Delivering Happiness

Karen Scribano   -  

One of the bright spots in the sanctuary each Sunday morning is the fresh floral bouquet that adorns the altar during worship. A new bouquet appears each week, thanks to those congregation members who sign up to sponsor the flowers.  But after worship, those bouquets continue to brighten the day of others from the congregation who are not able to enjoy them in person – our members who are homebound, ill, hospitalized, or otherwise experiencing a hardship and in need of a bit of cheer. 

Flowers don’t magically get transported to those who should receive them, however. It takes a team, spearheaded by Ron Peterson, working behind the scenes to organize and implement the flower deliveries each week and during holidays.

“It starts with a list of our homebound and shut-in members, which is kept updated by the Care Ministry team. Sometimes we also have special situations where someone has had a surgery or a loss in their family, and we try to address those as we find out about them and add them to the delivery list,” says Ron.

Along with the flowers, the delivery driver for that week is given a card filled out by a volunteer in the church office and a bulletin from the Sunday traditional worship service.  Those items are typically set out with the flowers by a member of the Altar Guild, who puts them in the gathering space for the driver to pick up.

“Our big delivery days are after Christmas and Easter,” says Ron. “All the drivers usually help after those holidays, and each one will deliver several plants around the Des Moines metro area.”

Ron took over organizing the team in 2005, when it was being handled solely through his Bible study group. In recent years, he started working with Karen Scribano in the office to find a way to continue this ministry. Together, they were able to recruit a few new drivers through the Volunteer Fair.

“This was really great,” notes Ron, “as it opened up this ministry to everyone – not just the men’s group.”

Ron encourages anyone who enjoys driving about town to consider joining the team.  “It’s a great way to bring happiness to others.  The best part of being on this team is the appreciation we get from the people receiving the flowers.  They are always so delighted, and love knowing that St. Mark is thinking of them. I have talked with people outside of St. Mark who have no contact with their church at all.  Our homebound members all get a plant at Christmas, at Easter, and then at least once or twice more throughout the year. It’s such an easy way to help them feel connected and remembered.”

When the altar flowers leave the building each week, they are more than something pretty to look at.  They are God’s love being delivered by those who are His hands, gladly bringing with them a bit of happiness!