It is hard to believe that Palm Sunday is just a few weeks away. This means, of course, that it is time to order palms for use in the worship service! Many churches distribute palm branches or palm fronds to members and visitors alike on Palm Sunday, encouraging folks to wave the branches or fronds as they process into the worship space and sing songs of praise. It truly is one of my favorite Sundays of the year!
Now, you may already have plans to order palms from your local florist shop — and I do strongly support people shopping locally whenever possible. But, there are other merchants who sell palms that can have a real, positive impact on others. I am most familiar with Eco-Palms, through the PCUSA. These palms are grown in Guatemala and Mexico in communities where the workers use sustainable harvesting techniques and are paid a fair wage. This means that when you order palms from Eco-Palms, you are engaging in good social-justice and ecological/environmental-justice practices.
So, you may want to purchase palms from a local vendor, or you may want to support a mission project (of sorts) like Eco-Palms. Or, you may want to do something completely different. A friend of mine, Joe Smith, wrote about the use of palms on Palm Sunday on his blog today. I highly recommend the article — it gave me a whole new perspective on the use of palms (or other greenery) in worship on Palm Sunday. Who knows… I may try out what he’ll be doing at his church sometime, too. Thanks for the good words, Joe!