Hi Five Oakers,
Loved the River Baptism service! There are a few things I want to share with you about that day.
#1- We had to transition the service to the river when it started to sprinkle, so we missed taking an offering and getting most of the Communication Cards. Technically speaking, though, we still have a long-standing record of rain-free baptisms since the rain stopped before we started the baptisms.
#2- We celebrated with 40 of our brothers and sisters in Christ as they were baptized. Many had made recent decisions to follow Christ and were publicly declaring that decision. What a privilege to be a part of that day in so many people's lives.
#3- We're thankful for the set-up team's work and for all the volunteers who made the day special.
#4- My message was about three things your baptism signifies: (1) A public declaration of a personal decision to follow Christ (think about the young Indonesian seeking asylum and the judge's question); (2) You are on a journey to become more like Christ (think about the marina guy who had become like the person who trained him); and (3) You are proclaiming the amazing love and grace of Christ (think about the young laday who had not cried for 25 years until the day of her baptism but was no longer going to carry that baggage...she could look in the mirror and see someone loved by Christ). Some people asked if I cut my message short because of the rain. Nope. Got it all in...although I did hurry the last story a bit. (Yes, I am able to preach an entire message in about 20 minutes!)
#5- Loved that many new people who stayed to eat were pulled into your circles. I love to see Five Oakers engaged in reaching out and including people. Also loved seeing several celebrating with their small groups.
#6- Is it your turn to be baptized?
#7- We'll have a celebration video this coming weekend in all the services, but let me leave you with a few pictures to remember the day.