I’m gonna break from my normal Monday “sports-themed” posting, because frankly I haven’t been thinking about sports too much in the last week. Here at Wichita Bible Church (WBC), we had a very busy week that culminated in an exhausting and edifying weekend. So I thought I would post a little wrap-up from the two major events at our church this past week.
The Women’s Conference
On Friday night and Saturday morning, we had a mini-conference with my mother, Susan Heck, as the guest speaker. The conference was entitled “Side by Side,” and was geared to look at the distinctives of discipleship for women from Titus 2. Here are some take-aways from that conference.
- I am stunned how many people worked so hard to make this conference happen. If there is one thing I have learned about WBC since I have been here, it is this: people love to serve. Bodies were moving non-stop from three days before the conference to cleaning up and tearing down the set up when the conference was ended. Our women at WBC love to serve one another and our church is the better for it.
- I am very encouraged by the feedback I have got so far from women about the content of my mom’s two sessions. A number of them are saying things like, “I really need to be more intentional in my relationships” or “where should I start looking for a disciple/disciple?” Prayers answered!!!!
- It would seem the Lord already has put certain women in place in our church to build from the momentum of this conference to begin planning more purposeful women’s ministry events in the short-term and long-term.
- My Mom told us on Friday night the two states she visits the most for women’s retreats and conferences are Florida (\Go figure!) and Kansas. With four churches within an hour of us that have hosted her (Wichita Bible Church, Cornerstone Bible Church, Grace Bible Church in Hutchinson and Cornerstone Bible Church in McPherson), we may be on to something as far as a larger conference in the future. Maybe partnering with them for such an endeavor would be a possibility?
Memorial Service for Rick Wright
As some of you know, one of our elders suddenly died of a heart attack this past Tuesday night. Rick was a passionate man who loved Jesus and the Gospel with great intensity. The service for him took place a short 90 minutes after our Women’s Conference. Here are some take-aways from the service, Rick and other related subjects.
- Rick was the Apostle Peter. He had sanctified madness in him! And I want that for myself.
- As I have told some people, I feel like my arm has been chopped off. I have never attended a memorial/funeral or led one where the one who had died was a church leader/pastor/elder. This was new for me. And Rick was not a passive shepherd; he was deeply involved in people and service. To lose him feels like losing more than a finger or two. It’s like losing your whole arm.
- The memorial service on Saturday afternoon was one-of-a-kind. And if I can say it this way, this ranks as my favorite memorial service I have ever attended! Rick wanted his service to be overflowing with worship music and upbea. And it was just that. Our worship team led us through many of his favorite songs (e.g., “My Savior My God”, “Cornerstone”, “Victory in Jesus”, “10,000 Reasons”, “Your Majesty”, “Our God,” “Risen Today”). Our auditorium was almost full and the singing was even fuller. In the back of my mind, I was thanking God he put it on Rick’s heart to make such a request for his memorial service.
- It was especially touching for me personally to listen to some audio during the service from this past summer when a panel of elders did a Q/A for the church on heaven and hell. A portion of Rick’s answer to the question about what heaven is like was played and Rick said something about there being so many assumptions we make but with confidence he said, “We will find out together.” I can’t wait to discover it with him.
- What a blessing his family has been to me. D’Annette (his wife), Rebekah and Elisabeth and Hannah (his three daughters) and David (his son-in-law) are real lovers of God and one another. Rick clearly had an infectious impact on them and seeing them comfort others, think of others, etc. taught me much about Jesus and how to grieve.
One more observation that summarizes something I saw from both events and people involved in their two events. On Wednesday night, we were working through some logistics for all this activity on Saturday and spokeswomen for both events (the Conference and the Memorial Service) were both wanting their events to not intrude upon or over the other. To hear and taste the humility of those speaking was such a blessing. I love to see Christians preferring one another.
All in all, the weekend was providential, but we had exactly the weekend God intended. We wrapped it up with a snowy Sunday and studied the mercy of God from Psalm 86.
Now, we are here on a quiet Monday and waiting to see what is next.