Our first Sunday morning was held in a house on Palmetto, in Ontario. It was being rented by my sister in law, Patty and her a couple of her friends. Eventually, my mom and dad bought that home, and when my dad went home to be with Jesus, Patty and her husband Matt ended up buying it, and live there to this day. On our first Sunday, we had around 25 adults, and about 10-15 kids. Marie was the Sunday school teacher, and I believe one other young lady volunteered to help. I taught out of Isaiah, and we enjoyed our first Sunday morning service a great deal. We didn't receive an offering (a tradition we held for many years) and just let people give as the Lord led, which obviously we still do. God moved, and we all were blessed. I asked the people if they wanted to return next week, they wanted to, and off we went for the next 28 years. What a great memory.
So much has happened over the years, both joyful and sad. We have seen many come to our church, and many more leave. I believe that if every person who ever called this church "home" would show up for church at one time, we would need a stadium to hold them all. Thousands have come over the years, and many more have left. Some left with tears, some left with anger, some just left, and others went to heaven. Still, we have seen God do wonderful things and will be forever (literally) blessed for what He has chosen to do here.
What makes it even more special is that we will have a baptism as well as an anniversary celebration, taking place Sunday night. I wanted a single baptism service this year, and it is great that it falls on our 28th anniversary, as it is always special to have a baptism and having it coincide with our anniversary is wonderful. Talk about new beginnings! We will have a time of worship, a short video that we originally showed at our 25th anniversary, and the baptism (with cake after the service!) It will be fun and fulfilling, all at the same time.
It is interesting, but three of the most important dates of my life will be celebrated on a Sunday. Our church anniversary, which is 7/26, my birthday, which is Sunday 8/23, and my spiritual birthday 12/27 all fall on Sunday's this year...it blesses me to be able to be with my church family on all of those special days.
On another note, we will continue our 1835 study this Monday, with Michael Callahan doing the teaching. We have special music with a group called LoveLite, and it should be a great evening. I do hope those of you who are in that age group will show up, and be blessed!
We are looking forward to the Israel trip with them, and I actually think it will be able to happen. We actually can't go if we don't have enough to fill a bus, so being aware of the economy and all, we have to be careful not to over commit, still we have had a good amount of interest, and it looks like it is going to happen. I sure hope it does, but then again, it all is in the hands of the Lord and the desire of the group!
Anyway, just a few rambling thoughts put down for whomever might read them!