The Sunday service at the York, Pa., Grace Brethren Church took a little different turn on October 19 as Pastor Dan White suspended part of the regular worship to perform the wedding ceremony of Tracy E. Garrod and David L. Thomas.
With the blessing of the church leadership and regular morning worship attenders, Pastor Dan modified the schedule, including extending the time about 15 minutes.
“I preached a sermon from Colossians 3:12-17 – Relationships That Will Stand the Test of Time. After several songs, we transitioned into the wedding service with the couple and me,” he recalls.
The worship service included favorite songs of the bride, who is a member of the church, and the groom, who is completing the membership process. “The two-song/hymn set before the wedding was Holy, Holy, Holy followed by Amazed.”
By the end of the songs, the couple was standing before the pastor. “I transitioned into the wedding section by saying that one of the most amazing things is that a holy God would love us,” he says. “But, right up there is that two imperfect people would be willing to choose to love each other. Yet it can be done, as evidenced by the section of the Scriptures from which I had just preached.”
The normal Sunday School/Adult Bible Fellowship hour was eliminated so a reception could be held. “As can be expected, it was not an elaborate spread like reception meals have become,” says the pastor. “It was just cake, drinks, condiments, salties, etc.,” he adds. “The congregation assembled downstairs to begin while the wedding party took pictures upstairs.”
Pastor Dan reports that their attendance was up for the day, attributing it to the fact that family and friends came to support the couple.
“It went well,” he reports. “It is not something that you do every week; but I do not think our church will forget it any too soon.”