For the past years we have always looked forward to a fall Apple Butter Festival. In years past we have participate in “Greased pig contest” and other little activities. But this year sadly we were all too old to join in. What could we do this year that would make this 25th anniversary special.
A couple of weeks before the Festival we read Psalms 40:9-10 which gave us an idea that we scribbled down, the next Sunday I suggested it in our Sunday school class, everybody liked it so we scheduled to have a meeting after church. In the meeting many possible ideas were suggested and numerous questions asked. Did we have enough time to put it together? We decided we could and registered. Another meeting was arranged for the up coming Saturday. All that week our family had many delightful and exciting conversations around the dinning table.
Finally the long awaited Saturday arrived. Those who could, piled in the car and headed for the church. The meeting was well organized and each family left with an assigned responsibility. We had began the 2009 “Evergreen United Methodist Church” float!
Our contribution was to make some banners: first, a long banner in front of the float which introduced our theme which said, “The fruits of the spirit are…” we decorated it with fall leaves, baskets of apples, and bright fall colored letters; secondly, two banners for the side of the float which had the name and location of our church, and the life cycle of an apple painted on them.
Our next meeting took place on the following Thursday night, two days before the parade! We presented our banners and started putting the float together. We miraculously found exactly 9 red wooden apples, for the nine fruits of the spirit, to go on our plywood tree, painted green. Unfortunately we weren’t able to completely finish the float because of the approaching darkness of night. So we consented to finishing the project the morning of the parade.
Early on Saturday a group of us met at the church to continue our joint effort on the float. After a breath taking ride from the church to Salem, we enthusiastically put on the last touches before moving into line with the rest of the parade.
We quickly found out how much coordination it took to toss candy to onlookers. Unfortunately we ran out of candy before reaching the end of town, where the people were packed up to the side of the floats, but were delighted to “proclaim his righteousness throughout the congregation” of Salem! Later while walking through the fair grounds we unexpectedly found out our float was chosen “Best Float” and given first place!
The next Sunday I read Psalms 40:9-10 in church and exhibited the trophy to the whole church. It would have been impossible if every member in the church wouldn’t have taken some small part in the whole project of the float!
I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O LORD, thou knowest. I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart: I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation.