Flower People and Banner People Unite!

Like me, you’re probably sick of hearing about mergers and acquisitions. Every day, it seems, I have to learn a new name for my phone company or bank or Internet provider. Sometimes these unions are made in heaven, other times . . . let’s just say things were better as they were.

Nonethless, here’s my suggestion for a merger. A merger that needs to happen: getting the “flower people” and the “banner people” together.

Who’s Who

If you’re reading this, you’re probably a banner person. Flower people are those in your congregation who have been quietly “decorating” our worship spaces—sometimes for decades at a stretch—with seasonal arrangements of lilies and geraniums and poinsettias. But for some reason, these two groups don’t often mix. Why not? The goal is the same. The challenges are often the same. Why not join forces?

Inspiration and Integration

With inspiration from Toon Overvoorde’s article on page 44, here are some ideas to get you started. Granted, I had the advantage of having photos of finished floral arrangements. But even knowing, for example, that white poinsettias, not red, will be used this year, is better than no knowledge at all.

Using a close-up of a portion of the arrangement is one way to make sure that everyone gets to see your arrangement.

Get It Together

As in any merger, some things stay the same and some things change. Here are some practical suggestions to ease into the transition:

  1. Put an annual calendar together. No doubt the flower people already have one. Add to it existing banners likely to be used. You’ll be amazed at how even sharing this information will result in more coordinated—and effective—visuals.
  2. Decide on two Sundays in the last few months that the group thinks were weak visually, for whatever reason. Give the flower-inclined people one of the dates; the banner folk the other. Let each group present a new and better approach and then talk through what the other group might do to complement this new idea. Hopefully the fun and benefit of this practice run will inspire you to continue working together.
  3. If you are still talking to each other, decide on a monthly or quarterly schedule of meetings and brainstorm together about future possibilities. Make sure that you keep talking—and spend a bit of time looking back while you work towards the future.
  4. Most flower people use fresh flowers and plants. That’s great for a number of reasons, the least of which is built-in obsolescence. Although banners don’t die in the same way plants do, you probably have a few that are due to retire. Ask your newly expanded team to help evaluate your banner collection.

We’d all love to be more organized and do all of the wonderful things suggested above. But sometimes God surprises us with great things despite our just-OK efforts. Don’t miss a chance to acknowledge the Spirit’s timing (and sense of humor) when it “somehow” just falls together!

Dean Heetderks is a member of Covenant Christian Reformed Church in Cutlerville, Michigan, and art director of Reformed Worship. Show and tell him about your experiences at dean.heetderks@gmail.com.

Reformed Worship 78 © December 2005, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. Used by permission.