Every place has its own traditions. When my husband and I were "church shopping" last fall, trying to find the best place for our family to worship and work, we didn't know about all the traditions that went along with each place, all the different dinners and events and opportunities. But God was obviously guiding us well, because we have acclimated well this last year, and are loving all the ways we can serve and fellowship in our church family.
One thing this congregation does that I have never seen elsewhere is to have an angel tree. Now, I can almost hear you saying, "Amy, there are angel trees everywhere." Not like this one. On this tree, the names on the paper "angels" aren't people in need. Instead, this tree is covered with the names of loved ones who are now lost to us. Last year, we had an angel with my husband's mom on it. This year, my grandmother's name nestles among the branches.
In case you think that's terribly depressing, think again. This tree is there for those of us who are dealing with a first holiday without someone. We're going to be missing that person, no matter how good the holiday turns out to be. This tree gives us an opportunity to have our church family praying for us and our peace and comfort. It allows us to see that we're not the only ones dealing with grief during a normally happy time. It gives us one more chance to remember. And that's not always depressing.
What kinds of traditions does your congregation have that you love to participate in? Or that help people dealing with a hard time?
This is a place for me to share thoughts and ideas not just related to writing. Thoughts about what's going on in my life, about an idea I got that I thought shareworthy, or just a funny anecdote.