20th March, 2022
Tony and Irene Williams first came in contact with the Guildford Church a few years back when they attended a branch Sabbath School that was running every Sabbath morning in a neighbouring suburb. After attending church meetings for a while, they stopped coming until several months ago, when they decided to make Guildford Church their home church. We have enjoyed their fellowship very much and were delighted when they decided to be baptised. Although both had been baptised previously, they felt that they were missing something in their former baptisms, and desired to make a new start in their Christian experiences by being rebaptised.
The day arrived, and we gathered on the banks of the Swan River, where we have held so many baptisms in the past. We always gather at a sandy beach that gently dips into the water to the perfect depth for baptism. Br. Luke spoke on the significance of baptism and described the inner change that the outer rite symbolised. Tony and Irene were beaming with smiles as they came up from immersion, and the rest of us were just as happy as we welcomed them into fellowship.
We all went back to the church, where many people had been busy all morning preparing for the next event on the program: renewal of Tony & Irene’s wedding vows. They had a civil ceremony when they were married 10 years ago, after a courtship in which a large mango tree owned by Irene featured quite heavily. Tony loves mangoes, and he jokes that he married her for the mango tree. As their 10th anniversary approached, they decided they wanted to have a church wedding renewal, and we were only too happy to oblige.
Irene said that she didn’t want everyone to go to too much trouble, but everyone decided they would go to a great deal of trouble to make the wedding special. So many people pitched in to make the occasion a blessed one for this beautiful couple. When Tony and Irene walked down the aisle, it was into a church decorated liberally with Catherine’s beautiful fresh flowers. Afterward there was a reception in the hall featuring rice and curry in a nod to Tony’s Indian heritage. Chloe and Jade’s beautifully decorated cake and lovely table arrangements set the stage for a memorable celebration. Irene said to Catherine that next time she will tell everyone to go all out, since telling us not to go to too much trouble had the opposite effect and perhaps it would be a bit more subdued if she gave us permission to make a big fuss. Tony and Irene both expressed how happy they were to have such a welcoming church family, and said they were overwhelmed with the love and warmth. Their church family feel equally blessed to have them officially part of their number.
~ Reported by Inneka Lausevic