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Christmas Memories Recent-1

22 Jan

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

I know that Christmas is past, but there is a tradition at Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney), that we have enjoyed for several years now.  At one “end” of the “park” is set up the Christmas Tree Trail.  One can walk along the “trail” and see all kinds of Christmas trees decorated to a different theme.  I find it better to show them, than try to describe them, so here goes:

At the entrance of the Trail:

Christmas Wishes from Disney Springs:

Meet Mickey and Minnie Mouse:

Pluto’s Tree:

The Tree for Beauty and the Beast:

More next time…..

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson and a great-granddaughter. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Church-Part 13

15 Jan

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

I’ve mentioned in previous musings that we moved from Dallas, Texas to Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1945.  We moved so my Dad could become the New Mexico Sunday School Secretary for the New Mexico Baptist Convention.  He stayed in that position until he retired in 1961.  

I’ve never known just why he moved to New Mexico, or if he had been invited by the New Mexico Baptists to come to that position.

I think I’ve mentioned before that there was a family we knew living in Deming, New Mexico.  I didn’t know for a long time how our family knew that family.  I do remember that, when I was old enough, I would ride the bus by myself the four hours it took to go to Deming and spend several weeks with that family.  They had a daughter, Ruth Anne, who was my age, and we got along famously together.

Ruth Anne and me on the Ferris wheel – NM State Fair 1955

Ruth Anne at the NM State Fair 1955

From the Deming newspaper – 1954

In fact, one summer I would go to Deming, and the next summer she would come to Albuquerque and stay a couple of weeks with us.  It was a great friendship, and we still are in contact today.  More on that later.

While Ruth Anne and I have discussed this, neither of us knew just how our families got to know each other.  As it turns out, Ruth Anne’s father and my dad both grew up in Louisiana, attended the same college, and played college basketball together!  WOW!  Small world, indeed.

Ruth Anne’s father 1955

And so, in thinking on this one day, I wondered whether or not Ruth Anne’s father had anything to do with my father taking the position in New Mexico.  Ruth Anne’s father was highly involved with the New Mexico Baptists at that time, and so the possibility of him recommending my dad to the Board is a great possibility.  However, since both of our dad’s are gone, neither of us know whether or not that is how it all came about.  I don’t know whether the Baptist Convention of New Mexico would have that information on file or not.  I still wonder about it, however, from time to time.

Fred and I ran into Ruth Anne and her new husband, Charles, when we were all attending the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas in the 1960’s.  We became fast friends all over again.  Ruth Anne and Charles went on to be missionaries to Malaysia, and now, retired, live in Colorado, continuing to do what they can with the Colorado Baptist Convention.

Back in 2014, Fred and I took a Southwest trip with Karen and Brian, and early in that trip, we stopped overnight with Ruth Anne and Charles.  Nothing like renewing old friendships, and making new ones (for Karen and Brian).

2014 – Colorado – Charles, Fred, Ruth Anne, Brian, Karen

At one point, our church here in Orlando had a pastor who was from the Philippines.  During his tenure, Charles, Ruth Anne and a grandson of theirs made a trip to Orlando.  We met them, took in Medieval Times Show, and just visited with them.  On Sunday evening, heading back to their hotel, I mentioned that we had this new pastor, Ramel Cuenca.  Both Charles and Ruth Anne sat straight up in their seats and said, “Ramel Cuenca!!”  Turns out, they were all in language school together before heading out to their mission field – Charles and Ruth Anne to Malaysia, Ramel and Sherry to Indonesia.  We drove to the church and Charles was out of the car like a shot!  Ramel was at the front doors of the church, greeting people as they were leaving.  As Charles strode up to him, Ramel looked up and said, “where did YOU come from??”  A happy reunion.

If it weren’t for “church,” I doubt if any of this would have happened.  Thank you, LORD, for church.

