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Church of God Big Sandy Congregation sponsors annual family weekend
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Church of God Big Sandy Congregation sponsors annual family weekend

By John Warren

BIG SANDY, Texas--The Church of God Big Sandy had its annual Family Fellowship Weekend Jan. 1-2 with a morning seminar, a music-filled church service, a variety show and an evening of square dancing. The congregation also provided a brunch and dinner on Saturday and another brunch on Sunday.

Dave Havir, pastor of the congregation, explained why this activity was delayed a week from its normal yearly schedule.

"Normally we have this annual activity over Dec. 25," Mr. Havir said. "But we delayed our activity this winter so we as a congregation could support the Winter Family Tournament in Lexington, Ky." (sponsored by the Cincinnati North and Lexington congregations, which are pastored by Jim O'Brien of West Chester, Ohio).

This year's activity began with a brunch at 10 a.m. prepared by Julie Wilkins of Hawkins, Texas.

At 11 a.m. Wayne and Doris Wayne Cole of Tyler conducted a seminar titled "If I Don't Love Me, How Can I Expect You to Love Me?"

Musical first half

The Church of God Big Sandy, as usual, had a two-part church service with a short break in the middle. During the first half of the service the preteens and the teens go to another room for classes.

After the break the entire group reconvenes for a family sermon of 40 minutes.

Before the classes started there were four pieces of special music.

o Five-year-old Michael Anderson of Russellville, Ark., sang a vocal solo titled "So Amazed."

o Christine Jamerson of Overland Park, Kan., played a piano solo titled "Watermark."

o Rex Jamerson of Overland Park played a guitar-solo medley of "Greensleeves" and "Pilgrim's Flight."

o Angeline Chichaya of Dallas and Linda Ross of West Tawakoni, Texas, sang a vocal duet, "Because He Lives."

During the first half of the service Mr. Cole gave a sermon titled "God's Greatest Gift." At the same time, Reesa Bearse of Hawkins, Texas, conducted the kids' class, and Thalia Hufton of Hawkins conducted the teen class.

More music

After the break the Tulsa (Okla.) Fellowship Choir sang seven selections before the second sermon:

o "Blessed and Happy Is the Man."

o "Be Thou My Vision."

o "How Great Are You, Lord."

o "All Hail King Jesus."

o "How Majestic Is Your Name."

o "Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God."

o "Majesty."

The ensemble was directed by Ray Kurr. Other members of the group were Evie Andrews, Ken and Glenda Barton, Brandi Cartwright, David Daniels, Fran Hope, Charria Jones, Maxine Kappel, Brittany Kurr, Derinda Smith and Lucille Smith.

During the second half of the church service Mr. Havir gave a sermon titled "Matthew 25," which was a short presentation of Scripture reading and singing.

First he read Matthew 25:1-13, then asked the Tulsa choir to sing "Lead Me to the Rock."

Next Mr. Havir read Matthew 25:14-30, then introduced Wes White of Carrollton to sing "Till I Come."

Finally Mr. Havir read Matthew 25:31-46 and asked the Tulsa choir to sing "Soon and Very Soon."

Evening activities

At 4 p.m. the congregation served a meal prepared by Tony Contos of Big Sandy.

After the meal came a variety show.

Mr. Havir was the emcee, and the sound technicians were John Bearse of Hawkins and Jake Dunnam and Tim Dunnam of Pritchett.

The following is a summary of the first half of the show:

o Karl and Sharon Wilson of Tyler and Wayne and Joanne Woodring of Whitehouse sang "Strong Enough to Bend." Messrs. Wilson and Woodring accompanied on the guitar.

o David Maas of Hawkins played a piano solo, "Midnight on the Cliffs," and sang "Invisible Tears."

o Jeana Anderson of Russellville, Ark., invited the children in the audience to join her in front of the stage to sing "I Like Being a Kid."

o Mr. Woodring and Linda Foster of Gladewater sang a vocal duet, "I Love You She Says." Mr. Woodring, who wrote the song, accompanied on the guitar.

o Mr. Wilson and his 5-year-old son, Jacob, did a musical and comedy routine called "Pickin' and Grinnin'."

o Betty Foster of Longview and Maria Velasco of Gladewater sang "Moonlight and Roses," accompanied on the piano by Dixon Cartwright of Big Sandy.

o Miss Chichaya asked for a few volunteers to participate in a Zimbabwean "clicking challenge" with "The Clicking Song."

o Mr. and Mrs. Woodring sang "Remember When," accompanied by Mr. Wilson on the fiddle and Wynn Skelton of White Oak on the mandolin.

o Matthew Fisher, Mark Fisher, Jordan Fisher and Caleb Fisher (all of Pritchett) performed a martial-arts demonstration.

o Ashlie Contos of Big Sandy performed an interpretative dance from "Swan Lake."

Here is a summary of performers and their performances after the intermission:

o Carol Bald of Gladewater, Kim Skelton of White Oak and Mr. White sang three songs, "Come Crying to Me," "Desperado" and "My Maria."

o Loren Edelbach of Big Sandy performed a medley on the harmonica.

o Mrs. Kappel, Mr. and Mrs. Barton and Mr. Kurr sang a lighthearted jab at senior citizens titled "My Favorite Things."

o Mr. Jamerson sang "Cat's in the Cradle" and "Things We Said Today." He accompanied himself on the guitar.

o Paula Monsalvo of Gladewater played a few classical-guitar selections.

o Mrs. Velasco sang a vocal solo, "Time to Say Good-bye."

o Mrs. Jamerson played two piano solos.

o Wayne Weese of Big Sandy sang "The Deaf Old Woman," accompanied on the piano by Lyna Jane Bryant of Sulphur Springs.

o For the conclusion Mr. Cole sang a medley that included yodeling.

Mr. Cartwright accompanied on the piano, and Mr. Skelton and Trey Cartwright accompanied on the guitar.

Some square-dancing

After the variety show members of the congregation cleared the chairs from the floor, and people participated in two sessions of square-dancing.

On Sunday morning the congregation provided a brunch prepared by Melodee Overton of Hawkins.

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