Fellowship Baptist Church’a pastor, Rev. Mike Hubers, defines fellowship as coming together with a common interest. That’s what he’s hoping to see at the church’s new community outreach, the Fellowship of Trees.
Tucked back in the Ferndale community near North Glen Park, the church with about 130 members has transformed its interior to offer beauty, nostalgia, whimsy and a bit of the Christmas spirit in what Hubers calls his Christmas card to the community.
More than 30 Christmas trees are decorated with various themes by congregants, and will be on display at the church, 1015 Sundown Road, 6–9 p.m. Thursday and Friday.
From the lighted driveway to the rear of the church’s fellowship hall, folks can find something for everyone. Most of the trees are elevated above the pews, with the center aisle blocked off to allow participants to take in the sights.
Congregants worked hard to come up with ideas for décor, from traditional to fantasy.
“I have six kids, and somebody said, ‘What about an I Spy tree?’” Bridgett Rider said, and it went from there. She and fellow congregant Helen Miller teamed up to decorate their tree with random items such as a spider, dog, toothbrush and sunglasses.
Rider will offer a list of items families can search for in the tree. She said some families completed a tree on their own, while others paired up to get the job done.
Several trees are hat-tips to the nation. The Flag Tree boasts 1,800 lights, and a Patriotism Tree offers a classic American display. The Armed Forces Tree commemorates the five armed forces protecting citizens and defending the nation. The White House Tree displays the many White House commemorative ornaments throughout the years.
Some trees are Christmas themed. Vintage Cards Tree offers examples of greeting cards from 1843 to 1940. The Candy Cane Tree shows off not only the beloved confection, but offers the legend of the candy cane.
The Christmas Carol Tree contains scrolls of the traditional yuletide favorites, and the Nutcracker Tree displays a variety of the shell-cracking soldiers, accompanied by a display at its base.
Other trees commemorate favorites with ornaments featuring favorites such as the Baltimore Ravens, Star Wars, or nautical and beachy items. The Maryland Tree is bedecked with the colors of the Calvert family crest and coat of arms. The Melting Snowman Tree offers a whimsical, if not slightly sad, nod to a favorite seasonal pastime.
The Woodland Tree features not only woodland critters such as bear, raccoons and wolves, but a campfire at its base.
Then there are more church-y trees. The Streets of Gold tree offers a glimpse at what a heavenly Christmas may look like, and the Noah’s Ark Tree is adorned with its menagerie.
“The Baptist Tree will have a manger, the cross and the throne – from wood to wonder – from the birth of Christ to the reign of Christ, to the cross of Christ,” Hubers said. He wants to be sure to tell the Christmas story from start to finish.
Another tree is adorned with Pastor Hubers and Pastor Mike as shepherds at the top of the tree, as well as sheep bearing the names of all the families in the church. The church also contains ornaments depicting the countries of the 38 missionaries the church supports, and the various ministries of the church. He said the Christmas tree of Christ will offer three verses of scripture.
But, the Fellowship of Trees is not a sermon, Hubers said. He said it’s something nice for families to do and see. He said he wants people to come together, and to focus on the true meaning of Christmas, rather than merchandise.
“Don’t get me wrong, I have presents at my house,” Hubers said. He said there’s nothing wrong with giving gifts – he’d just rather folks focus on the reason for giving.
One tree is adorned with the names of Jesus – The Way, King, The Light – all handmade. Also handmade, a large sleigh is parked in the foyer. Families may take photos inside it, or near a showy tree formed from 90 poinsettias.
The Fellowship of Trees is a new effort for the congregation. Hubers said the church’s Living Last Supper and Living Nativity have drawn thousands of folks from the community. This time, he’s hopeful the response will be similar.
After touring the display of trees, folks can enjoy hot chocolate and homemade cookies. The event is free. Hubers said although he’d like to leave the display up for the remainder of the Christmas season, after Friday the church must be restored to its original purpose of a place of worship.
The Anne Arundel Bar Association recently recognized Glen Burnie attorney Doris Green Walker on Nov. 1 with its President’s Pro Bono Award for her commitment to providing low-income residents with critical civil legal services on a volunteer basis.
Walker has served as a volunteer with the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service for over 20 years after accepting her first case in 1997. She has accepted 53 pro bono cases, mostly dealing with contested family law.
She also works with clients on issues such as bankruptcy, tax controversy, foreclosure, expungement and estate planning.
The Glen Burnie United Methodist Church Adult Choir and a seven-piece orchestra will present a Christmas Carol Program directed by Dr. Anna Binneweg Sunday at the 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. worship. All are invited to attend.