Hands on a tree

People passing the Indianapolis hospitality area  are warmly greeted by  Ann McBride who invites people to stop for a moment, select a piece of colored paper, trace their hand, cut it out and write a prayer, a desire or  just their name on it. and then hang it on our hospitality tree. A poster near the tree containing the instruction proclaims that “God has no hand, no feet but ours…”

In  two days a number of hands have appeared on the tree. But if you look close there is one foot. A young woman by the name of Willow from Lewiston, NY asked “where are the feet – the signs say feet too?” So she traced her grandmother’s foot, painted the nails, then added a prayer and hung it on the tree. Other people have been drawn by the mass of color and the lights.

Our hospitality tree has become a form of visual intercession for people. It also provides an initial point of conversation enabling us to engage people, to answer questions, to put a living face on the church in this corner of the Episcopal vineyard.

But most of all it is another reminder that we all carry the concerns, desires, dreams and wishes for our church, for the world, for friend and families and our communities that we want to hold up in prayer before God and the church.


About don

The Rev Don Hill is an Episcopal priest, rail fan and writer. He and his wife the Rev. Dr. Nancy Woodworth-Hill are currently Co-Pastors of St Paul's Episcopal Church, Jeffersonville IN, in the Diocese of Indianapolis. They also work as parish consultants in Appreciative Inquiry, strategic planning and spirituality development for parishes and vestries.
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