Our Poinsettias as Missionaries of the Christmas Gospel
During Advent and Christmas, Old First continues the tradition of decorating with festive wreaths and beautiful poinsettias. While we won’t be decorating the Sanctuary with these greeneries, we hope to beautify other places with a few this year. We have an idea! Since we don’t need so many when we aren’t in the Sanctuary, we can send them out to share the hope, beauty, and love of Christmas in the wider world.
You are invited to help us show this Christmas spirit here at church or abroad in the world (or at least around metro Philly) through poinsettias, in memory and honor of loved ones.
This year, we are planning to share the poinsettias earlier, and purchasing one will not mean you get one towards the end of the season. Instead, the idea this year, when we aren’t in the Sanctuary, is to share them all over town… spread the love well beyond our walls.
Old First will order the poinsettias and have them delivered to the church on December 9. After that, folks who purchase poinsettias in honor and memory of others can pick up their flowers and deliver them wherever it makes sense to them — in honor of who is remembered or some place meaningful to the person who bought the flower. (We are hoping that mostly our purchasers can handle the deliveries themselves, but we might be able to organize help with some.)
For example, if someone wanted to purchase a poinsettia in honor of Tony P. (as he’s moving out of the Fox Building in mid-December), they could take the flower to Tony as a housewarming gift. They could also drop it off at Community Ventures who has helped Tony find affordable housing.
Or, you could purchase a poinsettia in honor of Margaret R. and deliver it to her, or to the UPenn Library in her honor.
You could purchase a poinsettia in honor of Janice and deliver it to her, or you could walk it around to the Center for Art in Wood where she is an artistic fellow. Or get it to her classroom at Bucks Community College.
You could purchase a poinsettia in memory of Wes, and deliver it to Charles, or take it to St. Monica’s Rehabilitation Center where he spent the last months of his life. Or take it to the Veteran’s Service Center around the corner from the church, because Wes was a vet.
Another example, if someone wanted to dedicate a poinsettia in memory of Amy S, they could then deliver it to her parents, Mark and Ellie. Or they could drop it off as a Christmas wish from Old First for the larger community at Ann’s Choice where Ellie and Mark live. Another option might be to take it over to Clay Studio on 3rd Street, as a bit of Christmas joy from Old First in honor of a loved one who passed and was a potter.
Someone could purchase a poinsettia and dedicate it to the congregation but then take it where they do regular volunteer work as part of their Christian service, say Clark taking it to Pennsylvania Hospital where he serves as a volunteer chaplain.
Are you starting to get how this will work this year? 1) When you buy a poinsettia, 2) it’s still as a dedication — in memory of someone who has passed or in honor of someone living. But then 3) you have to decide where the flower should spend the season sharing Christmas color and life…
The more creative you can be with your destinations the better. (We will come up with a card for the flowers as they go out — explaining the gift and the Christmas wishes it carries with it.)
Think about this — turning our inability to be in our Sanctuary at Christmas as an opportunity to share the Christmas spirit better, wider. We don’t have the beauty of our sanctuary to add to the Christmas season, but we can send love and beauty out from our church and brighten the holidays for people and places well beyond our four walls.
As in years past, the cost for poinsettias is $15 each.
Please fill out the Survey Money survey here. You will need to include the information as shown here:
Your name — the names of those you are honoring and remembering — where the poinsettia will be delivered — the donation amount — if you can deliver it yourself — if you can be a delivery driver for other if needed
You may mail in or drop off a check to the church office, 151 N 4th St, Philadelphia PA 19106 . Please make the check out to: Old First Church and write “poinsettia” in the memo line.