Monday, February 16, 2009

The SPG's serve the Sweethearts

In case you're all not up to date on what the SPG's are about let me fill you in. Two years ago, at our churches vision Sunday (it's where out Pastor tells us what the Lord has showed him about where the church needs to go in the coming year) Pastor put forth the announcement that there would be a new ministry in Bible Baptist Church called the SPG's, a.k.a Singles Pleasing God. Unlike most singles groups that churches have, we're not strictly a social outlet for mingling amongst the opposite sex. Our task is very simple, name the animals.

What does that mean?

The principle is taken from Genesis 2:18-22, where God promises to make a help meet for Adam, and while God is preparing Adam, Adam is busy naming the animals. In other words Adam was busy about serving the Lord while he waited on Him to bring him his wife, Eve. So really our ministry as SPG's is to serve others and be busy about the Lords work until he brings us our future spouses.

These past 2 years have been full and busy for us. We don't have a "college and career" Sunday school class because most of us teach and are used in other Sunday school ministries (I love teaching the primary girls, truly they are a blessing). Then there is our HWY 20 project where we'v been used to try and evangelize the towns along HWY 20 in WA (where fruit is starting to come forth and we're hoping to plant a church soon), and although we haven't done it in a while it's always a joy when we get to home visits to others in the church who may need a little encouragement. However, I think that collectively our favorite time of year is when we get to minister to the married couples for our Sweethearts Banquet. Now I can probably hear most of your thoughts now. "Why do a bunch of singles want to be around married couples on Valentines Day? Isn't that a little depressing, getting to watch others enjoy something you desire for yourselves? Actually, I find it just the opposite. Loneliness, depression and envy (envy is a sin by the way) really only happen when we're looking inward to our our own wants and desires instead of looking at how we can be a blessing to others.

The first time that we did it was two years ago, then the following year we ended up not doing it due to other things going on (which really was a bummer), but once again this year we were volunteered by our leader Tim to undertake the Sweethearts Banquet (I guess that the married couples enjoyed us so much in 2007 that nothing can compare now;)). As much fun as we had in 2007, this year was truly unbelievable as to what the Lord enabled us to do for the married couples, or Sweethearts, in our church.

The theme was Continuing the Commitment, to go along with our church theme this year, and we had it set up in a restaurant style, like something you would see at a wedding reception. Which was actually how we planned to the night to be. Each one of us held "wedding party" rolls. Kali, Anna, and Alyssa were bridesmaids. Nicki was the wedding coordinator. Josh W., Chris, Josh H., and Levi were groomsmen (Chris and Josh W. were also valets for parking purposes). And yours truly was the photographer. We even had help from some of the teen girls who took on the role of chefs, taking care of cooking all the food (trust me when I say we could not have done this without them. It was a real blessing).

Rings Up!
(We were all wearing fake engagement rings)

A stellar waitstaff. . .

Superb valets. . .

And World class Chefs await you at
Che SPG!

First of all, lets give a round of applause for Kali and Alyssa with the cake. Made solely from their own ingenuity. They toiled away, making 2 practice cakes, fine tuning the design, battling off dogs and moms (who both wanted to taste test, only the dog was successful which forced them to make another bottom layer). The people that I talked to that evening were incredulous over the fact that they accomplished this task, but this is what you get for diligence and patience. I think it pays off, what about you?

3 tiers
Top layer = Red Velvet and Cream Cheese filling
Middle layer = Chocolate and mocha filling
Bottom layer = Vanilla and chocolate chip filling

Watch out Martha Stewart these two are a force to be reckoned with

This was my little cake that I made for Vicki. Like me she is has Celiacs and so I volunteered to make her a special meal and cake so that she could enjoy all the same things that the others. Personally I think she got the best deal. But that's probably just bias talking.

GF Red Velvet with white frosting and cream cheese filling

I also made her her own personal spinach lasagna, but I failed to get a pic of it. Anyway that's another recipe that's a keeper. The rest of the Sweethearts had spaghetti and garlic bread (a Celiacs nightmare).

