Our 10th Anniversary Banquet

10th Anniversary Celebration Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I have had a little over a week to reflect back on the 10th Anniversary Celebration banquet in Debbie’s and my honor. I had not given a lot of thought about what to expect. I assumed we would have a nice luncheon and perhaps a gift of some kind, and that would have been fine, but this was far beyond anything we expected. The words that were shared were tremendously humbling and encouraging. Others came to us afterwards and said they wanted to share but felt they would "lose it" if they did. All the heartfelt sharing was a special gift beyond any monetary value. I wouldn't take anything for that very special outpouring of love. In fact, someone said to me, "The people who shared were so vulnerable in their sharing. You really felt like this was a family."

The financial gift overwhelmed us. I was told after the dinner that the original goal was $2,010 (as in the year 2010) but the money kept coming in. What means the most to us is the fact that the gift represents people who were expressing what was in their hearts. It is true that you will put your treasure where your heart is. That gift spoke volumes to us. Again we are so appreciative.

Then there was Kathy Ray's stirring video kaleidoscope of pictures of Debbie and me over the years. (Some of those pictures I could have left out, but that's okay.) That will be a treasure for us. Finally, the dinner and how it was handled was first class! Again, I can't say it enough. We are very appreciative to Becky Perea for organizing the dinner, and for all who helped out. Also, thanks to Anita and Wayne McCurley for their leadership in this event.

I guess in conclusion I would like to say, and this is really what I have been driving at, that in so many churches today the love relationship of a pastor/shepherd with his congregation is nearly nonexistent. In fact, now the pastor’s role is viewed more as a CEO than a shepherd. The reality is that we are called by God to be shepherds, and the shepherd is to love the sheep even when they do not love back. But what a beautiful relationship it is when that love runs both ways! At the banquet we certainly felt that to be the case. Thanks to all of you.