Well, the Charlotte Anniversary Weekend is about to draw to a close. Nothing left but tonight’s ice cream social, though a lot of folks have already hit the road.
What a fantastic time it has been! Kudos to all those who pitched in and made it something special. I don’t know if we will always be able to come to these anniversary weekends, but I’m glad we did last year and this one.
The Friday Night Bible Study by Mr. Richard Ames as well as the one on Sabbath morning by Dr. Doug Winnail and Dr. Scott Winnail (Drs. Winnail?) were both excellent. The special music on Friday night was beautiful, and the choir performances during Sabbath services directed by Mr. Marcus McCullough and accompanied by Mrs. Teresa Fischer were just outstanding. Mr Jason Fritts’ sermonette was, well, OK, I guess. HA! Just kidding Mr. Fritts! It was knocked out of the park. And Mr. Roderick Meredith’s sermon was simply powerful. I should write a post solely about Mr. Meredith, but–in short–what an inspiration he is. His message was both uplifting and encouraging and slap-you-around motivating as all get out. (Do other people say “as all get out”? I say “as all get out.”) Just phenomenal. Then, Saturday night we skipped the dinner for some smaller “family time,” but we made it back in time for the talent show after dinner and the dance, for which, I must say, Mr. John Robinson did an excellent job of DJ-ing.
Sunday, the basketball and volleyball tournaments were outstanding. And, from my vantage point, the spectating was top notch. (I’m a professional spectator. 🙂 ) I spent most of my time watching the volleyball tournament, which climaxed in a championship match between Team “The Good, the Bad, and the Old Guys” and Team “LYC Adventure Camp.” With the young “Adventure” kids (and the almost-young-and-still-adventurous Mr. Robinson) dominating the best-of-five match up at first with two wins, it looked as though it might only go three games. But the Good/Bad/Old guys brought their A game and won the next two, driving the match to a decisive fifth round, in which the “Adventure” team got in a good lead early that was just too hard to overcome. I was impressed, and I am sure several of those guys were sore today! That night, there were board games and other fun stuff at the hotel, while we were over at a friends house for dinner.
Today, there were a lot of seminars going on–eight, I think–and it was a privilege to get to conduct the first of one of the “Mature Singles” seminars. (As I mentioned to them, what is the definition of a Mature Single? Well, clearly, someone who is not an Immature Single! 🙂 ) Mr. Mario Hernandez conducted the second seminar, which I hung around for (even if I am not, personally, a Mature Single, myself!), and I must say that it was truly excellent. Other seminars were conducted, I believe, by Mr. Richard Ames, Mr. Rod McNair, Mr. Gerald Weston, Mr. Jim Meredith, Mr. Sheldon Monson. While I only saw the ones for the Mature Singles, I heard a number of good things about the others, as well.
Then later today (in fact, we are just back from it) was a “Trampoline” activity at a place with big “trampoline areas”–large areas with trampolines stuck together with foam padding between them, enabling you to jump all over the place. We just bought tickets for the kids, which I realized later was a mistake because it wasn’t just a big trampoline room–it was Trampoline Dodgeball. Are you kidding me? Trampoline Dodgeball?!? It was like dodge ball with super powers. Had I known ahead of time, I probably would have dropped a few bucks for a ticket for myself. And, likely, I would be in traction at this point, so at least now I know I have a year to get in shape for it next year if they do this activity again. Still, my kiddos had a blast, and I did my best to enjoy it vicariously through them.
So, all that is left for us is an ice cream social for those of us still here. We’ll be heading out tomorrow morning rejuvenated and pleasantly exhausted.
The hotel here is really nice. There were 563 people here for the Sabbath morning Bible Study, though I don’t know how many there were for services. Regardless, it is quit a crowd! But the hotel here is more than big enough, yet not so huge that we feel like we’re sharing the space with a lot of other people. And mercifully, although the “Ho Ho Ho/No No No” days are approaching fast, there really were minimal decorations here — mainly a “Saturnalia Bush” in the hallway, which was easy enough to ignore, and I think that was it. (If there was anything else, at least it was minor enough that it didn’t even register with me.) And it is a beautiful place! The hall was plenty big enough, and the breakfast buffets are fantastic.
God’s people long to be together, and this was a great chance to do so. The Anniversary Weekends are such a wonderful occasion — especially when we are all so scattered. (Kansas City: We miss you guys, too! It’s tempting to do both, and we plan on coming back again in the future!) The kids have had a great time, and we have, too. Just the sort of thing that sends you home energized and looking forward to getting to work.
Again, kudos to those who put all of this together, certainly including Mr. Jim Meredith who coordinated the entire affair. It was a wonderful weekend, and our thanks to all who worked so hard to make it so wonderful!