Friday, February 02, 2007

The Tree Planting.

I think that I shall never see, a poem as lovely as a tree." I thought of Joyce Kilmer's well known poem this week when Ann Long, a friend from Grantville sent me a photo of the Methodist parsonage in Grantville where I had lived ( 1990-1993).
Ann wanted me to see a picture of the tall Tulip tree that had been only a tiny sapling when we planted it in the front yard of the house while I was pastor of the Grantvile First United Methodist Church.

On my Web Log, I have planted a few poems that I ("a fool like me") made. But Kilmer is right, "only God can make a tree."

I used the term "we planted." But I did little more than watch that Spring day when Ann Long and Kathleen Ray, brought their Sunday school class of little girls to the Methodist church parsonage to plant the Tulip tree.

Here they came...Ann Long and Kathleen Ray, (a former Missionary and talented teacher) with hole diggers and shovels and ferilizer and a tree small enough for primary age children to plant.
The four to six years old girls, included Mandie Crews, Sarah Hunter, Katie Hunter, Sarah Bonner, Cathy Smith, and toddlers Morgan Crews and Annalee Hunter.

As the tree grew, so grew the children. The six year olds are now in college and the children who were toddlers then are now seniors in high school.
The picture of Grantville United Methodist Church to the left, shows the proximity of the church to the parsonage as it looked in the 1990's when I lived in the wonderful little town of Grantville. (1990-1993). I could write a book about my three years living among those beautiful people until I reached the age of mandatory returement.

One memorable Sunday while there, we saw a miracle when the Grantville church family had worked with me to filled the large sanctuary and the balcony to overflow in celebration of the church's Sesquecentenial, 150 years in service to God and the world.
For weeks before the Sesquecentenial, the "Sew and Sew" women in the church met at the parsonage with me to make tiny 'church dolls" as a door prize for every woman and girl who attended. For the men and boys we found a great buy and bought wooden train whistles. This was in memory of the 12 noon train that blew it whistles as it passed through Granville every Sunday at 12 noon to announce the end of the Morning Worship Service!
The Grantville parsonage is a beautifully furnished and comfortable home provided for the pastorial family. We could walk out the front door of the pastor's home, a few feet across the road into the back door of the church building.

I could also walk down the hill every early morning to pick up church mail and any personal mail. The Post Office was a quick gathering place for all of us on our way to work. I talked with the Baptist pastor and deacons, all of whom were gracious enough to welcome me to town. "Grace" does make us gracious enough to love one another even when we have different understandings of a Christian woman's place in the church.

The Grantville UMC parsonage was also conveniently located to City Hall. During my three years as a resident of Grantville, I walked down that hill to "open with prayer" many of the city hall's monthly meetings. Do you agree, Kilmer's poem has a place in this tree planting story?

"I think that I shall never see.
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree. "
-- Joyce Kilmer

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