REFLECTIONS OF THINGS PAST . . .
Reflections of Things Past….
On occasion I have an opportunity to reflect on the way things once were, in my personal life, relating to my career and as a member of St. Barnabas. This is especially true during the holidays. It is a sentimental time and I am a very sentimental person. For the past few years Shirley McMichen, Carol Berger and I have had the honor of decorating the Chrismon tree for the narthex. Having a chance to handle those beautiful ornaments once a year is very special, it always brings tears to my eyes. I think of the ladies, still here, and those no longer with us who put so much time, effort and love into the fabrication. Each one is a work of art. This tree is one of the many beautiful things belonging to St. Barnabas that we take for granted and one of our very special treasures. This past Wednesday, Mickey Gallagher telephoned to see if someone would be at church because she wanted to come by to see the Chrismon Tree. She was on her way to an annual luncheon with the ladies from other churches who worked together faithfully once a week for seven years to make these treasures. Some, including Joyce Bragg worked on them for a year or so. Others, including Carol Berger worked on them at home. If I am omitting someone, forgive me. Each ornament is a Christian symbol. In the future we will do an article on the significance of each; however, today, I am focusing on our particular collection. Here is a little history: it seems Louise Latham saw these ornaments and suggested to Joyce Mewborn, Mickey Gallagher, Connie Hunt, Pat Van Stavern (these are the seven year members of the group), and others, that it would be nice to learn how to make them. They met with ladies from Seventh Street Christian Church, who had the patterns. These ladies taught our ladies to craft them. It takes approximately six hours to make one ornament, some of the more detailed, a little longer. Of course, they started with the most simple and as they became more proficient, they added the more detailed. We have one 3-D dove on the tree. Mickey said Joyce Mewborn was the only one with the skill and patience to make this. She said the hardest one she crafted was the St. Barnabas Cross. It had been her intention to make one for each of her children; however, after completing one, she decided that was enough! Once our ladies became “experts”, they taught members of St. John’s, Chester, to craft the ornaments. As you pass the tree, take a little time to stop and reflect on all the work and love that went into each ornament and think of the wonderful ladies who gave so much of their time to craft them.
Blessings, Jackie Degge