Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Celebrating the Ristuccias' 25 years of faithful service

This past Sunday, our church had a special service to commemorate a milestone: Pastor Matt and Karen have been serving the church for 25 years!

Because the church wanted to have the whole congregation come together for this special service (as opposed to the two services we normally have on Sunday mornings), they decided to hold the service on campus, in McCosh 50. This lecture hall actually plays a role in Pastor Matt's story of coming to faith -- immediately after he accepted the Lord as his Savior his freshman year at Princeton, he had to run to his PSY 101 class in McCosh 50. And it was there, sitting in the hard wooden seat, that he realized that he had real peace in his life, for the first time. So while the lecture hall was a practical choice for space considerations, it was really cool to hear Pastor Matt's testimony again and be in the very place where God had worked so powerfully in his life!

We got there about five minutes before the service started, and it was already almost standing room only! Good thing I had little Joshua on me in his carrier -- young mothers get special consideration, especially from church folk. :)

There was special music, with a worship band, an expanded church choir, and a really cute kids' number. It was also such a treat to have the entire church congregation singing together, in a room with decent acoustics -- what an experience of worship through song!

And Pastor Matt preached, on Romans 1:16-17 ("I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: 'The righteous will live by faith.'").

My favorite funny moment from Pastor Matt's sermon: "Now, young Skywalker, you must die!!"

And, of course, Karen was honored as well. There's so much that goes into being a minister's wife -- and Karen does all of that, and serves as the principal of a classical Christian private school. Since we were in the rear of the room, I could only get the back view of this scene, but I'm glad I caught this moment -- a spontaneous standing ovation, with Karen flanked by her husband and sons.

And the time of testimonies in honor of Matt and Karen was led off by their eldest son, Joel. (There were other testimonies, but Joshua started to have a bit of a meltdown, so we had to make a hasty retreat during Joel's testimony...)

Congratulations, Pastor Matt and Karen! Thank you for your faithful service to us -- we love you!

For the complete set of photos from this service, check out this SmugMug gallery.


Rachel S. said...

very cool! I would have loved to have been there. is it my imagination, or do I see Teng Kuan in the 2nd photo?

The Keddies said...

Aww, Rachel, it would have been nice to have had you there!

And I'm afraid that's your imagination, though I can see how you might think that was Teng Kuan.