Home Church – Family Style

This year we spent some time in the Duckabush (the valley after which our blog is named) with Tim’s family over Christmas. His brother (Mark), sister-in-law (Elizabeth) and family (children – Timothy & wife Sunny, Rebecca and Samuel) were all in town after a long road trip from Virginia/Arkansas/Tennessee. What a delightful gift to spend several days with them. One of the special treats was a morning of Family/Home Church on Sunday.

Chaplain Edgren (aka Grandpa) told us, well in advance, that he was officially handing the service over to the grandchildren. Parceling out the various roles, Joshua led our Sunday School class (Colossians 1 and 2). Moving into the actual worship service, Samuel gave the invocation/call to worship. Timothy preached the sermon (Colossians 3). Sunny led music and played her guitar for us (and piano too, but not at the same time) while the rest of the children sang. David, Daniel and Samuel read scripture. Daniel and Samuel were ushers, while Rebecca, Rachel and Sarah formed the core of the choir. Since the service was not widely publicized, and attendance was by invitation only, it was strictly a family affair.

Sunny led the rest of the group in worship practice

Practice Session for Music

Tim’s dad printed up an elegant bulletin for our morning service — there is nothing quite like having the whole family together and enjoying a home church.


Important to know the Order of Events for the service.

Tim and his dad have both been leading adult Bible classes for years. I think between them they have taught at least 60 years of Sunday School and covered most of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation with the Reformation, Marriage and Parenting thrown in the mix. How inspiring, then, to have Joshua leading our Sunday School discussion this Christmas. He makes a third generation of Bible teachers in the family. He cleverly split us into groups of two and assigned us each a portion of Colossians 1 and 2. With Timothy preaching on Colossians 3 the second hour, it is clear that teaching and preaching the Word of God will persist in our family legacy.

Let's study Colossians!

Let’s study Colossians!

It was a treat and delight to spend time with our nephew Timothy’s new wife. Sunny and Tim were married in Arkansas this summer and she is already proven as a wonderful addition to our family.

Christmas 2013 457a

What an incredible blessing to have three generations gathered together to worship the Lord – with each person participating from the youngest to the oldest.

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!

Know that the Lord, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!

For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.

Psalm 100

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All Glory Be to Christ our King!

Many years Kathy throws a party on New Years’ Eve, inviting as many people as she can reasonably expect will fit into our house. This year we had 47 people in the house (although fortunately not all at once) for games, fellowship, and lots of tasty treats.

In spite of Joshua's hatred of 'fake' trees, we used our artificial Christmas tree this year.

In spite of Joshua’s hatred of ‘fake’ trees, we used our artificial Christmas tree this year.

Usually the men-folk squirrel themselves upstairs for strategy gaming, while the ladies occupy the family room for party games like Head of the Herd or Scum. The teens and young adults often stake out the living room for Mafia or Resistance, while the youngest kids make the best of it in the garage.

Sometimes we try to add some spiritual significance to the evening, by adding scheduled events on the half-hour, but this year only one special event made the cut. Our dear sometime-adoptive daughter Jenny brought words for an adaptation of Auld Lang Syne, which we sang around the piano just after midnight.

Should nothing of our efforts stand
No legacy survive
Unless the Lord does raise the house
In vain its builders strive.

To you who boast tomorrow’s gain
Tell me what is your life
A mist that vanishes at dawn
All glory be to Christ!

All glory be to Christ our King!
All glory be to Christ!
His rule and reign we’ll ever sing,
All glory be to Christ!

His will be done, His kingdom come
On earth as is above
Who is Himself our daily bread
Praise Him the Lord of love.

Let living water satisfy
The thirsty without price
We’ll take a coup of kindness yet
All glory be to Christ!


When on the day the great I Am
The faithful and the true
The Lamb who was for sinners slain
Is making all things new.

Behold our God shall live with us
And be our steadfast light
And we shall ere His people be
All glory be to Christ!


A spiritual version of Auld Lang Syne is a great way to ring in the new year!

A spiritual version of Auld Lang Syne is a great way to ring in the new year!

I was too far away from the piano to read the words (47 people make a tightly-packed crowd in our home) but I got a chance to sing it with a smaller group the next day. I loved the chance to reflect on the joy and hope that our King gives us, as we face a new year!

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