Southview United Methodist Church   •   3539 Peters Creek Road, Roanoke, VA 24019    |    540.362.1767
pastors note
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Pastor's Note
Reverend, Warren R. Carswell

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The practice of having a "Chrismon Tree" began with Mr. George Pass, who was a pastor, but also a grounds keeper and furnace man. In 1940 he was employed by Mrs. Frances Kipps Spencer (who was the originator of the Chrismon name in 1957). At Christmas that he had had visited Mrs. Spencer to exchange Christmas gifts. While at her home he noticed some discarded gift wrap, and asked if he might take the paper to make ornaments for his church's Christmas tree, as his church was too poor to purchase ornaments. Mrs. Spencer was moved, and actually gave Mr. Pass her own Christmas tree ornaments. For some years afterward it was hard for Mrs. Spencer to buy ready-made ornaments for her tree. So each year she would make her own ornaments, using a variety of materials. She became a semi-professional ornament maker, and was asked by her own church, Ascension Lutheran, to decorate their tree. She didn't want to just use colored balls and other secular ornaments, so she began making decorations using the colors white, gold and silver that were symbols about Jesus Christ, and the meaning of Christmas. In 1957 she began the actual Chrismon ministry. The practice soon caught on with other Christians and many churches, and today the Chrismon Tree is a common sight all over the United States. I recently saw one at Alexian Village, and another one at Signalcrest UMC here in Signal Mountain. "Chrismon" is a combination of two words, "Christ," and "monogram." Monogram, of course, means initials, or symbols for a particular person. The Chrismon tree bears symbols or monograms about Jesus our Savior. For more information get Mrs. Spencer's book: Chrismons, the First 25 Years. It is available from Ascension Lutheran Church, 314 West Main St., Danville, VA 24541 for $6.95. (Many thanks to Steve Cooper of ALC for this information!)

Grace and Peace,
Warren Carswell
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