St. Andrews UMC had their 2010 Homecoming. We had a very nice crowd, quite a few first time visitors, along with folks that were there from some distance. We also had our members from Republican Grove UMC and Providence UMC joining us. (I'm not really sure why everyone avoids the front pews.)
We had some special music by Maria Eakin, Jason Hall, and Jacob Wyatt. I am very appreciative of their ministering in song for us.
I got to do an unplanned children's message. When I saw that we had quite a few children with us this Sunday, I couldn't resist. I got Dave Adams to grab some varied pumpkins off the tables in the fellowship hall. I had a normal orange one, a white one, and a green one. We talked about how they all looked different, but they were still pumpkins. The I related that to people and how God sent Jesus for everyone, no matter what they looked like or were shaped like. Anyways, I think it made sense to the kids.
The choir sang "God is Here", a lovely song that was just right for the day. We may have a small choir, but we have quality. They are not intimidated by their size and are a wonderful addition to the ministry of the church.
Our guest speaker was Rev. Jacob Sahms, pastor of Blanford UMC in Petersburg, Virginia. Jacob and I were in Licensing School together several years back. There is a long story about the "Wiffle Ball Miracle", but I'll have to save that for another post. While we were disappointed that his wife, Joanne, and son, Adam, couldn't join us; we were very happy to have him be able to be here with us.
Jacob brought a message titled "Got Wonder?", using the text from Luke 17:11-19. It is the passgae about Jesus healing the ten lepers and only one returned to thank him. It was an excellent sermon for us all to hear.
After the service, we all moved to the Fellowship Hall for lunch. Homecoming season is definitely not the time of year to be worrying about adding a few punds. You can always fast a few meals before Thanksgiving.
October is Pastor Appreciation Month and they surprised Joanne and me with a special cake for the both of us. They all know that there's no Pastor Charlie without Joanne. I never cease to be thankful for having been appointed to the Mount Airy Charge. I have 3 wonderful churches with the most loving congregations you could ask for, God knew what I needed.
Of course, there was a bounty of food, no one had to leave hungry. The fried chicken was great and a few pieces made their way home with us.
There were more desserts than one person could try. Not that I didn't make a valiant effort.
After lunch and fellowship, Joanne and I headed over to the White Fall Farm Pumpkin Patch for some relaxation. I simply like hanging out there, watching the little kids and families.
It was beautiful day to be outside at the Pumpkin Patch. Apparently a whole bunch of people thought the same thing.
The Hay Bale Castle sits at the top of the hill like a crown.
The two Pygmy goats and the chickens were great entertainment. The rooster kept crowing while people threw corn kernels to him. The goats would bang heads for fun, to the joy of all the little kids (and adults).
The crowd for the Pumpkin Hunt was huge. It was fun watching the kids run all over the field trying to find the mini-pumpkins hidden in the tall grass.
Homecoming Sunday, with friends, food and fellowship.