Church hosting an exhibition of Christmas trees |
GARRETT – A church in Garrett holds its first Christmas tree celebration while collecting donations for its mission project in Las Flores, Belize.
While some sessions have already taken place, there are other opportunities to view the trees at Garrett Presbyterian Church, 201 S. Franklin St.
The hours are 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. today, December 7; Thursday, and again Tuesday, December 14 and Thursday, December 16, and from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, December 12.
The church will also host a bake sale on December 12. Some of the trees will be offered for sale after December 16.
There is no cost to attend. Church members ask participants to bring a non-perishable item for the community food bank.
All trees on display have been donated and feature decorations of different themes.
Organizers Jan and Tim McAlhany and Judy Werkheiser invite the community to visit and enjoy the trees.
Church families, vendors, and supporters decorated Christmas trees in all colors, shapes and sizes.
One of the trees received by Werkheiser almost did not show up at the exhibition. Nicknamed “the tree of the resurrection,” it was meant for the dumpster until it came to its rescue and put its magic to work.
âI was very happy with the way it went,â she said. “I had no idea it could turn out to be what it looked like.”
âThis tree almost hit the garbage heap,â Tim said.
âWe named it the tree of the resurrection because it’s one where each branch has to be hung one by one,â Jan said. âIt was the ugliest thing. After I assembled it, I was ready to take it to the dumpster.
âJudy walked through it and decorated it, and I think it turned out to be the prettiest, most natural tree here,â she noted.
A tree decorated by the Garrett Fire Department was paired with a firefighter’s helmet, nozzle and protective boots and pants.
Beside it, a patriotic tree features red, white and blue lights, ornaments, flowers and ribbons. At the base are a pair of boots donated by a local military veteran.
Another tree, named âO Holy Nightâ, presents crystal figures of the baby Jesus in the manger, of Mary and of Joseph.
There are two trees in Indiana University colors and one with a Purdue University theme.
Additionally, Albright’s, Classic City Auto Body, DeKalb Humane Society, Garrett Flower Pot, JE Ober Elementary School, and Los Cabos decorated trees. Los Cabos is the vendor at the church’s âtaco Tuesdayâ events.
Visitors can vote for their favorite tree by placing a monetary donation in an accompanying bucket.
âWe tried to be Christmas, but also to keep the spirit of the season,â Tim said. âI think that sometimes the birth of our Savior is a little off the wall at Christmas. We want to make sure that doesn’t happen with this, that it’s to celebrate his birthday. “
Donations for most of the trees will go to the church’s mission project in Las Flores, Belize. Donations to the DeKalb County Humane Society tree will go to that organization’s building fund. Donations to the JE Ober Primary School Mittens and Gloves Tree will be returned to the school.
On a camping trip, the McAlhanys met a missionary couple in Belize.
Las Flores is a poor village of about 300 inhabitants. Missionaries work with others to construct a building block community building for the medical needs of the community and for housing for missionaries.
âEvery dollar we raise is equivalent to $ 2 in their economy,â Tim explained. âThere is no board of directors. Every dollar we raise goes to the mission.
The celebration of the Christmas tree was seen as a way to reach out to the community.
âWe thought it would be something the community could benefit from, something for the church to bring people into the building, and of course, to celebrate Christmas,â he explained. âSometimes I think Christmas is a little too commercialized, and I think it’s a chance to have a little fun.
âWe were fortunate to have a lot of people who donated,â McAlhany continued. âWe have been blessed with people who have supported our church activities. It has been a win-win situation for everyone: the community, businesses and schools.
âI hope that will turn into the growth of the congregation as well. “