Thank you to everyone who joined us last Thursday, October 20, at the Fennec to celebrate the Advent’s 150th anniversary. It was a special evening of fellowship, remembering all that the Lord has done in and through the ministry of the Advent.
The celebration featured an opening prayer and welcome from Dean Craig Smalley, followed by a brief presentation of the history of the Advent, written by Alice Bowsher and read by Margot Cooney and David Fleming. (The history is available for download here.) Fred and Carrie Teardo led us in singing hymns.
Dr. Jonathan Linebaugh also joined us, delivering a word of encouragement that pointed us back to the gospel we proclaim and to the God we serve who has brought the Advent to this milestone. (The audio of Dr. Linebaugh’s address is available here.) Dean Smalley concluded the presentation with further reflection on and thanksgiving for God’s provision for the Advent and led us in singing the Doxology.
Special thanks to so many of you who helped to make our anniversary celebration such a memorable evening. At the risk of leaving many out, special thanks to those who put in hours, weeks, and even months of preparation and planning:
To Emily Curran and Elizabeth Sharman, for sitting at the top of the pyramid, overseeing the entire evening with grace, selflessness, humor, and tremendous care;
To Robin Anderson and Virginia Hornsby, who worked to make the space exquisitely beautiful, alongside so many others who shared their tireless labors of love;
To Catherine Kirpalani, Margaret Aderholt, Rebecca Campagna, Sue Ellen Lucas, Hallie Rawls, and Glenda Sparacio, for sharing their incredible gifts with flowers and arrangements;
To Miriam Morris, for organizing the information table in Clingman Commons on Sundays, and to everyone who took turns manning the table;
To Elizabeth Fitzpatrick and Lisa O’Neal, for designing our invitation;
To James Bradford, for his creativity in developing the Advent Trivia in the weeks before the celebration;
To Margot Cooney and David Fleming, for serving as readers, and to Fred and Carrie Teardo, for leading us in song;
To Alice Bowsher, for serving for so many years as our de facto historian, and for writing our history with a rare combination of grace, precision, and devotion;
To Ann Haas and Sarah Catherine Nesbitt, for putting together the slideshow, giving us the gift of seeing the height, breadth, and depth of our life together across decades;
To Dr. Jonathan Linebaugh, for sharing so movingly of the love of God and the grace of our Lord which meets each of us at our points of need and at the places of our trouble;
To Ron Flowers and everyone who served us as ushers as we were arriving and leaving;
To the Welcome Team members who welcomed us all with joy;
To Margaret Pope, Will Sledge, and our communications team who kept everything together;
To everyone at the Fennec who worked with us to make it all happen;
To our anonymous benefactor, who underwrote most of the expenses, freeing us to spread the invitation far and wide;
And to each and every one who came to make the night a special, memorable evening. We give thanks always and for everything to God our Father in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen and amen!