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson and a great-granddaughter. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Church-Part 12

8 Jan

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

I’m going to digress a bit from “church” here – and yet, it is all related.  As I’ve mentioned in previous musings, church was a very real part of my life…ALL my life.  I have vague memories of our church in Dallas, Texas (First Baptist Church),

Credit to Google Search and FBC Dallas website

but just snippets – smells (Pine-Sol), 

Credit Google Search

the checker-board floor tiles (black and white), 

Credit Pixabay

and Miss Bertha, the nursery lady who would take me on her lap and read a story.

Scanned from the front of her book

But since we moved to Albuquerque when I was not quite four years old, my main memories of “church” was our church in Albuquerque (First Baptist Church, on the corner on Broadway and Central Avenue, also known as U.S. Route 66).  I literally “grew up” in that church.  I have fond memories of the friends I made there – some I still am in contact with.

Photo credit First Baptist Church, Albuquerque Google search

But in this particular posting, I would like to tell about a camp that both my brother, Bill, and I attended each summer when we were old enough to attend.  If you remember, my father was the New Mexico Sunday School Secretary for the Southern Baptists – that’s why we were in Albuquerque.  All of the “heads” of different departments of Southern Baptist life in New Mexico were headquartered in an office building in Albuquerque.

The Baptist Building – 1954 – main entrance

The Ministry Heads – 1954 – Daddy is on the left, standing

One of those departments was the Women’s Missionary Union (WMU).  That lady was Miss Eva Inlow.  Miss Inlow’s father had started a camp in the mountains East of Albuquerque, for young people (teenagers) from all over the state, and it was called Inlow Youth Camp.  I remember looking forward to going to Inlow Youth Camp each and every summer when I was old enough.  I don’t remember that Bill and I ever attended at the same time.  I suspect the camps were geared to specific age groups at different weeks.

I googled Inlow Youth Camp and this is what came up:

Credit Google Search and Inlow Baptist Camp website

Inlow Baptist Camp, started in 1941, is nestled in the beautiful Manzano Mountains of central New Mexico. Inlow is a rustic retreat from the distractions of everyday life. The woodsy surroundings offer a beautiful place to worship, fellowship, relax and learn. Summer at Inlow is a pleasant atmosphere for youth camps and family camping. Fall, winter, and spring each have a different flavor for church retreats, youth camps, staff training, picnics and meetings. Inlow is a ministry of the Baptist Convention of New Mexico.

I’m glad to see that it is still in operation, and has expanded it’s ministry.

We slept in cabins, on bunks.  I’m sure they had showers, but I don’t remember them.  I do remember quite well the latrines – outhouses with four or five “holes”.  A funny memory for sure, and none too pleasant when we had to clean them!  There was a “store” where we could purchase snacks if we had the money for them – we had a “bank account” set up by our parents with whatever cash they wanted us to have.  There was a dining hall.  But my biggest memory was the chapel or church building.  We had church services there every day, and Bible study times there.  We had counselors to lead those times, as well as to be shoulders to cry on, and watch over us in the cabins.

There were all kinds of outdoor activities to be held there, as well.  I remember running a race around the campground – and probably coming in last…I wasn’t a very fast runner!

But it was a wonderful time in my life.  Here is a picture of a group of us sitting by our church, waiting for our ride to camp.  I’m not in this picture, but I loved all these kids.

And here are more pictures of our time at Inlow Youth Camp:

Two of my best friends

That’s me…and my best friend

Some of the boys – not all from our church

Some of the girls and counselors

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson and a great-granddaughter. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Memories of New Year’s Past

1 Jan

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

Reblog

I guess I am just like most people when it comes to New Years – “I AM going to lose those _____ pounds this year!” “I AM going to get the house in order!” “I AM going to scan all those pictures and get them in an album!” etc., etc., etc.

So, resolutions not-with-standing, what are my memories of New Years past? I guess my favorite memory is of growing up in my church in Albuquerque.

Photo credit First Baptist Church, Albuquerque Google search


For many years, on New Year’s Eve, the church would have a program that started about 6:00 p.m. with a dinner. Now, this was a fairly large church, and we had a paid staff who made the meals every Wednesday evening, before the regular activities began. And those ladies made the BEST dinner rolls!!! Nothing I’ve ever been able to duplicate!

