This past Sunday was the Church Christmas Makeover. Each year Our Redeemer Lutheran Church designates a Sunday to come together, young and young at heart to decorate the church for Christmas. The transformation begins by trekking out through the snow to cut down a real spruce tree. Earlier this year Pastor Steve and I had ventured to find the perfect tree BEFORE there was snow on the ground. This made for a much easier process now that there is snow.
The Christmas trees usually come from behind the parsonage or in back of the church. This year the tree was across the field. The youth broke trail that was a foot to two feet deep. I was in the back of the line, which I was glad since up front it was up to knees or deeper.
After finding the tree the youth go about shaking off the snow-onto one another of course. Then the youth gather on one side to push, guiding the tree to fall in the proper spot. Once down the tree must be measured to ensure it will fit in front of the sanctuary.
After some final trimming on the base the tree was then drug across the snow covered ground down a steep embankment onto the field. We soon discovered that dragging the tree caused branches to break off making it more of a Charlie Brown Tree. The boys then carried the tree, ABOVE their heads, due to the large diameter all the way to the church.
Once at the church door the next hurdle became apparent. Fitting a 10 foot diameter tree through a six foot diameter door. Push and pull (depend on which side one is on) and a loss of more branches and the tree was finally through. Once in the narthex the boys discovered yet another obstacle…the door to the sanctuary.
The boys rotated the tree to go bottom first so the branches would bend in the opposite direction from before in hopes of breaking less. More push and pull and loss of branches and it was in. There was a definite trail with evergreen sprigs from the field all the way to inside the church and up the aisle. Once in they had to get the tree upright. Using multiple people and a lot of leverage it was up.
Meanwhile, while all of this was going on, the men of the congregation were hard at work in the front of the sanctuary constructing the nativity. I was told it was a big undertaking but I never imagined how big the project was. Drills, several screw guns, and heavy lifting all go into making the manger come alive. The whole thing takes up the entire front of the church.
Simultaneously the women of the church were hard at work putting up the garland in the sanctuary across the pillars. In the narthex the children were working on decorating several Christmas trees, while others worked on the garland around the stairwell. Outside, Ingrid and friends, worked on putting up the lights and the life size angels.
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The whole event brings together people of every age. Regardless of size or age there is something for everyone and it really brings the congregation together. Cross generational experiences are the best. The younger kids look up to the older ones. The whole event brings together people of every age. Regardless of size or age there is something for everyone and it really brings the congregation together. I believe that cross-generational ministry like this Christmas Makeover allows for the gifts of each generation as to be utilized. We are all on this journey together. We all have something to share. We all have something to learn. We all need those who have gone before to cheer us on, to mark the way, and to offer us a message of hope in Christ. What better way than through sharing the story of the first Christmas? By working together for one purpose: Sharing Christ with others
“There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” (Ephesians 4:4-6)
|This picture pretty much sums it up|