Mother’s Day carnation tradition

Not all the history in and for our church is from hundreds of years past. Some is within living memory, too! This back story is about a lovely tradition brought to our ministers by a family from New Jersey.

carnationFor a span of almost 40 years, our church’s ministers were presented a carnation to wear on Mother’s Day.

This delightful tradition was brought into our sanctuary with the arrival of the Green family, who moved here in the early 1960s from Madison, New Jersey.

On each Mother’s Day, Bobbi Green would make sure a white or a red carnation boutonniere was placed on the pulpit for the minister to pin to his jacket or stole. White carnations are meant to honor the memory of deceased mothers while red carnations honor those who are living.

When Search committees were formed to look for a new minister, one of the questions was always, “Is your mother still alive?” Then, every year on the second Sunday of May, Deacon Ray Green would slip the appropriate carnation boutonniere on the pulpit when he arrived for choir practice.

Receiving these carnations were:  Rev. Livingston, Rev. Rehm, Rev. Knight, Rev. Marsh, Rev. Campbell, Rev. Cookson, Rev. Bartlett, and Rev. Seminario.