Center Place – South Central District Reunion June 18 – 22, 2017
by Apostle Terry Patience
Volume 18, Number 3, July, August, September 2017 Issue 72
For 2017, the Center Place/South Central District reunion has passed. As I moved among the people, I overheard many comments on how good the services and classes were. I heard how strongly the Spirit’s presence was felt. I could see how greatly appreciated the conversations in the halls and over the meal tables were. This was indeed a gathering experience. We, as saints, should always be grateful for the opportunity to come together in fellowship, learning, service, and worship. When we do, we grow stronger and closer to Christ, our heavenly Father, and each other. Ministry happens when we are together.
Each morning we gathered in prayer and testimony. The services were led by Patriarch Arthur Allen on Monday and Patriarch Ralph Damon for the remaining three days. Each service was a solemn assembly filled with great prayers and those ever-present testimonies that bolster our walk with God. Diana Galbraith provided a perfect setting for each service through her ministry on the Native American flute.
The morning classes were led by High Priest Elbert Rogers. He used a small book called Commandments from the Scriptures prepared in 1983 as a study class. As the class examined the commandments listed in the text by subject matter, the conversations grew and expounded upon what they meant to us.
The Monday and Wednesday afternoon classes were led by Elder Alex Vun Cannon. The aim of the class was to teach us about the covenants, to understand who we are in relation to the covenants, and our obligation to be faithful to those covenants. He stated that we are the Church of the Firstborn and within the everlasting covenant, and that we are charged with spreading the plan of salvation and continuing to build Zion.
Apostle Terry Patience led the Tuesday and Thursday classes through a series of videos called “Israel’s Mission” with Ray Vander Laan from the That the World May Know video series. Four thirty-minute videos were shown with discussions following on how patriarchal Israel was given the task of revealing God to the rest of the world and then to help redeem all people by bringing them into the family of God.
We had five young people attending morning classes which were led by B.J. Thompson and Cindy Patience, with craft time provided by Jackie Howell. During Thursday’s lunch, they delighted us with the song “We’re on the Upward Trail” using verses they added about activities they enjoy doing. The youth spent the afternoon splashing around in the pool at a nearby middle school facility.
During evening worship services, we were blessed with the spoken ministry of President Frederick Larsen, Apostle Donald Burnett, Patriarch Ralph Damon, and Bishop Dan Keleher. Wednesday night was a prayer service presided over by President Larsen. We also enjoyed special music by Elbert Rogers, Connie Boswell, and Craig and Ardyce Nordeen. Those services are available in the Livestream archives if you wish to view them again.
On three of the evenings, we gathered at the fire-pit for a campfire to enjoy a great time singing old, favorite songs and closing with a testimony. On one occasion, we had a deer taking a peek at the activity.
Because gatherings like these require the cooperation of many people, I would like to thank the deacons, teachers, kitchen staff, preachers, presiders, video and sound crews, cleaning crew, photographers, pianists, musicians, and unsung volunteers who go about the work that needs to be done that all might benefit in a quality reunion.
So, until we meet again, God bless, and I hope to see all of you next year.