Sorry for the late post, but I just got back from one of my favorite events of the year! The annual Eastview staff Christmas party! This year we went to Alexanders and it was awesome. Seeing all those who do so much to make the ministry of Eastview happen each year with their spouses laughing and eating and sharing stories. It brings joy to my heart like a father with his children (I know that sounds old...but i guess i'm getting there). It's just a great chance to say thanks for all they do and to celebrate all that God is doing as he works so mightily at Eastview!
The other thing this annual party does is remind me of the journey. This is the 16th staff Christmas party since i've been at Eastview. 12 of those I was either the youth pastor or associate pastor, for the last four as the Sr. Pastor. A lot has changed in those years. That first year we went to Jim's Steakhouse (Biaggi's wasn't even around back then). The only remaining staff members from that first staff Christmas are me, Mark Warren, Sandi Knapp, Bill Leech, and Stephanie Shifflett. Great memories that I can't recall for you at this time...just smiling from ear to ear as I think of the journey.
The highlight of each year since I've been Sr. Pastor is the best decorated office for Christmas. We give cheap little prizes away, but everyone gets excited about hearing the winning entry - it's like winning the movie of the year at the oscars - only much smaller. Anyway, this year's winners were Dan Fulkerson with his toy train set up, Julie Heinold and Rachel Warren (they share an office) with peppermint shop, and Jason Sniff with family holiday (his whole family was there in pajamas there today for the judging).
Let me tell you, this staff at Eastview is awesome! You may not know it if you have not seen other church staffs, but I've seen dozens of churches all over the country in these last 25 years and I wouldn't trade these people for anything. Tell them how much you love them next time you see them!
And did I mention skillet cookies...now that's a merry christmas celebration.