Every Sunday for the past seven and a half years, before an elder would walk me to the front and shake my hand, before we’d gather in the council room for prayer, before Gerry Bijsma would pass me saying “make sure you have fun this morning,” Peter VanGeest would set me up with a mic, look me in the eye, shake my hand and say “May you be blessed this morning as well.” Every Sunday, for the past seven and a half years, I’d walk down the aisle and there on the communion table would be another fresh bouquet of flowers, augmenting the colors, theme, and liturgy of the week. Every Sunday, I’d walk down the isle and notice the Christ candle lit, reminded of Christ’s presence and the working of the Holy Spirit in our midst. I would stand between organ and piano, between Ernie and Will, (George, Jen, Samantha or Steve), flanked with voices, guitarists, percussionists, sometimes brass and strings. The words would appear on the screen and I would stand and sing “Amid the Thronging Worshipers, the Lord God, I bless.” Something happens in worship. Every Sunday, with one voice in harmony and song, we would open our hearts and make our praises known to the Lord. Worship is a relational event drawing us into a deeper relationship with our creator God. Worship is often intimate, opening our spirits to God’s Spirit.  It’s a public display of affection seeking to touch, bless and embrace our risen Savior and ascended Lord. And all of this happens even before we enter confession and assurance, recommitting our lives to Him. Congregational Prayers can touch us to our core, when feeling vulnerable and worn, isolated and weak, weighed down and spent. And giving financially has its own reality check that invites personal examination, intentionality, depth of gratitude and the exposition of one’s own heart. For the past seven and a half years, I have had the distinct honor each week again, of spending time with a piece of God’s Word, marinated in experience, imagination and thought, crafting a message that would more often than not, be filled with the best news we were going to receive all week. Every Sunday, for seven and a half years, I gave you greetings from our triune God, and have been charged to bless you with His presence and peace. And I want to say thank you to all involved. Certainly not all Sundays, but I would dare say most, Peter Van Geest’s blessing before each service was answered, where I can honestly say “I was blessed.”                                                                   Pastor Sid

Karin Terpstra