The Godwood Tree

The Fountains’ “Godwood Tree”

An Advent Wreath is a ring or wheel of evergreens decorated with candles. It was a “symbol in northern Europe long before the arrival of Christianity.  The circle symbolized the eternal cycle of the seasons while the evergreens and lighted candles signified the persistence of life in the midst of winter.” The Fountains has its own take  on the Advent Wreath, inspired by Pastor Ed Grant and constructed by Keith Chapman. Instead of a wreath, we have the skeleton of that desert icon, the saguaro cactus (an “ever-green” in its own right!).  Keith not only created our unique Advent cactus, but penned a poem to go along with it (see below).

This Sunday, the Chapman family will also be lighting our Advent “tree.” Join us to wrap up Advent and prepare for Christmas!


The Godwood Tree

By Keith Chapman


In the desert of life, I find myself on a journey

Searching for something, striving for everything

There are dry spells and times I deeply thirst

I yearn for an oasis, a reference, some sort of basis


Upon my journey, many have told me

Of a special tree,

Called the Godwood tree


More than an oasis, it provides all you need

all that and more, once from a mere seed


Aged to perfection in the humblest of ways

Some say it is solid, others say it frays

Some say it is dead, others say it breathes

Some say it captures, others say it frees


Then, there it was, in a place I least expected

I see what appears to be, my Godwood tree

A symbol of Advent-ure as it was meant to be


Strong yet humble does my Godwood tree stand

At first glance simply three dead arms erected in the sand


Then it dawns on me … it is not what it appears to be

This is what I see … within my Godwood tree


Not three arms of a tree, but Holy Trinity

Highest above upon sighting, the Holy Ghost beckoning, inviting

Next the Father soon to be bright, guiding us into the holy Light

Third the Son, close to our hearts, perhaps the most human of parts

In the center I see, the brightest of Lights, perhaps all three

In Advent, I see the highest candle lit first … a beacon, an invitation to quench my thirst

The second highest then brightened … anticipation of Godwood then heightened

The third highest lit in order as it was meant … nearly completing the Godwood’s heavenly decent

Finally at the heart of Godwood, the brightest of Lights, our Saviour, all that is Good


The Godwood tree ever reminds me, that we are indeed mortal, yet strong, and free

Yet if I sit silent and listen as I should …. what do I hear but the voice of Godwood

I hear the ever-flowing water inside, reminding me of an eternity through One who died

I may not always see the life within, for it is certainly deep, well beneath the skin

The gift of finding an eternal life through One’s struggle, death, and strife


If I look closely, what do I see, but the subtle lights of the Godwood people there within the tree

Encased by Godwood love, protected, yet ever changing, evolving, constantly resurrected


So all of this in one simple tree, this is what I see in my Godwood tree

If I sit and pray by my Godwood tree, then I find God would be

there with me, by the Godwood tree



*Wikipedia article on the Advent Wreath