Little Chapel in the Woods
I like to define stress with one word … Christmas. Everyone knows the routine. But, for me there is one activity that can take the stress and melt it away — decorating a little chapel in the woods for Christmas worship services.
Poinsettias are beautiful flowers, and I am grateful for the tradition that belongs uniquely to them during this season.
My husband and I belong to a mission church called Church of the Incarnation. Christmas is our feast day. Our church is housed in a little chapel on the campus of a large and beautifully serene retreat center called Canterbury Retreat and Conference Center in Oviedo, FL. To get to our little St Augustine’s chapel we literally walk throughout the woods, over a bridge and follow a path to the chapel situated on a lake. It’s a beautiful modern structure with rustic wood siding, floor to ceiling windows, surrounded by the forests of Central Florida to include ferns, palms and flowering plants.
Early in November I order Poinsettias from a local wholesale supplier, and they are delivered 2-3 days before Christmas Eve. Then, several lovely ladies who also have a gift of ministry through flowers assemble to transfer our little chapel from it’s stark Advent decor into a beautiful worship environment in which to celebrate the birth of our savior, Jesus Christ.
As with some other ministries of the church we are a necessary but silent ministry, getting our joy from just the process of creating the worship environment. The flower guild is forever thankful for these lovely gifts from God as we use these flowers to develop the atmosphere where everyone will worship, pray, and minister to each other. But, most parishioners can not resist a “thank you, the altar is lovely” during the Christmas season.
I am grateful for my ministry and the ladies and flowers that make it possible.
So, Christmas stress … go away as I stand back and gaze upon the Poinsettias.