HGRM Family Picnic and Baptismal Service ~ Oregon, USA
In the early summer, Dennis, one of the guys joining us at HIS Glory Reigns Worship Gatherings in Gresham, Oregon suggested having an HGR picnic, our first. So, he took the idea and managed the entire event. It is delightful in ministry, actually in any aspect of one’s life, to meet people of integrity that follow through and complete what they understand to be an assignment from the LORD. Thank You ABBA ADONAI!
August 10, 2002, Sunday ~ Lewis and Clark State Recreation Site on the Sandy River near Troutdale, Oregon was our designated place. The Sandy River is a 56-mile tributary of the Columbia River. Historically, it is recorded that on November 3, 1805, William Clark, of the Lewis and Clark expeditions wrote, "I arrived at the entrance of a river which appeared to Scatter over a Sand bar, the bottom of which I could see quite across and did not appear to be 4 inches deep in any part; I attempted to wade this stream and to my astonishment found the bottom a quicksand, and impassable... ".
As with most family gatherings there is an abundance of food, laughter, children and memories. This day was no different. We savored fresh Oregon watermelon, rich chocolate fudge brownies, sweet honey BBQ chicken, grill roasted hamburgers, organic green salads and so much more.
Dennis noticed a homeless man sitting alone at one of the picnic tables in the park and took him a plate piled high with food and sat with him while he ate. I thought to myself, I would never have the courage to do that, and I am so grateful the LORD gives others the anointing, boldness, courage and compassion to minister to the homeless.
Following lunch, the young played volleyball, the talented played croquet, the middle-aged walked, the elderly strolled, and everyone laughed at one time or another. God graced us with extravagantly warm hot summer weather and the shade of oak, maple and Douglas fir trees was a gift, along with the gentle breeze that wafted up from the Sandy River. Thirty-two of us (from 10 months old to over 60) gathered at the Sandy River's edge for the baptism service.
The beach was empty, obviously reserved for us by the angels, on this hot August summer afternoon. Two fathers baptized their daughters while I prayed, then my son, Shawn and I baptized the five others while all standing or sitting along the shoreline were witnesses of HIS glory!
This was our first baptism service as a ministry and as per usual the LORD was allowing me to learn experientially. Prior to the event, I made arrangements with my son Shawn, an associate pastor at the Corvallis Vineyard to assist, as I knew that I would not be physically strong enough to stand in the river and perform the baptism. Letting someone down into the water is easy, however, bringing them back up takes a physical strength, I did not possess, at this time. Shawn graciously agreed. As a person who does not swim and has not worn typical summer clothing such as shorts, halter tops, or swimming suit in many decades, it did not occur to me to suggest to those wishing to be baptized to bring shorts and a t-shirt. It was a bit awkward for my single, twenty-nine years of age, son to baptize teenage girls wearing bikinis but he managed rather well, and I made a mental note to myself to remember this in the future. I apologized to him later for overlooking this aspect of a baptismal service.
After the baptisms some went wading, some went swimming and some crossed over to the other side. We are in a season of crossing over into our inheritance, our promises, and our land.
Then most of us went to HIS Glory Reigns Worship Gathering and worshiped the LORD, celebrated communion, danced, laughed, cried, prayed and purposed to go forth as the salt of the earth. (Matthew 5:13)!