I may be very biased, but I believe I am a part of the best church in the world! This past weekend was one to be tucked away into the memory box, to be pulled out time and time again in the future.
Friday night I got in on the tail end of the prep work for the appreciation banquet for my pastor, but I'm so glad I did! What a blessing to look around and see ladies I dearly love helping to pull this banquet together. Banquets are a lot of work because that means transforming our auditorium into a banquet hall. I think the results were absolutely beautiful:
While no one person can take the credit for this banquet, it helped to have a very organized lady in charge of the decorations:).
Loved the centerpieces!
Seeing all these pies brought back memories from my wedding three months ago... thankfully all the church ladies pitched in and brought a pie:).
Sunday was just an all-around terrific day. I started a new motivational program in my Sunday School class, the choir sang a song that I just couldn't get out of my head all week ("Hallelujah, 'Tis Done!"), Pastor Roland preached a thought-provoking message on the last statement Jesus made on the cross - "It Is Finished" - and of course there was the "Light the World" sending service at night.
Pastor Roland started with Adam and Eve and how sin plunged the whole world into darkness. Of course our entire auditorium went dark at that point. Pastor then started walking through the patriarchs, the judges, prophets, etc. and lit a match for each one. But the match only burned for a little while before it went out. When Pastor Roland came to Jesus, he light a center candle and from there lit candles for the church at Jerusalem, the church at Antioch, and so on. It's so neat to be able to trace my church's history back to Welsh Christians who came and settled in the Philadelphia region.
Anyway, from there Pastor Roland went through all the missionaries my church supports, including the families sent from my church. Each teen from the youth group had a candle that represented a certain missionary and walked to different parts of the auditorium with their candle burning. I always get the shivers when I look around the room and see so many teens holding candles. But then comes the reminder that there is still much darkness that needs light shed upon it.
The final candle of the evening was lit by Pastor-now-missionary Doug Hammett and his wife. We as a church are so excited for them as the follow the Lord's leading!
Good-byes must always be said though, and my church family did that very thing! I must say one of the many good things about sitting so close to the front is I got to get up there and say my good-byes right away:).
They head out Tuesday for the mission field of Botswana!!!