people in pews/peggy brooks

Saturday, February 9, 2002

SCOTT CITY, Mo. -- Peggy Brooks spends much of her summer days watering plants and flowers and tending to the grounds outside Eisleben Lutheran Church in Scott City.

But the winter months don't give her a break from duties with the church's grounds and decoration committees. Brooks still finds projects to keep her busy.

She was putting finishing touches on a Valentine's Day tree Friday.

Red lights wrapped around the white tree showcase tinfoil-wrapped chocolate hearts and plastic, heart-shaped containers filled with candy hearts. Each decoration represents a donation to the church's organ refurbishing fund.

Brooks said the tree is designed to represent Christian love, with Valentine's messages from children to parents, parents to children and friends to one another. "It's an expression of Christian love for God and family," she said.

Brooks decorated a 15-foot Frazier fir at Christmastime with little churches, each one representing the name of a family in the congregation. Response to that was so great she thought she'd create a Valentine's Day tree.

"Kids have been hovering around it, looking for their names," Brooks said. The decorations can come off Sunday since Valentine's Day will be observed Thursday.

"It's been a labor of love and a lot of fun," said Brooks, a retired teacher.

She attended Eisleben Church as an infant but recently returned as an active member in 1999.

The church marked its 150th anniversary during 2001.

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