Wreath Making

Advent begins on Sunday and Christmas preparations are underway. As I write this I hear the sounds of pruning shears, wire cutters and the pleasant voices of wreath makers hard at work. This happens once a year as the wreath is created for the front doors of the church. To me this is one of the best and most sure signs that Christmas is on the way.

Our church has large double doors—must be 10’ high—that open in the middle. The doors are specially created to fit the architecture of the building and they have a symmetrical geometric pattern that spans both sides of the door. They are beautiful, but they pose a difficulty for Christmas wreath hanging. We could hang a small wreath on each side of the door, but that would break the pattern. The solution invented long ago is to hang a large wreath that is formed in two parts so that the middle break matches the door.

I admire the engineering of this decoration. We have a steel frame of two half circles that forms a ring about four feet in diameter. Each year our expert wreath makers come to church with armloads of cut greens to create this decorative masterpiece. They first cut the greens to the correct size and then wire the greens into small bundles. These bundles are then wired to the frame until it is completely covered with an explosion of evergreens. This is hard work. I’ve seen the bloodied fingers at the end of the day.

Because of the variety of texture and shades of green this wreath is truly one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. What makes this an especially amazing piece of work from the point of view of a pastor is the quiet efficiency by which it is done. There are no committee discussions, no complaining, and no second-guessing. One day it just seems to happen. Wonderful.

There are many activities in the church that happen in this quiet way. People who have a desire to make something beautiful, or to make something work, or with an idea to serve just show up and do it. Probably most good things in the church happen this way. As with most things it life it is the activities that create dissension that get noticed, but they are, truthfully, the minority of events. Many people in this church go about doing good things for us all with only the satisfaction of a job done well. The wreath-makers are a great example of this. But this year I want to make sure their work is noticed and they are thanked. Today’s evergreen artists are Nancy and Doug Bartow, Joan Insogna and Helen Bracco with many greens from Annie McClintock.

The wreath is up and the bow is attached. Nancy will now create the Advent wreath for the communion table and we are ready for the season to begin. This Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent and that means we have our Advent party at 4:00. This is one of the best events we do for families in our church. There will be centerpiece making for adults, ornament making for children, Christmas carols for all and a spaghetti supper courtesy of the Pilgrim Fellowship. There is a small cost for the supper, but the rest is free. Be sure to bring pruning shears and greens to create a centerpiece.

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