I had the most wonderful afternoon and evening at the Lutheran Heritage Center today. It was the first evening of the Christmas Country Church Tour. We hosted 370 guests. They enjoyed our more than 50 themed trees created by our magnificent volunteer team. It is one of the delights of my life to design this annual exhibition. This is our twelfth year. I enjoyed watching beautiful Gladys Engert, pictured here, greeting all of our guests who traveled from as far away as Columbia and Springfield to experience this magical night. Geri Falast and Gerard Fiehler have worked endless hours pulling off all of the details to make this mammoth exhibit possible. Everyone has shared “the best they have” to accomplish this great team effort.
I selfishly spent some time this evening stepping back and watching people joyfully experience the beauty of the site. I remembered our team members who are no longer with us. Every time someone told me their favorite tree is the ‘All About Blue Tree,’ I thought of Arleen Schlichting–that was her tree. I miss her.
I want to thank Trish Erzfeld, Perry Co. Tourism Director, and Amanda Winschel, Perry Co. Chamber of Commerce, for all of their promotional efforts for the Country Church Tour. Your dedication to this event has really made it more successful for all of us. The feature articles by the Perry County Monitor, Elane Moonier and The Cash-Book Journal in Jackson, as well as the wonderful daily briefs in The Missourian have brought many people to us. Dan Woods at KRCU, and all of the Withers Broadcasting stations have done a super job of getting the word out about our exhibit and the Church Tour.
You have three more evenings to experience the trees, and many daytime hours until Jan. 15. We will be open 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. tomorrow. This Sunday eve. (the 18th) we hope you will join us for the Trinity Church, Altenburg choir concert at 7:00 p.m., with a cookie and punch reception at the Lutheran Heritage Center immediately following. The final evening hours are on next Thur. the 22nd–we will stay open until 8:00 p.m. We will close at noon on the 24th, and will be closed Christmas Day. Come and see us, we would like to share our trees, exhibits, and their stories with you. Take care, Carla L. Jordan