Last Night in Buffalo
Following another superb teaching session on Colossians 3 by Mark Dever and a seminar by David Green on "Preaching to the Conscience," the afternoon business meeting included the voting in of the Conference positions for the next year, including a new president for the CCCC, Larry Wood, to replace Nick Granitsas (on the right in the new photo) of Revere, who has so faithfully and ably served the conference in this position. He and Pastor Greer are among the longest serving pastors in New England (to remain at the same church).
The Thursday evening service includes a message by the past President (Nick, this year) and is followed by the Lord's Supper at which the Conference Choir sings during the distribution of the bread and the cup. Sadly, the hotel placed a loud band with a dance in the next room, directly behind the podium, and separated from us by a folding wall. The music (pop songs from the 60's and 70's) was so loud that it was hard to hear the praise songs and even harder to hear Nick's message. And the choir, pictured below during rehearsal, was sitting against the wall. Not only did their sound overpower us, but the band controlled the lights in the room, so the lights would come on and off at their discretion (depending on the mood of the song they were performing). Barely able to hear the piano through the distraction the choir began (under my direction) to sing Robert Sterling's arrangement of Jesus Paid It All, beginning with the first verse words, "I hear the Savior say, 'Thy strength indeed is small. Child of weakness, find in me thine all in all.'" Suddenly, the "wall of sound" parted just as the women began to sing "For nothing good have I whereby Thy grace to claim." It was truly a wonderful moment. The band had stopped and softer background dance music played. Which made the music for the distribution of the cup, "I Want to Be Like Jesus," singularly wonderful (you'll remember that I wrote this for the Carlisle Choir on the recommendation of Jackie Miller back in 1989).
It certainly made for a memorable evening. Later, the Burnocks and the Weibleys went to the restaurant in Buffalo, where the first Buffalo wings were made. It was packed, but my they were good. Yes, the dark blob under the sign are Burni, Suzi, and Deb.
We all had the wings, and they were wondeful:
But more wonderful was our time spent with the Halls, and especially Burni and Suzi Burnock, but also with all those brothers and sisters who continue to serve the Lord across the United States and in mission fields, with all those involved in the church multiplication work, with those with whom I attended seminary and all those I've met at all those Annual Meetings in the past. I'm looking forward for the time to think through all the seminars and messages from the week, some encouraging, others challenging, all part of this important week. BUT NEXT, VBS!!!