January 3, 2016
I have this great memory of watching my mom build a poinsettia tree. She gathered up all kinds of supplies from our house, including a table that looked similar to this (ha!) to help her build this massive tree.
This tree she was creating was at least 20 feet tall ,made out of poinsettias and magnolia and was probably held together with bungee cords and all kinds of rope, tape and who knows what else. I feel sure she checked on the tree daily to keep it watered and to make sure it had not fallen. It was a sight to see. She and a few other ladies at our church gathered every year to make the church beautiful during Advent and this time was no exception. I hope to find the picture one day to share with you.
So, when my husband and I joined First Presbyterian Church in Huntsville, Alabama in 1997, I was 26. And- I had never really ‘arranged’ before. However, that did not stop me. I signed up for the Flower Guild. I was a nervous wreck the first time I had to do an arrangement for the sanctuary, but I just did it. I think I checked on it 3 times between Saturday morning and Sunday morning-just to make sure it wasn’t dead or had not fallen. It survived. I have no memory of what it looked like, but remember everything about the experience.
Over the years, my role in our Flower Guild has changed. I have been an expert bucket hauler, flower helper to some of the wonderful flower experts that came before me, cleaner upper, neighborhood flower gatherer, played a small part, played a large part, planned the Advent or Easter flowers ,and just arranged. This year, I have really thought about what makes this group so special. Every year it looks different and every year a group comes together with the Spirit of the Season and assembles something spectacular for the congregation to enjoy. The talent in the group is enormous. Like being a part of any group- everyone brings different skills and gifts to the group. Every year, I am blown away by what this group can do.
I think this is really where I have learned so much. It has given me the opportunity to work with wonderful people who have so many gifts. The friendships that have been formed continue to grow. These times when the group works together, amazing things happen- not only with flowers, but also in your heart. On Christmas Eve, I sit on the pew and listen to the choir and look around at the sanctuary in all of its glory and am just blown away-it is truly Spiritual.
I hope that in 2016 you can find a group that helps make your best shine. I hope that you can try something new- learn from someone that has gone before you. Join a Flower Guild- surround yourself with people you admire.
I’ve gathered some pictures of Advent at First Presbyterian over the years. I hope that you enjoy some of what this group has designed!
The year of pink roses, branches dripping in lichen, berries, seeded eucalyptus, silver brunia and some deep red carnations(don’t judge, it was beautiful)
The year of orange and red! Dried orange slices, spray painted gold walnuts and pine cones!
A year full of white poinsettias and dried hydrangeas!
The year of amaryllis, green apples, red roses, ilex berries and moss!