Leaves on the Tree

When I started at Guilford Park, I noticed the image of a tree on most everything we did. So of course I wondered, what’s with the tree? Greensboro is known for it’s trees, and the church is located in the Kirkwood neighborhood which is graced by numerous lovely trees.

But then I learned what many of you already know: Guilford Park had its beginnings under a tree. Growing Through Faith: A Fifty-Year Journey says this:

Under a large oak tree with sweeping branches the men, women and children came to worship, pray and sing together. There was no building, no pews, no pulpit at this pastoral setting carpeted with red clay. A desire to worship God brought these people to the corner of Fairfield Avenue and Fernwood Drive. This was the beginning of Guilford Park Presbyterian Church, a church rich in spirituality, service, camaraderie and love.

treeLast Saturday, the Session came together for their annual retreat. We did a spirituality exercise, worked on goals for the committees, and thought about the mission and ministries of the church.

Since Guilford Park began under a tree, I thought it would be a great metaphor for how we explored the life of the church.

Each session member received three different colors of leaves: yellow, dark green, and light green. They wrote on the back of a yellow leaf something that they needed to let go of, either personally or something within the church. The group decided that these leaves should be falling off the tree.

The dark green leaves represent those ministries that are thriving. Like early summer leaves that have soaked in spring rains and have been bathed in the warm sun, these ministries are vibrant, exuding life.

The light green leaves represent hopes for new ministries and the possibilities in store for the church. Like the leaves that are budding on trees even now, it will take time and nurture to bring these leaves to fruition.

I invite you to check out our Tree of Life in the entryway of the church, and to read what our session members have written. We surely didn’t cover everything, so what would you add? What do your leaves look like?

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