Anyway, dinner started at 6:00 p.m. After that, I remember either a movie shown on a large screen in the sanctuary, or games. Perhaps there were games for the smaller children – I just don’t remember. But then there was a time of “remembrance” or sharing. Just being thankful for the year that was passing away, and looking forward to the new one approaching.

But the best thing about the entire evening, was that, after the sharing time, we would – literally – ring the outer edges inside the sanctuary, holding hands to make a funny-shaped circle, and pray in the New Year. We could hear the fireworks going off, and people yelling outside the church building. But inside, we were asking God to bless the New Year, and us in it, and our part of it. It was an extremely wonderful time.

And then I remember some New Year’s Eve’s in our small church in Virginia.

Seaford Baptist Church, Seaford, Virginia Oldest buildings

We would gather for a time of sharing and remembrance, then share the Lord’s Supper together, and then pray in the New Year. I do remember one year that Karen and Brian married (on December 30). As we were sharing thoughts, I shared that I would have to learn to keep my mouth shut and be a good mother-in-law!

The pastor would try to do the Lord’s Supper differently some times, to make it more meaningful for us.
I remember a time when he had a loaf of bread, and we pinched off our own little piece. I also remember a time when there was a community cup for each family to share the “wine” (grape juice in the Baptist church!).

But in all the memories I have, it always culminated with prayer for the New Year. And I can’t think of a better way to start any New Year, than asking God’s blessings upon it.

May YOUR New Year be blessed beyond measure.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him,
so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit
Romans 15:13

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson and a great-granddaughter. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Christmas 2022

25 Dec

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

To quote myself from 2016…..

Christmas, Christmas, Christ-mas….in the air…  If you are ever at Walt Disney World, and EPCOT in particular in the Christmas season, stop by and hear the Voices of Liberty in the American Pavilion.  The singers are dressed in Dickens-themed attire, and their songs are all Christmas, as well as a few Hanukkah songs.  Totally delightful!

Picture by Judy Wills

And now to 2022 – it’s been far too long with the Covid pandemic for Christmases to be as joyful and filled with joy as previous years.  But this year promises to be more.  And for that we are grateful.  

Our church is more filled this year than it has been the past two years – and we are grateful.  Our Sunday School classes are ramping up with more attending to learn the Word of God – and we are grateful.  While we don’t have a Minister of Music in our church, we still have music – and we are grateful.

Our church building/Sanctuary has undergone some renovation this year.  Here is a picture of the original way it was – pews and old blue carpet.

2008 – Picture by Judy Wills

Here it is newly renovated – chairs and carpet squares.

As I mentioned last time, we have Cast members from Disney who give of their talents to decorate our building.  Here are a couple of pictures from past years and this year:

2013 – Picture by Judy Wills

2022 – Picture by Judy Wills

2022 – Picture by Judy Wills

I am grateful to be living in a free country, where I can go to church and worship with fellow believers.  We are free to worship as we feel God wants us to worship.  I am not afraid or ashamed of my beliefs.  I am grateful to have the freedom to say these things.  May that always be true for this country.

Also from 2016…

As we all know, the future is in God’s hands…and His plan for our lives is so much better than anything we could devise for ourselves…..  We will continue to share the Good News of Christmas with those we meet and love – that God sent His one and only Son to this earth as a baby, so that He would die on a cross for our sins, but, miraculously, by the Hand of God, be raised from the dead and grave, to give us eternal salvation. 

GOD IS AMAZING!!  And He is LOVE.  And He is PEACE.   And He is JOY.  And He is all of those things, and more, in this life, with the promise of eternal life with Him.  How great is that??!!

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson and a great-granddaughter. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Church-Part 11

18 Dec

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

What have I loved about my church – going to church – being at church?  Well, I love being with fellow believers.  I love sharing events that happen in our lives, and that we can pray for each other, and see God’s hand in it all.