Dinner was also accompanied by the lovely musical stylings of Alyssa. She played various hymns with non traditional arrangements as well as some Abigail Miller music. It was awesome.

Tickle those ivories

Of course the SPG's aren't just about dinner. After all we do love a good game. Chris, Josh, and Levi put together the questions, but the game was my idea.

Some of the categories of questions

It was a lot of fun to watch the tables compete for bible knowledge glory.

After a rousing game of Jeopardy, Pastor Sargents table wound up as the victors. Between Pastor Sargents infinite knowledge and Josh Craig's speedy hand raising, they were pretty close to unstoppable.

The "A" Team

A close second place was taken by the Vaughn's table.

and following up in 3rd was Pastor Jeremiah's table.

The fun of it was catching people not answering in the form of a question. Of course it always helps when the SPG running the power point, starts giving out the answers.

The foil in our perfect preparation;)

Of course those questions didn't end up counting for the teams. Much to their chagrin.

The night was concluded with a vow renewal ceremony. Chris ran point on executing vows and his presentation was really great. Very mature and heart felt for a guy in his early 20's. I mentioned this aspect of the banquet plans to my step-mom back around Christmas time and she was dubious about us being able to pull it off without getting some distension from those, like herself, who may want to keep something like that more intimate and private. However everyone, even if they may have been embarrassed or hesitant, participated. Personally I think everyone rather enjoyed the thought of it. In a day where most marriages are thrown away, and the sanctity of marriage is becoming more compromised by the values of the world it was nice to see couples take the time to affirm the gift that God has blessed them with throughout the years that they've been married. Some have been married for 30+ years and some have been married for 3, but however long the marriage has lasted it doesn't negate the fact that it's still a gift and that the vows hold the same truth today as they did so many years ago. It really was a special moment.

This was a special certificate that we had made up for people to sign. The SPG's signed as the witnesses.

After the vows it was cake time and people soon started leaving since we started at 7 and it was now 10, but everyone has agreed, so far, that it was the best Sweethearts banquet in a long time. We may be single, but never let it be said the the SPG's don't know how to execute an atmosphere of love.

For those of you that read this, that were there, let me just say that as much fun as you had that evening was as much fun as we had planning it. It was out pleasure to serve you:)

Here is a video I took of some of the chaos in the kitchen. There were a couple of tables that got their dinner late due to a mis calculation in how much needed to be cooked. It was funny to watch so I hope you enjoy the video. GO Linnea GO!!!


Anonymous said...

This is a great write up on the evening Carolyn. You really got some awesome pics. Great job!


Anonymous said...

Here was the email that Tim sent to us SPG's after all was said and done.

Sweetheart Banquet Ministers,

Katie and I came home last night feeling like proud parents! It was true bliss to watch all of your brainstorming, planning, and labor of love reap a special evening for so many of our church couples. Aside from the written cards of appreciation, we heard many comments along the lines of, "That beats any and every restaurant in town by far!!"

May you have today to recuperate and reflect upon how God used you to minister to His people, while at the same time seeing the blessing of substantial funds gifted towards the continued gospelizing of Highway 20. God worked through your efforts to enable another step towards the establishment of additional New Testament Churches!

Our simple thanks seems insufficient, but please receive it with thoughts of your Heavenly Father smiling upon you from above.

Blessed to be Yours, Tim and Katie

Jersey Mama said...

That sounds amazing! Good job guys!

Anonymous said...

I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post about Valentines. It sounds like everyone had a great time and the cakes looked awesome!


Jackie's World said...

Turned out really nice...isn't it fun to have an excute to get all dressed up?

Anonymous said...

It sounds like you guys put together a great evening for a lot of people and had a fun time doing it. I'm glad to have been wrong about the renewing of the vows! I bet if I'd been there I would have been carried along by the occasion, too.



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