A Bloomin’ Ministry

Barbara Wischmeier knows a thing or two about flower arranging. After settling into her position as Associate Director of Sacred Arts, Barbara was eager to further express her faith through additional aspects of her ministry. But how? She asked her boss, Jeff Faux, how she could contribute more, and his response was vague yet hopeful. He said that other possibilities would present themselves. At the next Worship & Music Committee meeting, a new vision began to form around the idea of a flower guild, with Barbara leading the way. The Epistle caught up with Barbara to ask her about A Bloomin’ Ministry, which was launched in June 2019. Here is what she had to say.

What is the purpose of the flower ministry and how does one get involved?

Our motto is “Soli Deo Gloria.” It is our purpose to beautify our sacred spaces to the glory of God, creating floral arrangements for our worship services. No arranging experience is needed, just a love of flowers, a creative eye, and a willing heart. Training is provided. Anyone interested in this artistic outlet may contact me at bwischmeier@fpcbonita.org.

Can you give readers an example of how you develop a floral design to elevate the chancel and depict the main concept of a pastor’s sermon?

Just recently, for Stewardship Sunday, Pastor Allen Walworth worked with the metaphor of breathing in his sermon: we receive from God (breathing in) and we give back in God’s name (breathing out) or as Jesus said, “Freely you have received; freely give” (Matthew 10:8).

Allen requested something wispy and light, that would blow in the breeze, like sea oats on a sand dune. Since sea oats are environmentally protected, we used various shades of tan and white Pampas grass for its light, feathery appearance. Small fans were placed behind the arrangements to give them movement. We were able to represent God’s Word through the attributes of stunning sacred floral arrangements.

In addition to designing the chancel arrangements, do other tasks come under the flower guild’s responsibility?

We currently have 15 team members who repurpose the large sanctuary arrangements after Sunday services into smaller individual bedside and tabletop-size bouquets that our deacons and elders deliver to shut-ins. Hospitality also uses these arrangements throughout the week as available. Our First Thrift shop provides us with the glass vases.

Flowers have their established place in our gardens and homes. For special occasions and life changes, we use them to convey our deepest emotions. Shouldn’t God’s handiwork have a distinctive place in our church? We can celebrate our faith through the beauty of flowers and their visual inspiration. Arranging them for worship and visitation is a creative and artistic way to offer our time and talent to God.
– Barbara Wischmeier, Associate Director of Sacred Arts