If you’ve attended (either in-person or virtually) a Church Street United Methodist Church service, you might have noticed the beautiful flowers that line the altar.
But, what happens to those flowers after the service? Flower Committee Chair Ann Warwick and her team of four help make sure that these beautiful flower arrangements bless twice. The group operates as a committee of the church’s Altar Guild, and Warwick shares the responsibility of coordinating and delivering floral arrangements with Nancy Christmas, Barbara Langford, Mary Lewis and Sarah Wimberly.
“We always see that they’re taken someplace they can be enjoyed,” Warwick says, adding that the flowers may be delivered to places like nursing homes or hospitals.
Polly Ailor Tullock says she was thrilled to know altar flowers were delivered to the nursing home where her mother lived prior to her death. “It would have made her so happy,” Tullock adds.
Warwick was named the chair of the committee years ago when her older sister suggested she take the lead. She and her sister were members of the Altar Guild for many years.
But, things have changed since the sisters were first on the committee. In a year like 2020, the usual delivery from Church Street to community members turned from in-person smiles and hugs to doorstep drop-offs and conversations through windows.
“Everyone who has received these flowers is so overjoyed to get flowers used in a service,” Warwick says. “When I walk in, their face really lights up.”
Recipients of the flowers have shared their love of the fresh flower deliveries. Claire Shepherd says that receiving the flowers from the church delivered by a friend “made [me] smile all week long,” and another member says that “knowing the church remembers” them in their “little room at the healthcare center means the world.”
“A big thank-you to the church for all the cards they send me, and the flowers delivered were glorious—something I never expected!” Cynthia Thompson says. “They lasted on my dining table almost two weeks as I recovered from my hospital stay.”
And while the delivery of these floral arrangements has changed, the work leading up to their delivery has stayed relatively the same.
“It (seems like) small work in the church as a whole, but we put a lot of work into it so that we can continue to surprise people,” Warwicks says.
Each member of the committee takes two months out of the year to lead both the outreach for and intake of floral arrangement requests and deliver the arrangements after services. Warwick currently covers four months of the year.
During each month, calls are made to those who gave flowers the previous year and received from those wishing to give flowers for the first time this year. Once arrangement plans are made, Scott Morrell (www.Flowersscott.com) arranges the flowers to ensure the flowers are fresh for both the service and the recipient afterward.
“Fresh flowers are just so refreshing and so beautiful,” Warwick says. “To know what God has done in the world and given us so many varieties to choose from, it’s just beautiful.”
Warwick currently has an opening for two months of the year if anyone would like to join the committee. She can be reached at 865-523-9078.