Although the annual holiday of Easter was initially created to commemorate and reflect upon the death and rising of Jesus Christ, it has also become associated with the friendly Easter bunny and baskets filled with chocolates, marshmallow chicks and frizzy green grass. If your church is getting ready for its Easter sermon and celebration, consider decking out your grounds to match the theme of the day. Use your church garden as a place to inspire parishioners, adding a bit of colour and Easter spirit while reminding them of the holiday's true meaning.
Create a colourful garden with eggs much bigger than those that fit in a standard Easter bunny's basket. Ask members of your church choir, singles group or administrative team to blow up pastel-coloured balloons, then decorate them as if they were Easter eggs: Draw lines across the middle, or colour polka dots all around.
Balloons have a natural egg shape but are much more visible and can be attached with tape to your garden's trees, bushes, benches and lamp posts. Use thick, blunt markers to avoid popping the balloons while decorating them. Ask a member with an especially steady hand and nice writing to colour in some Easter sayings or quotes across some of the balloon eggs.
Popsicle Cross Walk
Involve the young children at your church's Sunday school for an arts and crafts project to beautify walkways in your garden. A simple project involving decorative materials such as stickers, pom poms, glitter, markers and feathers can turn Popsicle-stick crosses (glue two Popsicle sticks into a cross shape) into an artistic pathway.
Ask children to decorate the crosses with an Easter theme (pastel colours, eggs, chicks), then gather outside to discuss the meaning of Easter and the symbol of the cross. Have each child place his cross into the ground around the gardens while reflecting on Easter.
Although bunnies and chicks have taken over the Easter mascot position, the small butterfly is actually one of the most potent symbols of Easter. The life cycle the butterfly goes through is thought to mimic Jesus Christ's life: The baby caterpillar is the life Jesus spent on earth, the cocoon is the Jesus' crucifixion and death, and the evolving into the butterfly represents Jesus rising from the dead.
Consider making your church garden a home to butterflies during Easter and other seasons as well. There are particular plants your parish can plant to attract the winged creatures, especially ones that produce the sugary nectar they prefer to dine on, such as cosmos, violets, yarrow, zinnia and hollyhocks. Butterflies also are attracted to bright colours, so select plants known to bloom in vibrant hues such as marigolds, daisies and asters.