Pastoral ministry offers so many opportunities to build into the precious lives all around us. This weekend we were so blessed to take part in several such opportunities. As a pastor and missionary I am so thankful to God for calling our family to Nenana.
This weekend was Nenana’s annual celebration of River Daze – a time to celebrate the role of the river in our town. The celebration included a BBQ near the river – inside this year due to the rainy weather. A bazaar was located in the same building – with several tables of local wares and a rummage sale for a local college scholarship. There was a booth outside that represented the town clean up project (Project Overhaul) and the freecycle.
Saturday afternoon was also an opportunity to celebrate the life of Bruce Boschert. Bruce passed away several month ago, and his wife provided us with a chance to celebrate his life. I was privileged to preach the message for Bruce’s memorial. Bruce has been a part of Nenana Community Church since the first pastor, Russ Sharrock, led the church and baptized Bruce. Bruce’s health had kept him from regular attendance these last few years. Still, I always enjoyed getting to visit with Bruce and Andi. Even though I visited with the hope of bringing cheer to Bruce, more often he brought cheer to me with his gentle kindness and love of people. After a time of Scripture, song, and eulogy, we all enjoyed a time of food and fond remembrances with the family.
Saturday evening was an opportunity to celebrate the wedding of a local couple. Their wedding occurred a few weeks ago and a honeymoon followed. The couple and their families organized a wedding reception upon their return to Nenana. What fun to see young love celebrate holy matrimony! We enjoyed good food, good entertainment, good dancing, and great people. The couple will be moving just a few doors down from us as soon as their new home has some work done to it.
Today, the morning began with the annual River Blessing. Most of the local churches came together and shared the opportunity to pray, lead singing, share a message and pronounce the blessing. I was so very pleased to be asked to pronounce the blessing. What joy to come together as a community to pray for God’s provision from the river and safety for all who travel it. Yet, we also take time to remember those who have died on the river and to pray for the continued comfort for their families.
Three very different opportunities to minister in the wonderful community we call home. What a privilege to be able to serve God and serve his people in Nenana.