Last Sunday was a day for celebration! We dedicated our third child, Ada. Who would've thought we'd be at this point in life where God has blessed us with three? You surprised us by coming into town and it was great to have you as a part of this day.
|Children signing "Jesus Loves Me." Photo by Robyn Carnill|
Greg welcomed everyone by telling them a little bit of our story. When we journeyed towards Catina we believe the Lord taught us about Faith and when we journeyed towards June we believe the Lord taught us about Hope. Ada was an extra bonus and she taught us what Joy is!
Our friend Robyn had been praying for us before Ada was born and she spoke out loud the word "Aliza." This isn't something that happens to Robyn ordinarily so she looked up what Aliza meant, and it means joy. We've received many cards since Ada has been born and the theme seems to be what a JOY Ada will be in our lives. I'll accept that Joy and am thanking God for it!
|Ada and I hiding in the shade so she wouldn't burn. Photo by Robyn Carnill|
|Grandma June holding June. Photo by Robyn Carnill|
|Melissa blessing Ada. Photo by Robyn Carnill|
The vows and blessing are important to us. These are the vows we ask our community to make with us. We borrowed them from different friends and tweaked them to fit us.
Will you strive to be a follower of Jesus and therefore love and lead your family, not only providing for Ada’s physical, mental and emotional needs but also for her spiritual needs?
Will you strive to be a follower of Jesus and therefore support and submit to Greg’s leadership by likewise providing for Ada’s physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs?
Greg and Ann
Will you strive to have your home centered on the person and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, loving God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and your neighbor as yourself?
Will you strive to love Ada with the love of Christ by:
· Teaching her the ways of Jesus and the spiritual disciplines he practiced in his daily life?
· Living out for her a model of following Jesus in word, deed, and thought?
· Showing her how to forgive when wronged, as well as how to ask for forgiveness?
· Giving her a community of friends, where she can be herself and
experience true fellowship?
experience true fellowship?
Will you strive to surrender Ada to the Lord, that wherever He might use her, that she would go with your blessing?
Will you strive to support, encourage and help Greg and Ann fulfill the commitments they have just made before God and us?
Extended Family and Community
As a community of life we will seek God in Spirit and in Truth, both in our solitude and in our relationships so that children like Ada will see faith and growth modeled throughout life.
As a community of love we aim to see each other through the eyes of Jesus – showing mercy and grace in all things so that children like Ada will learn that love wins. As a community of sharing we desire to be generous with our time, love, and possessions so that children like Ada will know that in the community of God, there is abundance.
As a community of peace we will engage in the ministry of reconciliation – resolving conflict and seeking true peace in our hearts, marriages, families, and friendships so that children like Ada will have hope for the world.
As a community of oneness we strive to keep the person of Jesus at the center of all things so that children like Ada will never feel alone.
We plant a tree for each child when I become pregnant and at their ceremony we have the community water the tree. It represents that we want our children to grow up being raised by a village of people and they are all a part of nurturing these children to become great adults. The tree also represents an Ebenezer. Ebenezers are built to remind us where our help has come from so for us when we look at this tree we will remember we are not alone and remember what the Lord has done.
|My parents watering Ada's treet (June had just spilled water all over my Mom's pants!) |
Photo by Robyn Carnill
My Uncle Joe creates a painting for each child. You can see Ada's painting above in the chair. Some day I'd like to share about all the paintings my Uncle has made for us. It's a very special addition to our collection from him.
|Greg's Mom watering the tree. Photo by Robyn Carnill.|
|Lining up to water Ada's tree. Photo by Robyn Carnill|
Not only do we sing songs together, have friends share and read scripture. Beforehand, Greg and I always pray that those who attend will be blessed by being present and we believe this happens.
|Dedication Ceremony Program in Ada's tree. Photo by Robyn Carnill|
|Community around our community art wall. Photo by Robyn Carnill|
There are so many more great photos to share so I'll have to post some of those on a Wednesday. Thanks for coming to meet Ada Jennifer!
|Jen and Ada!|
Well, it was definitely a joy and a blessing to finally get my hands on Ada and also celebrate her dedication! The ceremony was meaningful and symbolic and such a beautiful picture of community.
As I prayed in closing at the dedication, I am excited to see what the Lord has for Ada!