Hardly To Be Discerned

“Good and evil grow up together in the field of this world almost inseparably, and the knowledge of good is so involved and interwoven with the knowledge of evil, and in so many cunning resemblances hardly to be discerned, that those confused seeds which were imposed upon Psyche as an incessant labor to cull out and sort asunder were not more intermixed.” – John Milton, Areopagitica, 1644

A Shepherd’s Conference “Throwback Thursday” (and my baptism story — well, the funny bits). March 6, 2014

Filed under: Silliness! — Elizabeth @ 17:54

Don’t have a photo for this TBT, but here goes.

As the Shepherd’s Conference is in full swing today, I am reminded of how set-up went in the old days! For years, my mom would begin our homeschool year two weeks early in Autumn, JUST so that we could spend one week helping with setup and the second week serving during the conference. I LOVED being a “go-fer” running hither, thither, and yon for all manner of errands.

We learned about sacrificing our time to make a big event happen. We learned about doing whatever was asked of us as well and quickly as we could. We learned how to interact with guests from foreign lands, some of whom barely spoke English. And so much more!

–In the room across from the kitchen (the kitchen by the Fireside Room), we spent a whole day walking around and around a huge square of tables, collating  all the attendees’ conference materials for the week into massive blue 3-ring binders.

–Used a paper-cutter to turn stacks of paper into all of the individual name-tags!

–Put hours and hours into sliding each name-tag into a plastic holder with a pin on the back, while trying not to seriously puncture a finger.

–Served sit-down dinners in the gymnasium; way back when ALL the visiting pastors FIT in the gym, even sitting around tables! (And I tripped on the blue floor-covering and dumped an entire plate of spaghetti *splat!* into the lap of a German church leader. Zum Glück war er sehr nett!)

–The Master’s Chorale would sing and I would sit enraptured, hoping beyond hope that I could sing in that group someday. (A wish that came true!) This hasn’t really changed. =}

–One year on a day during setup week, I was sent from the kitchen up to Dr. MacArthur’s office with his lunch, not realizing I’d forgotten to include any cutlery. He said, rather tentatively as I turned to go, “Thanks! Hey Elizabeth could uh, could I please have a fork?”  Oops.

Lastly, in March of 1999 when the attendance had doubled since the years of my childhoood, I was baptized at the Shepherd’s Conference. They always have an extra-long baptism service, and it’s a wonderful, solemn, yet joyful time. Typically the women go first, and then all the men. But I’d been tagged onto the schedule at the last minute, and was set to go at the very end after the men (because Dr. MacArthur was going to step out of the water and my dad, who was on pastoral staff at the time, was to come baptize me).

Unfortunately, John . . . forgot.

He baptized the last guy, and began winding down toward a final prayer. There dad and I are, literally waiting in the wings in our fluffy white robes, and dad quietly says “Psssst, John. John!” He stopped mid-sentence and turned around, not-so-mild surprise on his face. Then turns back to the mic, jovially saying:

“I’m so sorry, we have one more!”

So at the tender age of 14 and not much keen on public speaking, I walked out there to the sound of ~4,000 men belly-laughing . . .

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