On January 30, we held our first Family Reunion of 2013. What's a Family Reunion? It's when all of our prayer meetings groups get together and have prayer meeting together. Normally we have different classes - children, teens, Prep School and adults - all studying the same Discipleship / Desire of Ages material. But on the last Wednesday of each month, everyone gets together to share with each other.
The program was a hit! "I enjoyed it. I liked the idea that since we are all studying the same thing, that we come and share our ideas," said Colleen Freeman. "And I learned a lot about some of our members."
Colleen was able to learn about some of our members because the study guide for the 30th - Roots - started with several interactive questions: How was your family introduced to Adventism? Are you the only Adventist in your family? Pastor Johns - who creates the study guides and who faciliated the discussion part of the Reunion - had members of the audience answer the questions. If you weren't there, next time you see Joel Cadiz or Margo Griffith, ask them how and WHERE they met their spouses.
Henderson Joseph (in yellow in the picture at right), a relatively new member to Metropolitan, made us all laugh when he told us, as he started to explain which Metro members he considers family (another of the study guide questions), that he'd forgotten it was prayer meeting night. He was sitting down eating his dinner (curry chicken), when it hit him that it was Wednesday night. He said he jumped up, put the plate in the microwave and dashed over to church. (What do you do when you remember it's Wednesday night?)
Raelene Glasgow shared with us that although she is a member at a large church (over 1000 members) in New York, she feels more at home at Metro. She only considers one person family at her home church, but at Metro, she says she has many church family members. She started watching Metro on the internet, and even through that medium, she said she was able to feel Metro's warmth.
The meat of the program was a role play exercise that the Pastor Johns had some volunteers participate in. In keeping with the study guide's discussion of family, who our family members are, and how we treat family - We had three groups role play what happens at Metro when a visitor unknowlingly sits in a member's seat. The actors were hilarious. We'll be posting the audio from the Reunion in our mobile app and on the website - so you'll have a chance to hear what happened.
The service ended with a powerful prayer session led by Pastor B. She'd set up four pillars with colored candles; each candle represented an issue that members might want to pray about. The yellow candle was for those who needed strength to continue keeping on; the red for those dealing with illness; green for those who needed deliverance from some issue, and purple for parents who wanted to pray for children who are no longer in church. Members were asked to form circles around the candle that dealt with their specific issue. In keeping with it being "prayer meeting" -everyone in each circle had an opportunity to pray. Once the circular prayers were finished, we formed a large circle around the church and sang "I Need You to Survive". Pastor B then read from the Desire of Ages that "it is dangerous to utter a word of doubt", and exhorted us to be positive about the issues we'd just prayed about. She closed the service with prayer.
"I thought [this service] was very needed because one of the best things about church is family," said Randy Abraham. "For a lot of us, our true family members are our church family."
We've posted a few pictures from the service below. Please excuse my lack of photography skills and thank Kirt Davis for loaning us his Samsung Galaxy (I unhappily admitted that the pictures I was able to get from his camera were much better quality than the ones I was getting on my iPhone 4).
[margo griffith tell us how she met her husband, and how she deals with being the only adventist in her family]
[our favorite pastors! ;-) ]
[usher dillon, in a strong west indian accent, tries to get visitor griffiths to vacate member jermella's seat, as member krystal tries to calm jermella down]
[oh - in the middle of the service, we had to rush to cover the instruments as the rain started leaking through the roof; have you made your contribution to the roof fund yet? if not, do it here - place 'roof fund' in the memo line]
[usher kirt tries to get member colleen to let visitor jenny continue sitting in her (colleen's) seat; member lovina tries to decide whether to help]
[usher sade - back at metro visiting us from the cayman islands - wasn't able to convince member henderson to let visitor omari stay in his seat; omari ended up leaving :-( (has this ever really happened at metro???]
[groups praying around the candles]
[EVERYONE got to pray; we patiently waited to make sure everyone had a chance to petition God]