We have had great joy, and have experienced great loss. Along the way we have picked up many who have traveled with us for years, and others who stayed for but a short time. I have seen children grow up in our church to adulthood, and have married them and dedicated their children. I performed a marriage for a young man and a year later, officiated his funeral. I led my dad to Christ, and then buried my father when he went home to be with Jesus. I was 30 years old when the church was planted, and have grown old with the church and have seen my grandchildren born and raised here, in this church.
I have seen many who have loved us and our church, and others who do not have a good word to say about us or to us. Thousands have come, and thousands have left. Such is church life.
As I think on these things, I cannot help but believe that through it all, the Lord has in many ways shown Himself to be good to us, no matter what we have gone through. He is and remains the center of all that we are, and on the eve of our anniversary, I just want to praise Him for all His is and all He has been to us.
As you know, this Sunday we reduce our services from three to two. It isn't because we are losing anything but it is so we can gain something: the opportunity of enjoying the Lord and one another in a deeper way. I look forward to this change of times, and believe strongly that the Lord will meet us in a special way as we take this step.
We will also celebrate in the evening with a baptism, so if you haven't been baptized you might want to come to the evening service!