first friday picnic, baptism, and bible study at our place


Mat 18:20 “For wherever two or three people have come together in my name, I am there, right among them!”


We had about fifty people from our church family, and neighbors, come to our house on Friday for a church cook out, baptism, and Bible study.   As the hostess, I was happily busy trying to make sure the little details of the night came together (with lots of help from friends), but still made sure to take some pictures.  Rich and I hope to continue these “First Friday” (of the month) bible studies as much as we are able.  This was our very first one.

(The picture up there ^^ was when Rich was giving general information and the prayer from the front porch)


We put the food on the kitchen island.  My plan was to keep the meal simple, making sure that we had a good amount for the crowd.  I made hamburgers (meat from Costco, mixed with plenty of salt and pepper, onion and garlic powder, finely chopped onion and red pepper).  Rich grilled them on our new charcoal grill. We put hotdogs down at the fire pit for people to roast.  We also served tossed salad and chips, a bowl of olives, and whatever else people brought to share (potato salad, quinoa salad, coleslaw, fruit, etc).  Our guests provided the drink and dessert.



Our son Jacob, with his “second parents” Chris and Caroline who live just a few miles from us.  They have two teenagers who have grown up with my older kids.



Anna and her friend.



Anna’s (family) dog



Six children on the plane; there were kids swarming everywhere.   These church gatherings are great for them, because they can run wild.


Boys on trampoline.



dear sweet Shannon ~



David’s best friend from school came with his parents.  Dave thought he would be funny and photobomb this one.



Ryan spent the night.



Alex and Jacob



Alex and his wife Sara


We were all down at the pond getting ready for the baptism when I took these.



crazy teenage boys (except Michael; not a teenage boy, still crazy though)



Allie, with my daughter Grace, Alysha, and baby Asher





Shannon, Sue, Naomi (whose daughter was baptized), and Bev



Lydia, Barb, Tina, and Fran



Hope and her baby girl



They set up the sound system on the dock and we sang hymns along with John’s fabulous guitar playing.



During one hymn I ran up to the house to get Vanessa a juice box and took this picture on the way back.



Gary in the pond, with Stacia, who gave a lovely testimony of her salvation.





We were all so happy to share in Stacia’s special night.



Rich gave a bible study down on the patio (I was on the porch looking down)….



I stayed in the house to help watch babies and after the study was over the house filled back up again.   People ate dessert and visited while the children (and some of us adults, too) tried their best to hear The Lego Movie playing on TV.  The night ended about about 10.  Rich and I were wide awake from the excitement of the night so we buzzed around cleaning up the house together, and Jacob took this picture of us.



It ended up being one of those nights that we stayed up talking until after midnight.  It was a great.

Thank you to all who came out, and hope to see you (and more) next time!

20 thoughts on “first friday picnic, baptism, and bible study at our place

    • Thank you, Doris, I think this is just the type of gathering you would love….I also enjoy all your posts on FB and the blog about the fellowship you have with other believers. It’s SUCH a blessing to be surrounded by the people, isn’t it?

  1. Best picture of you guys ever! You look happy and content and in love! The picture of a “band” on your dock struck me as funny! So cool that you had a baptism in your pond! Was it cold? Thinking how cool it is that you are going to Pastor Gary’s church. Loved the hole in the sock on the trampoline, very real life! I also think it is cool that it is first Friday, I am sure everyone had a great time, your house is one of my favorite places on earth! I know this is all so random, just dumping my thoughts! 🙂 Love you friend!

    • I always love your random thoughts. I’m so glad you liked the picture, and that you and I both have good, settled and true marriages with our husbands. It’s such a blessing. The band on the dock truly was funny, I was making comments about that one under my breath, it was Gary’s idea, I heard. LOL

  2. Wow! That looked like some super fellowship! What a wonderful opportunity you had and looks like a blessed time!
    I remember coming to your house sitting on the deck with you back in the days vividly.
    Wish we could get back there and visit!!

    • Someday you will come and visit or I will come and see you in Virginia! Thank you, B, for always being encouraging to me along the way. love you.

  3. Looks like a perfect night of food, fun, and fellowship. You two are the bestest hosts! The pond was a perfect place for a baptism. Great photo of you two. Hugs, Jen

    • Jen, the pond was a little cold and Gary was a little unsure of the footing (there are rocks and slopes and such) but it all went smoothly. I think baptisms outside are just so lovely. I hope to someday have my kids (the ones who still need it) be baptized in our pond. Maybe even by their dad!

  4. How I loved reading and seeing your photos, Shanda! What a special time of blessing for you all! This brings back a very sweet memory for me …. our son was baptized in a similar way, with loving friends and our church family around … and as with your day, there was lots of food, instruments set up for music and singing, reading from the scriptures, then testimonies and the baptisms. A total of 3 were baptized that day, our son being one of them, in a big old antique horse watering trough … there was only a shallow stream running alongside their property and nary a pond in site, but that old trough was perfect!! I still remember the prayers, the voices in song, the smiles, and the the joy of seeing our son along with the others on their special day. It’s a day that is etched in my memory forever! Thank you for sharing this with us, too! 🙂

    • Debi, that all sounds so wonderful. I’m glad it triggered that memory and that you shared it with me. I would love to see pictures, especially of the old trough. Hugs.

    • It is a little extra work to plan and prepare and pull off these things, but always so very worth it! I’m still smiling over it! hugs, Shannon!

  5. Your life is so full and rich (no pun intended). I think it’s very cool that you had the baptism in your pond. I was baptized in a river when I was a pre-teen. Such wonderful memories you are making. I like the idea of letting people roast their hotdogs of the pit.

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