...if we walk in the light as he is in
the light, we have
with ONE ANOTHER,
AND THE BLOOD OF
his son, purifies us from all sin.
(1 john 5b, 7)
No wonder it feels so good to have fellowship with Christian friends–
we are being bathed in God's goodness and light!
The Time and Talent Auction, usually held in early November, began a number of years ago as a way to encourage members to use their various abilities as a means to add money to the church treasury to be used for special needs. Luncheon consists of bread and homemade soups. Many times the needs were for church maintenance, other times the need was to meet a special health situation of a member. The fun thing about the auction is finding out the special talents of each different person. Some people auction an offer to clean someone's house, bake a cake for a special event, take someone for a boat ride, or mow a lawn. Others use a special talent by making things with their hands--woodworking, hand-sewn items, photography, jewelry, artwork, books authored by our members--to name just a few.
Another highlight comes after the meal is finished and the silent auction is declared closed--the bake sale!! Both men and women bring the highly sought after items which have been on display and the auctioneer and helper begin!! The total amount brought into the church coffers in 2015 was $3400.00, and the good times had by all could not be expressed in dollars and cents! Year after year, we marvel at the amazing gifts and talents of those with whom we worship--and, at the generosity of those who buy from each other to help pay the bills and to aid in furtherance of the Kingdom.
Many of our members travel and all of us count it a privilege to be able to sit back and enjoy their travels in the comfort of the Fellowship Hall as they share with us through pictures, slides, videos, and artifacts their many trips across the United States and around the world. Through their memories and the visuals they have shared, many of us have been to Africa, Peru, Norway, Bahrain, Dubai, and China, to name a few of the places our presenters have taken us. We have appreciated their time in preparing and presenting to ensure that we have an entertaining time and a learning experience.
Presbyterians love to eat, but, then, doesn't everyone!! And, timing has everything to do with meals! Church begins at 9:00 at Hideaway; hence, breakfast at 10:00! Church begins at 11:00 in Kimberling City; hence, luncheon begins at noon once a month! However, on special occasions, such as holiday services, breakfast can be cancelled at Hideaway, or Pot Luck can be cancelled at Kimberling City--we are flexible! Meals are an important time of fellowship at both locations.
A special pot-luck at Kimberling City! Each Thanksgiving, those whose family members can no longer gather together with them for one reason or another, or you just want to come, we gather together at the church to be with each other for the holiday. One person fixes the turkey, and the others bring the side dishes and all the other trimmings. They enjoy being together in God's house to express their gratitude for all their blessings on a very special American holiday.
Game nights provide a special evening of fellowship with no business to attend to, no agenda to follow, just get out the games, and let's play!! Oh yeah, there's food, too! The once-a-month Game Night is a popular time for all ages. Everyone has their favorite game, but everyone is also willing to try someone else's favorite one. It's a "come one-come all" time for fun.
Living in close proximity to so many entertainment possibilities makes it fun for the Fellowship Committee members to plan many and diverse off-campus outings to nearby shows, dinner theatres, and spiritual development opportunities as well. Committee members stay on the look-out for advertisements for area appreciation events. Then, they advertise by word of mouth and in the Tower to organize groups, dinners and travel arrangements. For a number of years, dinners for six and dinners for eight were organized and held in the homes of members. People signed up to host the dinners, and then others signed up to attend.
Activities might also include special holiday outings including dinners to places such as Dogwood Canyon at Christmas time. In this way, the church family is together for the holiday to give thanks for God's goodness. Being together for social events "off-campus" adds another dimension to our Christian friendship and relationships.
St. Andrew Presbyterian Church celebrated a 40th Anniversary in 2006, and, most recently, a 50th Anniversary celebration in 2016. Many thanks are due to countless people for this most recent celebration, especially the Anniversary Committee. Commemorative services were held at both Hideaway and Kimberling City campuses with special activities of a different type at each with all being reminiscent of our history. Many guests, including former pastors and former members were in attendance.
A book, OUR HISTORY, St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, 1966-2016, ONE CONGREGATION/ ONE CHURCH, UNITED IN CHRIST was written by the committee members and was made available for sale. This latest anniversary celebration is fresh in our memories as a wonderful tribute to our history, our pastors, and all our members-past, current, and future as God has been, is, and always will be our Guide and our Leader.
Carols, Cookies, and Cocoa-the very words themselves make us think of Christmas! And, this is, indeed, a December activity-a time to get together to sing songs of Christ's birth, of the joy and reason for our important Christian holiday! So, we gather 'round the piano and sing the songs of the season, drink hot chocolate, eat cookies and fellowship together, counting our blessings over the birth of our Savior.
Men from both congregations (Hideaway and Kimberling City) meet monthly at Donnie’s Restaurant in Branson West for a dutch treat breakfast and meeting. It is a social and planning time one hour each month. In addition to fellowship, planning for men sponsored events takes place and a time to update each other on prayer concerns, church activities and needs at both locations. The bylaws are set up for sharing the funds and leadership with both congregations. Come once and you are a member! The men collect dues of a whopping $1 each meeting for those present.
The men (and women) work year round amassing items for the yearly garage sale. The men do the heavy gathering from various and sundry locations and the setting up and pricing work of the furniture, electrical gadgetry, and outdoor equipment of all kinds downstairs, and the shelving in the Fellowship Hall area. The women do the organizing, arranging and pricing of the clothing, kitchenware, jewelry, and other miscellaneous items brought for sale. All these organizational matters must be done before the actual sale begins. Each year the proceeds from the sale bring in from $7,000.00 -$12,000.00. Sometimes this money is designated for special repairs or other causes but goes into the Men's Fellowship fund in the general budget. The sales are normally held on the second and third week-ends in September.
Cinco de Mayo/Chili Cook-off
On, or around, May 5th, the Men's Group challenges all the men of the church from both locations to bring their "best" chili recipe for the Annual Chili Cook-off held after the Sunday worship at Kimberling City. All in attendance vote by putting their money into a can marked with the name of the chili of their choice. The can with the most money is, of course, declared the best and favorite chili of the year. Money collected goes to the Men's Fellowship Fund and is used for the needs of the church building and grounds and/or other special needs as they might arise.
Valentine's Day Dinner
Each year on, or around, Valentine's Day, the men of the church treat the ladies to an evening of excellent food and good fun. They plan the menu, buy, prepare, serve the food, and clean up after the meal, sometimes with the assistance of the young ladies from the Gateways Home. Following the meal, entertainment is always provided by local groups from Branson and/or surrounding areas-sometimes the Possum Holler Fiddlers! It is always a treat for the ladies who enjoy being free of the kitchen responsibilities and the good-natured way in which they are served by the men.
Annual Picnic at Hideaway
Every fall, usually around the beginning to the middle of October, the Men's Group set up the barbecue pits and picnic tables at the Hideaway location, and prepare for the Annual Picnic. The Men's Group provides and cooks the meat and the ladies all bring a covered dish. The combined worship service and sermon is enjoyed to the wonderful whiffs of barbecue sauce wafting through the rafters! This is a time to revel in each other's company in the cool of the fall in the beautiful wooded surroundings with the lake close by. This has been the only Sunday of the year where Kimberling City comes to worship jointly in a combined service at Hideaway.
These special events do not come close to describing the activities of the Men's Group whose activities include so many "odd" jobs around the church and the donations from the money made to numerous projects for the church and the community. And, the same can be said for each group. So many people with big hearts wanting to do their best for as many as can be reached!