Sunday morning we had arranged for church flowers (Carol's favourite blue and white) to mark the 50th anniversary of my ordination. A great practice for all in church when celebrating various special events! My honest expectation was that the minister would likely say a word in passing. It was a packed service led by our Brazilian elder and his wife, Bart and Zara, who came to us after lively leadership in Brazil. After much singing and a testimony they began talking about us. No??
Zara had worked hard on an embarrassing piece about our ministry but with a good emphasis on my partnership with Carol. Generous and totally unexpected. And then we were invited forward as the congregation applauded to receive a rose plant, a large chocolate cake surrounded by chocolate cup cakes (see a theme?) and most importantly, prayers from a couple of friends. Then afterwards we had to cut the cake together (!) on a table groaning with cakes for all.
Carol and I joined this church when retiring 7 years ago. We reflected how remarkable it was that the whole congregation shared in this event with such kindness and enthusiasm. How wonderful it is when a church family acts like family. We are truly grateful.