Oh Happy Day

Posted: June 7, 2009 in Baptism, Living Stones Church, vision, worship

This morning was just one of those mornings that I have little words for.  It was a first for us.  It was an amazing experience.  I was humbled, overwhelmed, thankful, happy, etc.  We gathered ALL together for the first time since going to two services this morning.  It was awesome to see that gym FULL of Living Stoners!!  We baptized 36 individuals.  And we sang the YMCA 🙂 .  We worshiped and ate fried chicken.

I need to say a HUGE “THANK YOU” to so many people who invested so much time and energy to make this morning happen.  I was so impressed with the organization, planning, execution, dreaming, etc. that came together today.  I even had a LAMINATED list of people getting baptized.  LAMINATED!!  And how did all that happen?  Because of people like Ann Lynn, Jennae Gee, Doug Harsch, Paco Bayer, Matt Hooton, Alex Peek, Karin Gilbert (YMCA Youth Director and LSC attender), an incredible 1st Impressions team, an incredible Praise team, a crew of people who were willing to sacrifice time and energy to set everything up Saturday evening, people who at the last moment rescued us with heavy lifting (thanks Kenny Boyce and Brad Wilson), a food serving crew, and an additional crew of people who were willing to pack everything up and move it out. It was the first time we had done something like this but watching Saturday night’s assembly (especially all the sound and visual equipment – Thanks Paco & Matt) was just down right professional!  Thank you thank you thank you thank you!! I’m so humbled and honored.  What a joy it is to serve alongside you in our mission of God’s love!

And to the 36 individuals who got baptized – Jamie, Cody, Kyle, Kayla, Ed H., Lori, Wilma, Ed K., Bill, Elaina, Anne, Sara, Emily, Jennifer, Taide, Greg, Gloria, Aric, Adrian, Adam, Pam, Sara, Matt, Chad, Nelfa, Leon, Nick, Quentin, Amber, Kristi, Jabari, Destiny, Tatiyana, Lacy, Doreen, Johnny – congratulations and thank you for letting us journey with you on your next steps in Christ!!  We are praying for you!

Highlights:

  • The video of stories and confessions.  Fought to keep it together emotionally.  I did…because I’m manly.  🙂 Doug Harsch put it together…and it was GREAT!
  • Watching so many people just pour into the YMCA.
  • We sang the Village People’s YMCA getting started 🙂
  • Worshiping together as one church.
  • Not a single hitch (that I was aware of) in sound, video, etc.  Really…we were in a new place…and a gym!!  Amazing.
  • Watching everyone’s face when they ate the “bread” that came with the 2-in-1 bread/juice combo (new portable communion option)…your faces were priceless…in the words of Sky Medors – “foam.”  Don’t worry – back to normal next week!
  • Used Martin’s fried chicken buckets to take up collection and connection cards
  • Seeing that our church was excited to be excited.  Energy was great.  We said today was “celebration” and you came ready for “celebration.”
  • Getting the high honor of baptizing 36 people!  I can’t explain how that feels.
  • After the baptisms my mom and dad came up to me crying and said they were  proud of me.  This was special to my dad.  No one knows our collective story better than my dad.  Long before I got here, he planted the seeds for what happened today.
  • As we left the pool deck Randy Templeton, dad, and I took a moment to remember where we have been.  Trust me – there were some very difficult times.  Today, we committed again that we would do it all over again to get to see what we got to see today.
  • I kept turning around to see what needed to be done next – and Ann, Jennae, Matt, Paco, (and many others) had it already taken care of.
  • Fried Chicken.

Here are a few pictures from the morning.  There are WAY better pictures that were taken by some gifted photographers.  This is what Kelly and I grabbed off our personal camera –

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Comments
  1. Jim Ruth says:

    I don’t think I have ever been to an event that was “off campus” that went any better than this did. If there is one aspect that usually goes south it is the tech stuff. Not one hitch! It was great! I love to talk about events that build peoples faith. My guess is that for many early Stoners, today is a story of God’s faithfulness delivered. Jesus rocks!

  2. The Bishop says:

    I’m in a Holiday Inn Express in Bedford, Indiana tonight. Sitting here in my room looking at the pictures from today and reading Sam’s observations about the great celebration we had today, I have to confess to shedding tears of joy and thanksgiving. God has greatly blessed us at Living Stones with great committed disciples and opportunities to call more disciples. Great thanks to all who worked so diligently to make this a day to remember. I love this church.

  3. Lynn says:

    Sam,

    Praise God for the story of Living stones. God is doing an awesome work! I remember sharing stories with you many years back when we were both going through tough times. God is good!

  4. Ed says:

    It was truly a memorable event and I have to admit, flawless. The ENERGY and excitement of the whole church brought it together.

    LSC embodies what the Body of Christ is supposed to be.

    And thanks for the baptism!!! 🙂

    Jesus rocks, like Jim said!

  5. Ed H. says:

    I was baptized today…but I am making this comment to ask everyone who read it one question…can you feel it? Do you feel the sense of something happening at our church? something bigger and greater than all of us….maybe the start of something amazing? I dunno, but it just seems like we are on the cusp of something AWESOME, and I don’t think we have seen the best yet!!!! I love all of you, and thanks for the manly hugs, Sam and Chuck!

  6. Jennae says:

    Chuck – you’re not the only one crying… finally sitting down to remember the day and reflect, and I am simply blown away. I love this church and am so thrilled to be able to spend my days serving my church and my Lord. To be at a church where God is so clearly at work and where so many are choosing to take their next steps in Jesus…well, I am humbled. I am praising God for each of you who chose to be baptized today!! Let the celebration continue!

  7. Helen says:

    I was there in spirit and I praise God for the great works which are being accomplished. Personally, I have a history of being at the first service at 718 E. Donmoyer and attending up to the present time. Living Stones is amazing and lives up to my prayers all of these years for a serving congregation.

    Sorry I was unable to attend in person due to heath problem,but, daughter,Sherry filled me in on what occured.

    May his riches blessing be upon all who were baptized. Love you one and all and all who attend services.

  8. Helen says:

    Whoops! health not heath

  9. Julie C says:

    June 7th,2009 will be a day I will always remember. Thank you all for your diligence in planning and executing a true celebration. For me, it was a remarkable affirmation from God that He loves our church and all of us in it. It was especially sweet because my son in law and daughter were baptized together! There is no greater thrill for a Mother. God just keeps pouring, my cup more than runneth over!
    And leave it to Sam, I’m guessing the opening song HAD to be his idea. Perfect ice breaker!
    Julie C

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