While visiting her mother in a nursing home during Christmas in 2007, Carolyn Thompson noticed that several of the residents had few visitors and no festive decorations.
She went home, made 12 small trees and distributed them to those folks whom she had noticed. They were so warmly received that she made more the following year.
Thompson recruited several friends and school-aged children to help her with this now budding ministry of Berlin United Methodist Church in Ohio. In 2016, the group created and distributed 690 trees of different colors and styles – one each for every resident of a care facility in Knox County!
The ministry has richly blessed all who participate in it and has stirred ideas of new ways that the congregation can impact the lives of people in the community. Another church member Raemarie Oatman is organizing a church-wide effort to make hand-crafted greeting cards to be included with each tree.
Thompson said she would love to see the ministry spread to other counties in Ohio.
The Rev. Joe Beran is pastor of Berlin and Batemantown United Methodist churches in the East Ohio Conference. Article used courtesy of East Ohio Conference Communications.
Originally published in Interpreter Magazine, November–December, 2017.