‘Jesse Tree’ coming to church lawn

CENTRAL JP—First Baptist Church and Stonybrook Fine Arts are collaborating with each other and the community this upcoming holiday season to create a “Jesse Tree” on the church’s lawn.

A Jesse Tree, a Christian tradition of remembrance during Advent—the few weeks preceding Christmas—is usually decorated with ornaments or objects that symbolize Old Testament events.

“We want to do something that would be true to us but also inclusive of the neighborhood, of those of different traditions and those without traditions,” First Baptist Pastor Ashlee Wiest-Laird told the Gazette.

The community will be invited to hang ornaments and mementos of their own families or traditions on the tree, “allowing everyone to participate in the ritual,” Wiest-Laird explained.

The proposed tree will be a metal sculpture in the vein of the polar bears currently installed on the church’s lawn at 633 Centre St.

“We’re totally going to do this Jesse Tree thing, but we’re still in the planning stages,” Ben Todd of Stonybrook Fine Arts told the Gazette this week. “I really want to built it.”

First Baptist are asking the community to donate scrap metal to further participate in the creation of the tree, Wiest-Laird said.

The project is still in the planning stages and does not yet have a design, Todd said.

Jesse was the father of King David, of Goliath-killing fame, and a forefather of Jesus in Christian traditions. The tree symbolizes his family tree.

Community members interested in participating or donating scrap metal can contact the church at 617-524-3992 or Stonybrook Fine Arts at 617-522-3331.

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