By Charlene M. Jett
On Monday, the Evergreen Outreach meeting was blessed by SoftFire (David and Patricia Pence). They opened the meeting with beautiful, peaceful, soft music from 10 instruments (three saxophones, three trumpets, a French horn, a piccolo, a clarinet and a flugelhorn). Later, they incorporated jingle bells and a tambourine.
Our program manager was Cindy Hunter. She introduced the Pences and their five border collies (Rufus, Shechem, John Edwards, Gracie Faith and Daniel). She told a story about her worn-out Bible and how she used it to keep special papers. She especially liked a note from her son, which thanked her for taking good care of him, being a good story teller, etc., and he put a P.S. at the end, saying thanks for being a good cook! She described her feelings about her worn-out Bible as losing a good friend.
We celebrated birthdays of Wave Levy, Mark Cherry, Marcella Freeland and Ruth Reeter (who is 99 years young).
The Rev. Roger Grimmett lead our devotions by talking about the Advent season (which means "preparing for the birth of Christ"). He spoke of John the Baptist (son of Zechariah and Elizabeth) who was a cousin of Jesus. He referred to Luke, Chapter 3, where John the Baptist said ”Prepare ye the way for the Lord, make his way straight (easy).” Grimmett spoke of repentance, forgiveness of sins and baptism by water. He used an example of a pastor who became an undertaker. As a pastor, he counseled people with drug and alcohol problems, but they always seemed to fall back into their old destructive behaviors. As an undertaker, when he straightened them out – they stay that way!
Grimmett asked for input on how we can make straight (or easy) Jesus’ path. He received input from the EO participants regarding accountability friends, and leading others to Jesus. Jesus had to deal with real-world problems, and yet wants us to have time to love our neighbors and family. Jesus wants us to focus on the spirit of the season, and not gifts or money!
David Pence referenced a chapter in Isaiah and the second coming of Christ as an introduction to his piccolo solo, “Oh Come, Oh Come, Emmanuel.” They played an upbeat rap-style version of “The Night Before Christmas.”
The Pences played both classic and modern Christmas songs, generating joy among the audience members. It was a most pleasurable afternoon, as the Pences combined their songs with humor and stories from the Bible. And their five border collies had a tough day; you would have thought that they were babies rocking to a lullaby the way they slept.
At the first pinochle table, Shirley Locke and Joyce Mueller won one game over Edith Elliott and Jeanne Schlicht. At the second table, Rosamund Hobler and Peggy Lippold tied with John Hunsley and Shirley Locke. Wolf Schlicht was missing from the card table; he needs our prayers for a long-term recovery.
Although our numbers may have been small on Monday, our spirits were high from the loving and peaceful holiday environment found in Wesley Hall.
By Charlene M. Jett