News from the Pastor
August 1, 2021
Pretty Much Perfect
The question I was asked most frequently last Sunday was, “How did the rafting trip go?” The best answer I can give is “Pretty much perfectly.” For the first time in the seven-year history of the Vineville Baptist Church rafting trip, we didn’t have a drop of rain. The weather was gorgeous, with moderate temperatures, low humidity, and clear skies.
Most importantly, we had a great group of campers, thirty-seven of us in all. We will all carry memories of going into the great meadow to watch the nearly full moon appear over the mountain, tinging the field with a bright effulgence. We will remember the moments around our big campfire, singing hymns to the accompaniment of Alisa Rehberg’s guitar and Cliff Skelton’s mandolin. Many of us will think of the clear waters of the lake in which we swam and of the rope swing which some locals taught our folks how to use. We will recall fondly how much food we ate. (Really, this trip is mostly about eating interspersed among a variety of activities.) And we will recall fondly the spirit of fellowship and friendship that always seems to be intensified when experienced amidst God’s great outdoors. I think all of us left the trip feeling supremely blessed.
Don’t get me wrong: the church river trip entails a lot of work for Melissa and me. But it is truly a labor of love. This year we had ministerial intern Annabelle Whitehead helping us with a variety of tasks, including accompanying us on a massive shopping trip. Annabelle’s ministerial summer internship is coming to an end, but we are exploring the possibility of retaining her to aid Leigh and Angela in their ministries this fall.
I hope you enjoy the rafting photos that are appearing on the church power point. You might see a couple of pictures where people are dislodged from their crafts. Don’t worry. Everyone was safely rescued. Frankly, I emit a huge sigh of relief when everyone has safely made it over the last waterfall. As ministers, Melissa and I always feel responsible for the welfare of the congregation, but we feel that responsibility even more keenly on the camping and river rafting trip. I am glad to report, no injuries were suffered. Thanks to everyone who participated in the trip for pitching in and making this event such a grand success.
On the horizon is the Back to School Prayer Dedication service on Wednesday, August 18. During that event we will honor our students, teachers and administrators and ask God’s rich blessings and protection upon them. We will hold our first church conference since the pandemic began, on Wednesday, August 25. This will take place in the lower auditorium, since the Fall Consignment Sale will be ongoing during that time.
Speaking of the Consignment Sale, its dates are August 26 through August 28. If you can help in any way, contact Donna Wood or Jennifer Kelly. We will be setting up for the sale and receiving and organizing items the week before, so if you can offer your time and talents then, your presence would be most welcome.
Thanks to everyone who helped with work on the playground this Saturday, and I invite all who are able to join in and help paint the recently-rebuilt Scout Hut next Saturday, August 7. And thanks to Jennifer Kelly for spearheading a very successful Red Cross blood drive here last Tuesday.
You may recall that last August, when the pandemic prohibited us from meeting in person, I created a series of Vision articles to chronicle church actions from March 2020 to August 2020, as we had to conduct church business in a way we had never envisioned. In the coming weeks I plan to offer another couple of Vision articles chronicling church decisions made from August 2020 to the present. My hope is that this series of articles will serve as a written record for future generations curious to know how we survived this demanding era. Unfortunately, this pandemic is by no means over, as difficult as that is to admit.
This past Wednesday brought to an end our (entirely online) Bible study of I Samuel. I intend to start explicating the “sequel,” II Samuel, in person when I return from vacation. However, next week there will be Pick Me Ups offered, and I hope you enjoyed this last week’s Pick Me Ups on St. Francis of Assisi.
A word from your pastor,
Dr. Richard Kremer