This is the day the Lord has made...
Written by Jon & Dawn Barnes
Celebrating the day the Lord led Dunn Asher Memorial Congregational Church into becoming a church is something to write about!! This November 5-6 marked Dunn Asher’s 100-year anniversary. But this is not your ordinary anniversary celebration….let me tell you!!
February 1, 2005
This church began celebrating in the beginning of 2004 with various activities….dinners, concerts, and worship services honoring various people, places and events. But the big event took place the first weekend of November. I want to share these things, because churches in the US have things to learn from the UCCSA churches here in South Africa! They know how to celebrate and to truly rejoice in the day that the Lord has made.
The celebration began with lots of meat! Yes, meat! 14 sheep and 1 ox marked the beginning of the celebration. On early Friday morning the men and women of the church began the day by cutting, slicing, and cooking the meat for the evening. On Friday evening the church was open to the community for a concert and a dinner of the “various parts of the meat.” These various parts include the intestines, heart, liver, and lungs and they are cooked in a black pot over an open fire outside. The church was packed to capacity and the food was finished. Then on the Saturday the other “finer” parts of the meat were cooked and prepared for the evening meal. The Saturday evening included the meal and a “Stroll Down Memory Lane.” The members sang songs, did skits and talked about various memories and events in the history of the church. Once again the church was packed out. And the weekend celebration ended with a bang on Sunday morning for worship. There was not enough room for all who attended, but we all squeezed in tight. There was preaching, songs by the special 100 member choir, choruses, presentation of gifts to the church and ministers, and ended with communion. What a weekend!! What a way to honor the past 100 years of the church….all the people, events, and memories! And what a way to end in all of sharing the body of Christ together to not only celebrate Christ’s sacrifice for each of us, but to also celebrate the sacrifice of so many throughout history that we are able to have this thing we call church!
As missionaries, we feel privileged to be a part of such special occasions in the life of the church. What an honor to celebrate with Dunn Asher Memorial Congregational Church. May we all celebrate our anniversaries is such a wonderful way – “let us we rejoice in the day that the Lord has made and be glad in it!”
Revs. Dawn and Jon Barnes
Jonathan and Dawn Barnes are missionaries with the Kei Regional Council of the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa, South Africa. Jonathan serves in pastoral ministries among the churches in the region. Dawn serves in pastoral ministries and social work.