300 East Wayne Street
Fort Wayne, IN 46802
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Sanctuary Christmas tree has new home

Many of you will remember the beautiful 15 foot Christmas tree that used to grace the sanctuary at Christmas time. Since its discontinued use about 5 years ago, it has languished in the storage space in the old chapel, but this Christmas it has found a new home with a local non-profit organization that serves children and adults with disabilities!

Camp Red Cedar is the new home for this beautiful celebration of the holiday spirit, and they are thrilled to accept the gift to adorn their newly built activity center on the camp grounds. “Thank you to Pastor Cheryl and the First Wayne Street UMC community for this gorgeous gift for the holiday season. It’s brought so much joy to our staff and we are thrilled to pass that joy along to the children and families we serve when they come to see the tree and greet Santa at our client Christmas party. We are so grateful, Merry Christmas to you all!” said Karen Shollenberger, supervising Vice President of Camp Red Cedar.

The tree was originally donated to the church by George and Linda Bewley. With their blessing along with the permission of Pastor Cheryl, the tree, complete with decorations designed by members of the High Seasons Committee, was sent to Camp Red Cedar and set up in all its glory by the staff and Simon May, who works for the camp’s parent company. “It was a joy to be able to broker this donation for Camp Red Cedar. I have such fond childhood memories of seeing the grandeur of this huge tree in the sanctuary, and having not seen it in all its splendor in years, it was a thrill to say ‘I might have a lead for you” when the camp director asked me where they could find a tree large enough for the huge new activity center.”

Camp Red Cedar boasts 57 acres of woods, meadows, trails, a 10-acre lake, and sandy beachfront.  Each year the camp serves hundreds of kids and adults through their summer camps, horseback riding programs, horse shows, and grounds rentals. Camp Red Cedar’s mission is to encourage children and adults with disabilities to move beyond their boundaries through recreational activities, outdoor education, creative arts, and interaction with horses, in an integrated environment, serving people of all abilities.”