowns its court.

“In the years past, we have always ordered our King Cake to be
shipped from the coast, but this year our very own Maggie Bjorgum,
chair of the Social Events Team, tried her hand at making our
cakes … and believe me they were divine,” Harper said.

The tradition of the king cake takes its name from the biblical three
kings, and was originally part of European Epiphany celebrations. In
the southern United States, the tradition was brought to the area by
colonists from France and Spain, and is associated with Carnival
(also known as Mardi Gras). The most simple, said to be the most
traditional, is a ring of twisted cinnamon roll-style bread topped
with icing or sugar, usually colored purple, green, and gold (the
traditional Mardi Gras colors) with food coloring.

The cake has a small trinket (often a small plastic baby, said to
represent Baby Jesus) inside (or sometimes placed underneath), and
the person who gets the piece of cake with the trinket has various
privileges and obligations. It has become customary in the Southern
culture that whoever finds the trinket must provide the next king
cake or host the next Mardi Gras party.

It has been the tradition at EFUMC that whoever finds the trinket
gets to be part of the Royal Court. This year’s King Cake winner was
John Harper, son or the Rev. Trey and Heather Harper.

“Every year we think out Mardi Gras celebration can’t get any better,
and yet it always does. It is a great way for the whole family to
celebrate as we prepare to enter into Lent,” Harper said.

This year the church not only crowned a full court, but each of the
royalty was given a special name.

“Karen Shook, one of the member’s of our Social Events Team, is a
transplant from the Gulf Coast, and brought with her the idea of
naming our royalty using backwards names,” Harper said. “For
instance, the Mardi Gras queen on the Mississippi Gulf Coast is
called Queen Ixolib (or Biloxi spelled backwards), So we adopted the
same idea, but with our own special twist. Who knows what great and
fun ideas will pop up next year.”
The 2013 EFUMC Mardi Gras Pancake Supper Court included King Ekacnap
(pancake) J.D. McCafferty, Queen Purys (syrup) Jennifer Zirlott,
Prince Nacob (bacon) Ty Murphy and Princess Rettub (butter) Cydney
Murphy.

For information about this or other ministries or events at EFUMC,
contact the church office at 258-2611, or check out the website at
www.euporafumc.org or follow us on Facebook at Eupora First United
Methodist Church.