|Neal and Elly at the Vlasits Lodge|
We are One in The Spirit,
We are One in The Lord.
And we pray that all unity may one day be restored.
And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love,
And they'll know we are Christians by our love.
We will work with each other,
We will work side by side.
And we'll guard each man's dignity And save each man's pride.
We will walk with each other,
We will walk hand in hand.
And together we'll spread the news that God is in our land.
A reading from Deuteronomy: Elly Nelson
Sentence prayers and praises “Lord hear our prayer...” “Lord, hear our praise...”
“In the bulb there is the flower”
Meditation: Harvey Yoder
“Since First My Soul Was Knit to Thine”: Harvey and Alma Jean
Renewal of Marriage Pledge
"Whither Thou Goest": David Weaver
"Joyful, joyful we adore thee"
Blest be the tie that binds
Elly wrote this note of appreciation after the event:
To say that Neal and I have been basking in the outpouring of love that surrounded us last Sunday, the second day of February, as we recommitted our lives to one another and to the Lord, would be an understatement.
It is quite impossible for anyone to reach the ages that we have attained and to have escaped days that will be forever etched in memory. Sometimes, those days we remember were heavy with sorrow. Sometimes those days we remember are bathed in the glow of pure joy.
The events of this past Sunday fell handily into the second column, seizing a place at the very top of our list, where they shall remain as a crown jewel for the rest of our days.
To our utter delight, following the songs of praise and adoration that had been on our lips all week, even a special favorite, “Let All Things Now Living Give Praise and Thanksgiving”, Harvey lead us to a deep study of Micah 6:8, where we could all explore the keys to rewarding and fulfilling relationships,
We were blessed beyond measure to have Alma Jean and Harvey join their exquisite voices to provide the brushstrokes of a song that paints a picture of two souls knit together as one kindred spirit with the Lord reigning over their hearts and lives. And then we were treated to a song from David Weaver as well!
The anticipation had reached a crescendo when Harvey announced that it was time – it was time for us to come before a cloud of witnesses, to profess our love for each other and to reaffirm our vows. I had been watching the faces of our friends, our family – Margie and Guy and Kathy and Karen (who made us a very special and outrageously delicious cake), Lois (who organized and wrote such heart-moving words), and Carla and Ruth and Jim – Susan and Karen and Alma Jean and Harvey and David, thinking how dearly I love each and every one, and of the outpouring of love that emanated from each precious sister and brother who was about to bear witness to our vows of recommitment to uphold and nurture one another in our walk with the Lord, individually and together.
When Neal and I spoke those words to one another a quarter century ago that joined us at the heart, the chapel was filled with Neal’s family and friends, I knew only two people in attendance, the man I was about to wed to and my mother. This time, we spoke words we did not speak before – ani l’dodi, v’dodi li, I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine, and we spoke them before a family we did not then know, but a family we love so dearly that we could exhort each to join with us to recommit our very lives to the King of Kings Who reigns over our lives.
Our hearts are full. Our hearts are grateful for all the work everyone did to make this the crown jewel of our happy days to remember. To each member of our family, our Family of Hope, we say thank you, and for each, we pray a blessing beyond measure.
In His love,Elly and Neal.