Names have meaning. Perhaps this is why we instinctively ask expecting parents, “Do you have a name picked out yet?”. We can only imagine the task entrusted to Adam and Eve to name the animals. Surely they experienced the same struggles we often face: “Does this name really fit?” “Will it stand the test of time?” “Is it true to the identity of the person or thing being named?”
Why did we name our church “Red Tree?” It begins with the name Ann Arbor. Ann Arbor derived her name when the village founders connected a name to the trees. The two founders wives’ were both named Ann. The Latin word for tree is “arbor.” Thus, they landed on the name Ann Arbor.
Ann Arbor is appropriately nicknamed “Tree Town USA” since you would be hard pressed to find a city with greater foliage.
The prominence of trees in Ann Arbor is second only to the prominence of trees in the Bible. In fact, the Bible is framed, from beginning to end, by trees, with the most prominent 3rd tree right in the middle. The Bible opens with the tree from which Adam and Eve regretfully consumed the fruit and closes with the Tree of Life, to which the way will be opened for us, by grace, to partake.
The tree of which the bible focuses most clearly is the tree upon which Jesus was crucified. This cross is referred to as the “cursed tree” because it was the tree where Jesus’ blood was shed in the place of sinners.
At the center of our church is the message of this cursed, blood stained tree known as the cross of Christ. This most beautiful tree is the tree that alone will bring new life, hope and freedom to the people of Tree Town U.S.A.
So, we go by the name, Red Tree.