Good Friday morning Church Requel!
Six days have gone by since the Fall Festival and I'm still trying to come up with the right adjectives to describe it. Wonderful, awesome, and exciting all seem too mundane. Perhaps a simple "Wow!" best captures the feeling of amazement that we all experienced last Saturday. I'm not a big believer in the Build-It-And-They-Will-Come philosophy, but in this case that seems to have been the case.
We have always tried to count and keep accurate records of events. However in this case it's most accurate for us to just say "in the hundreds." We got to the point where we could count 'em or serve 'em, but we couldn't do both. We know we made up 100 goodie bags for the kiddos. Those were gone in the first 45 minutes. We know we cooked 200 hot dogs. Those disappeared by an hour fifteen. We also experienced a huge bump in the neighborhood meal that evening, when 225 meals were enjoyed - an all-time record!
I couldn't continue this letter without saying a big "thank-you" to our children's director, Tamira Barnes, who imagined this event back in June. To put that last statement into perspective, Tamira was only serving as our temporary children's teacher for two months back then. Yet in one of her very first meetings with Brandi and me, she asked: "Why don't we plan a Fall Festival?"
To her credit Tamira is the big picture dreamer and planner. She never doubted that our neighborhood would respond so enthusiastically. And she led well. Tamira will be the first to tell you that her team was amazing. They met regularly, relentlessly asked for sponsors and gifts, and gave of their own time and resources. They even created their own Facebook group page where they could dream up ideas together.
Tamira knew that I would be writing this letter to you today. She texted me last night and asked me to include the following: "Thanks to ALL for making the Fall Festival an amazing success!!! It was an awesome day of serving together and loving our community!!! To which we all say, "AMEN!"
Let me just add one more postscript to this fantastic Fall Festival follow-up. (Pastors and their alliterations - we just can't help ourselves.) Our own Rick Jensen took some amazing photographs of the events last week, just like this one on the right. He has also uploaded them to his photo website and made them available for download. Check them out while they're available. Thanks Rick!
This Sunday: Friend Or Fool? So onto future events and plans. We are looking forward to a great Sunday worship service together (11am at this location for potential guests.) My sermon is entitled, "Fool or Friend?" and comes from Ephesians 5:15-20. You've heard of the acronym BFF, right? We usually think it means Best Friend Forever. However, it could also mean Baloney From a Fool. Which are you? Which are your friends? How do you know? Sunday I'll talk about six traits to look for in a friend. This will be a great talk for your kids to hear!
Speaking of the kiddos, this Sunday will be the first Sunday of the month - so our elementary aged children will be joining their families in the sanctuary and will be worshipping with us. Of course our nursery will still be open for our pre-schoolers. (Thank you Sonnie and Mari!) Don't forget to set your clocks back an hour. You don't want to be left behind!
Whenever our children join us in worship, we try to involve them in the worship and this week will be no exception. Paityn Hall, Phyllis Stanfield, and Anna Scott will be joining Brandi and Dinah on the Praise Team. Wyatt Stanfield will be sharing our announcements.
We have a couple other special events happening Sunday. Before the sermon, sisters Brandi Walker and Trish Trubachik will be performing a skit together. The skit is written by Brandi and is called, "Wanna Be Friends?" Brandi and Trish play the parts of young children - not much acting there if you ask me, but should be plenty entertaining!
After the talk we have a quartet of friends singing one of my favorites: "Circle of Friends" originally performed by Point of Grace. Brandi, Dinah, Trish and Missie Walker will sing together and send us on our way at the end of the worship service.
Doesn't this all sound terrific? I bragged earlier about Tamira Barnes dreaming big. And it's true! I also love that Brandi Walker, our Creative Worship Director, dreams big every week.
Women's Bible Study On Wednesday. Our ladies are meeting every Wednesday at our home for their Fall Bible study led by Mary Kay. They will meet again this coming Wednesday night at 6:30 pm. If you missed the first couple, it's not too late to join in the study. This is a great way to get to know some of the other women in the church.
Women of Faith - From Survival To Revival will be taking place here in Mansfield next weekend on November 7th and 8th. Tickets are still available but going fast. (Don't let the cost of $25 keep you from going. We'll pay for your ticket if you want to go!) Just let Mary Kay, Cindy Thoman or Tamira Barnes know if you want to attend. Should be a great time of study and fellowship for our Church Requel ladies!
Thanksgiving Potluck November 15th. Bring your best dish... or dessert... or bag of chips! Ha! Let's enjoy a massive potluck on Sunday, November 15th and give great thanksgiving for the way the Lord has blessed us this year. Families bring two dishes of any kind. Single folks bring one dish. We'll enjoy this meal together immediately following the morning worship service.
New Members Class November 22nd. Been thinking about joining up with Church Requel? Want to know more about our church? This one-day seminar will answer your questions. The Belong Class begins at 8:30 am and ends at 1:30 pm. It includes a free continental breakfast and a Subway lunch. You do not have to join the church if you attend the class. However, attendance is a requirement if you wish to become a member. I'm pretty excited - looks like we have about a dozen planning to attend. Just another sign of healthy growth!
We've come to the end of another long letter from your pastor. I love writing you each week and letting you know about what's happening in the life of Church Requel. Remember that the church is not the building we meet in but the people who meet in the building. That's you! Thank you for being such a wonderful congregation. Mary Kay and I know we are truly blessed.
Hope to see you Sunday! Pastor Mark