Northwest (Idaho) Reunion
Our 2016 Northwest Reunion was one of the best! We enjoyed good weather for most of the week, and we were blessed with the renewal of relationships with our Church families from Missouri.
The reunion was an outstanding experience for all and served as a great tool for helping us further develop the gifts of our ministry. The main theme for the week was "Instruments of Righteousness: Our Role within the Body of Christ." We had great ministry that had a depth that can only be present when people are prepared to enter the presence of the Lord. Elder Tony Hill served as our Reunion Pastor, and did a wonderful job leading our prayer services. Our evening preaching services were inspired, and we had a spirit of unity throughout the whole reunion. President Ralph Damon taught our adult class and also shared about the missions abroad.
Our youth enjoyed sharing together, developing relationships with each other, and gaining a greater understanding of the idea that they ARE the Church and soon they will be our leaders!
We had approximately twelve youth at reunion this year, many in the junior age category. The kids enjoyed the classes prepared and taught by Sisters Cassie Scott, Marci Damon and Ardyce Nordeen, as well as crafts, such as tie dying shirts. The kids also enjoyed a game of capture-the-flag which has become a reunion tradition.
As Reunion Director, I was blessed to find two great assistants when I asked two of our older youth, Gabe Rivera, and Gauge James, to help me direct the reunion. Both took on the role of directing, serving, and developing a greater understanding of what it means to serve. I was very proud of the work these two put into making the reunion a success. Many times they were up before the cooks, getting water heated, a fire built, and making sure the mess hall was set up for morning worship. They also assisted Sister Bethany Wigle in the kitchen preparing and serving meals. They did such a great job that Sister Cassie Scott made sure they received their official reunion kitchen uniform! Thanks, Cassie!
The women had a wonderful Women's Tea session led by our Women's Leader, Sister Wigle. They shared about what it means to be a steward. They were also asked to share an experience of healing, or a moment when they wanted to serve God with their all. The ladies enjoyed a time of fellowship at their 11th Annual Women’s Tea. Beth asked each of them to share a short testimony of how they came to a knowledge that the Lord was truly in their lives during a difficult time they experienced. All were touched deeply by the Spirit as each person shared their tender memories. Tea, cookies, and sweet breads were provided for refreshment. Beth provided a necklace with musical notes for each woman to take home as a remembrance of our theme for the week, "Instruments of Righteousness."
As we moved through the week, we challenged ourselves to find what changed in our lives during the week at reunion. How had we become instruments of righteousness? How had our individual role in the Church changed or developed? Our reunion brought back to mind topics such as "The Abundant Full-Time Church," and a greater perspective that we are a church with members all over the world. Reunion this year also gave many a greater sense of what it means to live in community with each other.
When the week closed, it was hard to say good-bye to all, but I believe we all left with a greater sense of purpose and understanding of what the Lord has called us to do. We know the Lord will strengthen the bonds of friendship during the time we are separated and help lead us into greater paths of service wherever we may be. We look forward for next year and can't wait to see the growth and development we have all gained from this experience.