By Gail Marsh
They say it “takes a village” - well, you might say it takes a mean, lean, ministry team - to successfully host an Easter celebration. Just think of the many, many hands it takes to make Resurrection Day events successful! How will you possibly thank them all? Forget “village.” Think: tree. An Easter tree, that is!
You may be familiar with the Easter tree idea. If not, check out pictures on the Pinterest website or Google it. Details of the tradition’s origin vary, but people have been decorating leafless branches with colored eggs for more than 100 years. The egg is a worldwide symbol of life. As such, it conveys the powerful message that Jesus’ resurrection brings life from death!
This year, use the Easter tree tradition to decorate your church while at the same time thanking your staff and volunteers! Your first step to making this high-impact, uniquely visual thank-you note is to find (or purchase) a branch with several smaller branches attached. Secure the “tree” in a large, decorative pot.
Next, take a trip to your local dollar store and purchase several sets of colorful plastic eggs and decorating supplies. Or, if you serve a small church, ask worshipers to bring in plastic Easter eggs well ahead of your Resurrection Day celebration. Designate one color of egg for each of the many different teams who assist in your celebration. For example, blue eggs may represent ushers. Yellow eggs might represent choir members; greeters’ eggs could be red. Egg-hunt volunteers could have green eggs, orange eggs for facility maintenance personnel, and so on.
Decorate the eggs with stickers, paint, or permanent markers. Then, prepare them for hanging. Most plastic eggs will come with two holes near one end. You can thread string or embroidery thread through these holes. Tie the ends of the string together to form a loop. Now the egg can be hung on a branch of the tree. If the eggs you have do not have holes in them, plan to use hot glue to affix a loop of ribbon to the top of each egg.
Once you have the tree branch and plastic eggs prepared, you’re ready to add a special touch to the Easter tree. Print the name of each person on the appropriately colored egg. If you like, you might also include a very brief word of thanks inside each egg, along with one of CTA’s pocket pieces.
Display the Easter tree in your entryway or other prominent place for Easter services. Post a brief explanation about the Easter tree’s meaning, along with a thank-you banner, next to the display. The banner might say: “Thanks to Our Egg-cellent Team!” Or, “Thanks for making our Easter service so egg-citing!” Or, “We’re so egg-cited about our volunteers!” Encourage volunteers to take their own egg home with them after services end.
Note: If your church is very large you may want to delegate some of the preparation for your Easter tree. For example, ask team leaders to write thank-you notes and print names on the eggs. That way, you won’t overlook a volunteer. Save a few colored eggs for last-minute name additions, just in case.
Share with us! Are you gathering a team of volunteers for Easter? How will you show them your appreciation?
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