Photo Credit Pixabay

I love seeing people come to faith in God through Christ Jesus – both young and old(er).  I love to see the faith in older believers being given to the next generation.  I love seeing young families in church – just the fact that Moms and Dads come and bring their young children with them.  Perhaps the young ones don’t understand everything right now, but they will see the faith of their parents, and that will last them their whole life long.  

Photo Credit Pixabay

I love to see the Pastors and teachers willingly give of their time to study God’s Word and bring the truth of God to the Sunday School classes and the congregation.

Photo Credit Pixabay

I am grateful that we have the capability of the live streaming of the worship services on those Sundays that I am unable to attend the service myself for illness.  And that’s the ONLY reason I don’t attend church services.  While I am glad to have that opportunity…..it is just NOT the same as being in the same building with the same people, worshiping the same God.  I really LOVE that time together!  And, I must admit – I don’t usually sing along with the live stream!

I must say, however, that while I was Church Secretary all those years, it occurred to me that I was going to “church” six days a week and only getting paid for five days – because Sunday was one of my days “off.”  When I worked in the private sector, Sunday was a day that we went to church, as part of that weekend.  But here I was working at the same place I worshiped each week.  It was a strange feeling, and one I had to get past.

I love, here in Orlando, that we have such talented people in our body of believers, and that they are willing to share their talents with our church.  I love some of the decorations that our Disney Cast Members create for our special events – Christmas, Easter, military observances, etc.  We have former Disney Cast Members who work our sound and lighting equipment – and the live streaming.  Their talent is unmatched!

Photo Credit Judy Wills

Photo Credit Judy Wills

I love that we have, among our body of believers, those who work with Wycliffe Bible Translators and CRU (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ).  They are a fountain of information.  It amuses me/us when the guy in our Sunday School class, who works on the logistics for the Jesus Film, gets into a discussion with some of the class members and writes some kind of formula on the white board!  The rest of us, who are NOT engineers, just sit and laugh at them.  It makes for a fun class.

There is more I can tell, but that will have to wait for another posting.

WE….ARE THE CHURCH!

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson and a great-granddaughter. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Church-Part 10

11 Dec

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

I’ve written before about the “serendipities” that have happened in our lives.  I really enjoy them.  And a lot of them are related to church.  With the Air Force, we’ve moved around quite a bit, and so have been members of many different churches.  As result, we occasionally come across either someone we knew before, or someone we have known in common.  I really love that kind of thing!

For instance, just recently, I saw on facebook that some friends of ours from our church in Heidelberg were in town,

Heidelberg Castle

The building where Grace Baptist Church met – photo by Fred Wills

doing the Disney 

Credit Pixabay

and Universal parks

Credit Pixabay

I made the comment to her, after some of her pictures, that we wished we had known they were in town…we would have made an effort to meet up with them.  She replied they hadn’t known we lived in Orlando, and that they were in town for a few more days and their schedule was quite flexible.  And so, several days later, we met up at our favorite BBQ place.

Photo credit Judy Wills

They and their oldest daughter met us there – and we discovered it has been 39 years since we had seen each other!  WOW!  God is so amazing to bless us with friends that we have kept.

And another serendipity happened while I was Church Secretary at South Orlando Baptist Church here in Orlando.

This couple (Ted and April) came into the office one day…new to our church and community…and said they had just moved here from Virginia.  They had a lawn service here, but also had some lawn equipment they didn’t need, and thought the church might could use it.  I told them we had a lawn company as well that did the church’s lawn care.  And then I told them that we had moved here from Virginia, as well, and what part of Virginia did they come from.  They mentioned the Hampton Roads area – which was near where we had lived.  I mentioned we had lived in a small town, Seaford, just eight miles south of Yorktown.  They replied they also had lived in Seaford.  I mentioned we had been members of the Seaford Baptist Church, and they replied that they had been, as well.

Seaford Baptist Church as it was when we lived there.

Copied from the cover of a pictorial directory

I said that we had really enjoyed the Sunday School class, mainly because of the teacher, Larry Edwards.  Ted nearly fell on the floor and said, “WHO?”  I said Larry Edwards…and Ted said…(wait for it)…that’s my brother-in-law!  

