This morning is a momentous moment in the life of our church family. Yes, it is the unofficial beginning of summer (and we might actually get to see some sun, though I’m not counting on it). But that’s not what makes this day so special. Today is officially CELEBRATE THE JUNKERMANN FAMILY DAY. Yes, it is historic. And I’m being serious (for a change).

It was in June of 1998 that Bruce and Laura came to our church officially as staff. Haley was just over a year old (four months past a year). And Mercy? Well, she wouldn’t come around for another year. The small family of three packed up their possessions in San Diego and ventured north to the South Bay. Twenty. Years. Ago.

We’ve seen a lot of change in the church and in their lives over these past 20 years. Not only did they add to their family, but we got to watch them grow up. And this church has added to its family, and we have been able to enjoy solid spiritual growth in the process. For most of his tenure, Bruce has overseen our ministry to children and families. It was a long and significant ministry, enabling us to grow families to reach their world, and beyond. Lately, Bruce has made his mark felt in the discipleship and adult ministry of the church. He is a man with a plan, and we are reaping the fruit of his vision these days.

Now, we thought of all kinds of ways we could remember Bruce and his contributions to Peninsula. We could have decorated his office in the manner and zeal with which he re-decorated mine over the course of many years. But I vetoed that. You are welcome, Bruce.

I wanted to supply him with a year’s supply of all kinds of things, like he did for me a while back. I think one jar of pickles, one can of split pea soup, and a pound of tofu would have lasted a whole year in his pantry. Maybe a decade. And maybe one $5 gift card to Yellow Fever could have lasted the year, except the rest of the staff likes to go there. But alas, I vetoed that idea as well. And we just couldn’t afford a year’s worth of gift certificates to Wienerschnitzel. We’d be broke. So, the staff has been in a bit a quandary.

What did we decide to do? Well, you’ll just have to wait and see. But there is nothing more significant that we could do than to reassure Bruce, Laura, Haley, and Mercy of our love and continued prayer and support for their family and their ministry among us. Today is a day to do that. And we’ll ask everyone to join us as we remind them clearly of our love and of our support for God’s work in them and through them.

So, we celebrate 20 years of life lived together. Faithfully. Wisely. Joyfully. Reliably. All those characteristics are rare in our world, and so today we look to God and thank Him for that decision twenty years ago. What a wild run it’s been! To God be the glory.