Why trees?

I’ve been promising a blog post for a long time to explain why I chose the name The Arbor Fellowship for this project. Here we go.

Naming is an interesting thing to think about for a business that deals in creativity and faith, because naming is the first creative act God handed over human beings:

“Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. (Genesis 2:19)

We aren’t told if language already existed between God and Adam (Eve hadn’t been created yet) so it’s hard to imagine what process Adam used to name the animals. Our word “hippopotamus” comes from Greek words meaning “river horse.” Did Adam use a similar process of comparing the animals with what he already knew and had language for to name them? Or did he just put sounds together that he liked together and thought fit the beast?

Similarly, what I’ve experienced in naming many pets, and a few businesses, is that (1) the name relates to something I want to recognize or call out, but also (2) I just like the way it sounds and fits.

There are a lot of layers in the name The Arbor Fellowship, so it will need more than one blog post to fully unpack it. But, in brief, it has to do with:

  • Trees as a metaphor for how the arts work,
  • The presence, role, and meaning of trees in the Bible,
  • The importance of community for human flourishing.

These are all things I want to recognize or call out with the name.* I also like the way it sounds and fits with what I hope The Arbor Fellowship will become.

Continue reading “Why trees?”