Such a small world!  Larry and Janice came down to Florida at one time, and we met them at our favorite seafood restaurant for a visit.  When Ted and April arrived, they looked at the four of us, and said “it’s really strange seeing you all together.”  Again, God is so very good to bring people into our lives where we can become friends…life-long friends…and have the assurance of seeing them when we all get to our heavenly home.

And I doubt we would have had any of these connections without being part of the church.  God is so good!

WE….ARE THE CHURCH!

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson and a great-granddaughter. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Church-Part 9

4 Dec

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

Back to my original thoughts on church…. 

Now I would like to talk about the church we are members of now.  We’ve been in that church since 1996, and love it.

Just six months after we joined this church, the pastor said the church secretary was leaving, as her husband was being transferred from the area, and they were accepting applications for the position.  I told Fred I wanted to apply.  He looked at me strangely and said, “are you sure?” (We had thought we would come to Orlando to play at Disney)  I said, “well, it feels right.”  And so I applied, and was hired.  That position lasted nearly nine (9) years for me.  I guess it was where God wanted me.

Judy’s picture as Church Secretary

Within just a few months of my becoming church secretary, both the Minister of Youth and the Minister of Music left to go to other churches – one in Texas, and one in Colorado.  There was no problem with the church – they both needed to take care of ailing parents.  The Senior Pastor was a bit beside himself!  When he found that Fred had two seminary degrees, he asked Fred to come on as a temporary/part-time Administrator.  That position eventually became nearly full-time, and he held that position for about 14 years.  Some temporary position, hmmmm?  He still dips his hand in whenever he is needed.

Fred’s picture as Church Administrator

This body of believers has about 40 different nations represented in our church – and we are all worshiping the same God!  It’s wonderful!  The first pastor we worked with said many times that “this is what Heaven is going to look like – all different nationalities and languages, all worshiping together.”

Recently our church held its 40th Anniversary as an established church. 

We had a Saturday evening worship service, with a young man preaching, that is the son of one of our members.  He is now a pastor in south Florida, and also a Seminary professor.  As a black man, growing up he said wherever his family lived, “there were white churches, and then there were black churches.”  Every single city/town/state they lived in.  However, he said, when he came to South Orlando Baptist Church to preach the very first time…he saw heaven – so many different races and tongues within the same congregation.  He was overjoyed with the blessing that gave him.  He is always willing to come and preach at our church.  That is another reason we love this body of believers.

I would like to quote myself from last week:   This congregation is not a mega-church, as so many are these days, but a nice-sized church of about 800 members.  Of course, not all attend at the same time, so we have between 300-350 attending each Sunday.  That changed when the pandemic hit, unfortunately, and we haven’t gotten back to full-strength yet.  However, between all those attending, and those watching through live-stream, we are close.  I am thankful for the live-stream, so I can still “attend” church when I am home on a Sunday for some reason or another.  But it’s just not the same as being with other believers and worshipers.

WE….ARE THE CHURCH!

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson and a great-granddaughter. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Church-Part 8

27 Nov

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

The Music

Still making that detour…. 

And that brings me to the church we are members of now.  We’ve been in that church since 1996, and love it.  As one pastor said, this church is what heaven is going to be like – a mixture of peoples and races.  We have about 40 different nations represented in our church – and we are all worshiping the same God!  It’s wonderful!

This congregation is not a mega-church, as so many are these days, but a nice-sized church of about 800 members.  Of course, not all attend at the same time, so we have between 300-350 attending each Sunday.  That changed when the pandemic hit, unfortunately, and we haven’t gotten back to full-strength yet.  However, between all those attending, and those watching through live-stream, we are close.  I am thankful for the live-stream, so I can still “attend church” when I am home on a Sunday for some reason or another.  But it’s just not the same as being with other believers and worshipers.

All that to say that our choir has been a fairly good-sized choir throughout all those years.  Not huge, but some good voices.

2017 – Sanctuary Choir, South Orlando Baptist Church

Unfortunately, I have pictures from only one musical we’ve performed…but it was a good one.

