I love celebrations! This summer our second granddaughter Lyla turned one and her older sister Rylie turned four last month. Oh what joy to gather with family and in-laws and friends in joyful celebration. Hugs and handshakes, tasty treats and tales so sweet, games so serious and banter too hilarious, oh how I love celebrations.
And boy did Lone Pine celebrate last month! 175 years of
faithful worship and study and service and family.
Saturday evening started our celebration with a picnic style
dinner. Then a couple good old boys from camp Laurelview
pulled out their guitar and bass fiddle and belted out some of
our favorite gospel tunes from yester year. The younger folk
didn’t have the same enthusiasm as us more mature types but
jumped in when the boys sang some of their camp favorites.
It didn’t take long before the banter started about who was
going to beat whom in corn hole. The boards came out and the
boasting began, challenges were met with promises of victory. As us more mature types battled away at each other I noticed two young men quietly sitting in the gallery. “Hey you boys, you want us to show you how this game is played?”
“Well … OK” was their reply. They never lost a game and us more mature types gave up.
As I walked in defeat up to the bonfire my heart was filled with joy as I noticed a group of adults, youth, and children playing football, and heard a group of men in deep conversation solving the world’s problems. As I approached the bonfire, screams of joy met my ears as children anticipated the making of s'mores.
“Thank you Jesus” was on my lips as I pulled out of the parking lot. For the beauty of Your children, children of all ages, celebrating together as family. For our saints of generations past who acted on faith - to meet and worship, to build and join at the Table, to take risks and teach, to tackle challenges and serve, to pray and pray and pray then went out into all the world with the gospel.
Thank you Jesus for the legacy of faithfulness and love that reverberates throughout the halls of this old old sanctuary. Thank you Jesus for the faithful 50, 60, 70 year members that have served you, oh Lord, in so many ways. Thank you Jesus for Arthur and Katie, our current history buffs, who were the driving force behind the digging and organizing and displaying of our rich history, for Worley who had the vision for the time capsule, for Maureen and Denise who took charge of feeding us, and for Jason and Zak who diligently organized, setup, and cleaned. Thank you Jesus for all the unnamed servants that helped out in all these areas and more.
Our Sunday services celebrated both; our Legacy of Faith looking back and our Legacy of Hope looking forward.
Morning came quickly for our faithful servants; communion trays filled, ovens fired up, tables finished, service details reviewed. Then the piano rang out a beautiful melody as the doors flung open. People, lots of people. Elderly people and young people, babies and grammys and pappies, and yesterday’s youth – todays parents.
Every generation participated and were well represented at both services. Jonathan, a youth, was worship leader during the early service. Richard and Janice served at the Table which was used a hundred years ago during the celebration service. We also used the old communion set. We honored our 50 to 70 year or more members with certificates and 50-year member pins. Our children passed out these gifts with such love. The image of Aaron handing Dorothy and Robby handing Carl, our longest members at 79 years, is a fitting image of A Legacy – Looking Back and Looking Forward.
Thank you Jesus for your love and grace. For the beautiful weather and the beautiful people. For the call to serve and the call to forgive. For the gift of music and the gift of Your word. For our faithful servants of yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Amen
Pastor John H. Owen
disciples of christ
Lone Pine Christian Church