A motion was made, it was seconded, and with a majority vote the tree's fate was sealed.
But that was not the end of the story. About one week later I was to visit with one of the members of Church Council. When I dropped by his house he handed me an envelope with a card in it. When I opened it here is what I found:
On the front of the card was a quote by John Muir that read, "The clearest way to into the universe is through a forest wilderness."
On the inside of the card it read, "Pastor Rich, In your honor a tree is being planted in a National Forest. Since I recommended removing the tree in front of the church I've made a donation to the Arbor Day Foundation."
I remained faithful to my convictions to live into community with all that has life in Jesus' name; and while initially I did not get what I wanted, by the grace of God working through the kindness of that member of Church Council who felt bad about recommending the tree's removal something even better happened!
Remain faithful to your convictions; and even if you don’t get what you want, by the grace of God working through the kindness of others something even better might happen. All things are possible with God.