In 2004 we performed one called Journey to the Manger.  We had a narrator, manger scenes, 

modern scenes,

Old England scenes,

 Medieval scenes, 

Depression era scenes,

children’s choirs, etc.

It was wonderful. 

One of our choir members was a professional seamstress.  Her ministry was to make all of the period costumes in these pictures.  She is amazing!   But the story was so filled with the Gospel of the coming of Jesus Christ, that no one could miss the message!  

I mentioned last time that one of the musicals we did in Virginia, Christmas is Calling You Home, we also performed at this church.  I have some wonderful mental pictures of that performance but, unfortunately no actual pictures of it.

We also performed Easter cantatas, and had other “musical” type of services.

If you can get back into the Oldthingsrnew archives, my post of September 30, 2012 tells of a concert we performed – six of us on Clavinovas (digital/electronic pianos).  Our Minister of Music was always on the look-out for something musical to give inspiration to our church.  Also, if you will find the archives and find my post of October 7, 2012, I tell of a concert violinist who came and gave her testimony, and played her violin.  She is magnificent!

So those are some of the “musical” things that we have been part of in the churches where we were members.  We have always enjoyed being in the choir, wherever we were.  Music has always been a part of our lives, and we are grateful.

WE….ARE THE CHURCH!

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson and a great-granddaughter. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Church-Part 7 B

20 Nov

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

The Music

Still making that detour…. 

Our church in San Jose, California was small, but  I do remember they did a “musical” that Christmas, Love Transcending by John W. Peterson.  I remember the songs in that musical and how I loved it.  Apparently it made quite a impression on me.

Credit Google search and Amazon

Our church in San Antonio, Texas, was a HUGE church!  We had a nice-sized choir, and each Christmas we did some sort of musical.  I don’t remember much about acting done with the music, but there probably was some.  I do remember that the musical Amahl and the Night Visitors by Gian Carlo Menotti was done one year with actors/singers playing their parts.. The “mother” in the musical was the wife of our Minister of Music.  She was a good friend, and a wonderful singer.  

Credit Google Search and Central City Opera

I also remember one Christmas season we did Sing We Now of Christmas by Mark Hayes.  Wonderful, beautiful piece of music.  And the final year we were there, we did Messiah by Handel.  That piece of music will always be a favorite of mine.  It is magnificent and full of praise to our God.

Our church in Panama City, Florida had a wonderful music department and Sanctuary choir.  I can’t remember much about “musicals” we performed, but I do remember one special program we did that had a lot of patriotic songs in it.  I suspect that we did more than one Christmas performance, but that it was probably more of a concert than an acting musical.

Our church in Seaford, Virginia was relatively small – about 200 active members when we joined there.  The choir wasn’t huge, but we had some great voices in that choir.  While I don’t remember all the names of the musicals we performed, we did them with such professionalism that people from around that area of Virginia would come to see our performances.  We usually performed more than just one service – three or four times – enough anyway that we could accommodate all who would like to see it.  Very seldom did we do just a concert – it was almost always a musical, with acting.  I remember one Christmas musical that had images of Christ going through his torture before His crucifixion, and I wondered why they put that in a Christmas musical!  But of course, we couldn’t have salvation without Christ coming as that baby and going through all He did on the cross.

I remember one Easter musical we did at Seaford, where they had rented a lift and a smoke machine, and actually had the actor playing Christ ascending in the “clouds.”  WOW what an impact THAT made!

We did another musical at Seaford Baptist church, that required our music director to purchase a recording of thunder.  During the performance, we had a thunder storm pass over.  The director said she wished she hadn’t spent the money on the recording – God provided the sound effects better than the recording!

I remember one of the Christmas musicals we did there, Christmas is Calling You Home by Mark Hayes, and that was a huge hit.  It was just so well-written, and well performed.  Fred and I enjoyed it so m

uch that we impressed it upon the Minister of Music at our present church to try it out – which we did.

Credit Google Search and Cloniger and Hayes

WE….ARE THE CHURCH!

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson and a great-granddaughter. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

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