There was a day when families came together
to hear stories about times past. Maybe it was Grandpa or Grandma
who was the keeper and dispenser of the family stories or maybe
an uncle or Mom or Dad. And depending on the story teller and
the story being told you could pretty quickly figure out if
the story was fact or if it was fable. But family stories were
part of the glue that held families together. The stories gave
us roots, connection points that were held in common. You understood
something about who you were by the stories passed along from
one generation to another.
Today, with the high mobility of families’ kids often
moving miles away, it’s not as common for those family
stories to be easily passed along. Sometimes good stories get
lost altogether. And that’s too bad, because we lose
something of the fabric of who we are when we lose those family
stories. And we lose the delight of coming together to hear
those stories being told.
Well, it’s not just families, but church families, too,
that have stories to be told that help hold us together. In
fact, these are some of the most important stories of our lives.
They are the true stories of God’s grace and redemption,
testimonies of His power and faithfulness worked out in the
experience of our individual lives. Collectively, these stories
help define us, give us roots and tell us more about the great
God who has loved us and called us to be His own.
So, it’s with this in mind that I urge you to come – come
join with us to do some story telling and story listening at
our 50th Anniversary Celebration coming up on the 20th and
21st of this month. We have a team who have made plans for
a grand family gathering. There will be bounce houses and face
painting and games for the kids and a hymn sing and story board
reception planned for moms and dads. Well loved church family
leaders, Dean and Grace Koontz and Andy and Jennifer Strachan
are coming to help us share our stories. Founding members from
the Di Mercurio, Oleari and Di Maggio families will be on hand.
There will be a time of worship together as we look back with
thanksgiving and a time of commitment together as we covenant
with God for the stories of our lives yet to be written. Topping
it all off will be a fine Italian feast served up in Faith
Just this afternoon a note was passed along to me from a senior
saint whose story stretches back to the Italian Evangelical
church of Monterey, the roots of our church family from before
we moved to our mid valley location. Esther Oleari, now 96
years young, writing from her home up in the Bay Area, “Thank
you for the invitation to this very important celebration of
the church begun so many years ago by Alina Ribet Oleari. To
this day I marvel at her dedication and energy in teaching
the fishermen’s children the little songs that she knew.
The parents wanted to know what she was teaching them…she
told them about her understanding of God’s love for all
people, including the poor and the uneducated…” Those
Italian fishermen families came, the gospel was shared and
the beginnings of our church family’s story was born.
On the last page of this newsletter you’ll find a detailed
schedule of our weekend activities. I know it will be an enriching
time of learning more of our family story. Whether a recent
comer or a long time member, this is really a celebration of
God’s story, the writing of His grace down through the
years on the hearts of individual lives. So come, enjoy the
fellowship, learn more of our church family’s story.
Let’s together give thanks for the rich heritage that
we share, and let’s together look forward to the good
future God has for us.
For the stories that we will share,