SUNDAY - the morning edition
First of all, a big thank you to the House of God Praise Band for sharing their musical gifts once again in our worship service. You Rock … literally ~ drums, electric guitar and bass and piano ~ and all for Jesus! Thank You for teaching us new songs … your closing song was perfect for DAPC …” He never gives up on me”. Your middle song “Jesus is Like the Snow” was beautiful to the nth degree! The centerpiece of our worship service was the Baptism of DaWayne and Taleah Lowery! Surrounded by their family, parents Kendra and Calvin, 4 grandparents, a host of aunts and uncles and friends – it was a moment to celebrate the power of God’s love and the common faith to the Covenant Community. It was truly a sacramental moment and I am so grateful to Kendra for “saving” them ‘til my last Sunday! Like the rest of DAPC, she knows that Baptism of DAPC’s children is one of the most gratifying aspects of my ministry. What a marvelous opportunity to link the faith of Simeon and Anna, proclaimed as they saw the tiny infant Jesus when Mary and Joseph brought him to the Temple of Jerusalem, to our faith in the promise of the New Creation as we proclaim it every Sunday, but most powerfully when we baptize.
SUNDAY - the evening edition
How does a church make its pastor happy? Or better yet, how does a congregation say goodbye to its pastor on his last Sunday as its pastor. Well, just arrange for the most incredible worships service, including all his favorite musical (well all that can be crammed into 2+ hours genera, choral anthems, gospel songs and hymns and gather a PHENOMENAL gaggle/ensemble/choir of musicians directed by a renown pianist, arranger and writer … and let the Spirit run rush loose unabated! Add a side of great preaching and the Sacrament of Communion, the liturgy crafted by a former member of DAPC - now an ordained Teaching Elder/Minister of Word and Sacrament, and you have the makings for a momentous, spiritually incomparable Blessing not just for the pastor, but for every Child of God present. I cannot even begin to express the fullness of my gratitude, the depth of the honor I feel and the extent of my thanks. If you missed it … make friends with Ashley Weatherspoon on Facebook QUICKLY and check out her posts (a recording may also be available later - stay in touch with the DAPC office). Thank You – Thank You - Thank You to each and every one of my friends who planned, practiced, wrote, arranged, performed, preached, served, sang, prayed … and gathered to worship! Thank You.
And then came the party! Spoiler alert: if you are not a baseball fan, you might have been a little adrift! Baseball balloons, banners, table clothes, flags, table decorations, cake … even the ribbon on the congregation’s Baseball Gift Package (1987 Wheaties World Series Box, Twins Cribbage board, pocket game, autographed baseball ((Twins of course)), 4 gift cards to be used for games AND concessions solo or with family, friends or grand children and a very generous cash gift) … Thank you one and all! The meal was sumptuous, the trivia was suitably arcane, and the words spoken were so very humbling. And then there was, and will be for the rest of my life, the pencil drawing of Elona & me in the sanctuary: a treasure for life. The artist (Mary Esch! – but apparently no relation to Ron) captured simultaneously the grandeur of that holy space and the intimacy and comfort I feel within it. As I’m certain to grieve my separation from that place where I have shared my deepest thoughts, faith and hope, what a thoughtful gift. I will be present in it once again every time I look across my living room. Thank You one and all!
I know many, many DAPC’ers contributed much time and energy, not forgetting the monetary gifts, to make Sundaya glorious day of comfort for me as I complete my 30 +years of ministry at DAPC. While I know some of the names, I do not know every good friend who contribute, and rather than risking an omission, I will say this, Thank each and every one of you who has honored me by welcoming me as your pastor these past thirty years and thank each and every one of you who worked so hard on the events and gifts and food and worship Sunday: I am deeply honored and humbled. Thank You and I love you all.
From the Minister of Administration:
The Annual Reports are DUE in the office JANUARY 11, AT 9AM. They should be submitted electronically if at all possible.
Questions, call the office. The date is firm, we need time to collate and publish the report before the Congregational Annual Meeting to be held January 24, after worship.