Upper Valley church of Christ Mission
The Gardner Report October 2017
Greetings from the Green Mountains,
With Gander Brook Men’s and Ladies Retreats behind us we settled into a more “normal” routine of Home Bible studies and regular sermon and Bible class preparation. I am thoroughly loving the book of Acts and have been teaching it in my adult class on Sunday morning and preaching through it as well. But while my routine got back on track, Sharon was diligently preparing for a Ladies Retreat for the sisters in Christ at the Cape Cod church of Christ. During the finish up weeks we men were working on the building Wednesday nights, Sharon was teaching ladies class to our own ladies and using the class as preparation for the retreat on the Cape. The topic she chose was, “You shall love the Lord with all you heart soul and mind and strength.” She spent months of time studying and putting together the three lessons for the retreat. Without fear of exaggeration, Sharon is one of the most ardent students of the Word I know when it comes to study. She goes to Panera, gets a table, spreads out her books and becomes completely engrossed in her studies with noise and hubbub going on all around her. I don’t know how she does it! (More about this later.)
On October 20th we made the trip back up to Gander Brook for the board meeting. Several months ago, I was asked to come back and be on the board of directors again after being away for a few decades. One congregation here in New England has “gone off the deep end” with practices that are clearly unbiblical and two of their men (one of them an elder) are on the board. Park (the president of the board) asked me and a few other men to rejoin the board to offset their possible influence. At the October meeting Park proposed a motion to make it official that all music of worship at Gander Christian Brook Camp was to be acapella. I was privileged to eagerly second that motion and vote accordingly and it became official with just two abstentions of the men who voted. Being on the board and attending the meeting just adds another event and time set aside on top of an already busy schedule but Gander Brook is a valuable tool for the Lord’s church here in New England and protecting its Biblical soundness is important.
As the end of the month rolled around Sharon and I got set to take a flight to Atlanta for my nieces wedding. My brother Steve was the father of the bride and acquitted himself well despite the emotional torture it is for fathers to give up their daughters. It was a lovely wedding. For Sharon and me it was a whirlwind of a trip starting on a bus at 4:00 Friday morning and getting back in in the very wee hours of Monday morning. But we weathered the storm…literally as the plane flew back into Boston through the terrible turbulence of the storm that knocked out power for over 300,000 here in New England. No sooner were we back than Sharon began final, daily preparations for the ladies’ retreat. It was a huge success with 20 ladies who attended for each of the three talks beginning on Friday night and ending Saturday afternoon. I got comments from some of the ladies about already wanting her again for next year’s retreat and threatening to keep her. (Though I appreciate their feelings I decided she would come home with me anyway.) After a successful ladies’ retreat it was my turn as I did an annual PowerPoint report during Bible class and then preached for them in the worship hour. It really bothers me to be away for two Sundays in a row but between the
Your fellow servants in Christ, Randy and Sharon Gardner