I've heard of Christmas in July, but
Independence Day celebrations in September?! Sunday evening, watching an amazing
fireworks show at the Koka Booth Amphitheatre, I couldn’t help wondering what
the people of west Cary must be thinking if they heard the explosions and
happened to be outside to see the colorful display. Some were probably confused
and checked their calendars. No, it’s not the Fourth of July—the big show was
the grand finale of a weekend-long celebration of Colonial’s Twenty-fifth
Anniversary! Conclusion: We know how to celebrate!
With the threat of rain finally gone, blue skies peeking out, and warm breezes
blowing, thousands of Colonial members, regular attenders, and their families
and guests flooded the amphitheatre Sunday evening, September 25. An estimated
4000 people gathered for a rare opportunity for our whole church family to be
together in one place at the same time. Dr. Burggraff welcomed those gathered
for an evening of picnicking, listening to music and celebrating, and then the
Colonial orchestra, conducted by Colonial’s Director of Music Ministries, Gary
Hallquist, wowed us!
We all know what a great job they do on Sunday mornings, but who knew that they
had such a wide range! From the theme of Pirates of the Caribbean to a medley of
themes from old Westerns, each piece was well performed, entertaining, and fun.
Of course we knew we were going to have fun when Gary had an assistant place a
parrot on his shoulder and a pirate hat on his head and he introduced the
Pirates theme followed by, “All God’s people said: ‘Arrrgh!’” Along with the
Colonial Orchestra, we also had the opportunity to hear the winner of Saturday’s
Colonial’s Got Talent competition perform. Sarah Summers sang and played the
piano, demonstrating why she was the competition’s winner.
Midway through the evening Pastor Davey came on stage and asked, “How many are
here from the eight o’clock service?” A thunderous response garnered a bit of
skepticism. “There aren’t that many people in the eight o’clock!” he said.
(Perhaps we were so loud because we were awake?) As he asked about the other two
services, we realized how special it was that most of the Colonial family was
gathered all at one time, and we realized that there weren’t quite as many
strangers at this event as we first thought—just family members we hadn’t had an
opportunity to meet.
Pastor Davey also welcomed our visitors saying, “We know who you are!” He
continued with: “We know you were created by the one God of the universe . . .
We know you can have life with meaning.” He explained the wonder of the Gospel
message and said, “Life has had great meaning [for me] because I surrendered to
Him [Jesus].” The very foundation of Colonial’s 25-year history has been Sola
Scriptura, the Scriptures Alone. How fitting to introduce our guests to the
Messiah of the Scriptures and invite them to be a part of our family and be a
part of what God has in store for Colonial in the future.
After a rousing musical conclusion of Sousa marches (conducted by Jon Milton) and
the 1812 Overture, the 20-minute firework show was one to rival any July 4th
spectacular. Every time we thought the grand finale must be next, there was
another display of color! But, as exciting as the fireworks show and concert
were, those were only part of a very special weekend of celebrating what God has
done in 25 years at Colonial. The Family Fun Fest and time capsule dedication on
Saturday, having Dr. Erwin Lutzer deliver a message on The Greatness of a Church
during Sunday morning services, presenting Pastor Davey and his family with a
special gift of appreciation, letters of congratulations from people in his life
past and present (including one really memorable contribution from his
grade-school teacher, Mrs. Jolly), and presenting a rosewood-carved plaque
commemorating the anniversary celebration all combined for one very memorable
weekend of being thankful and celebrating what God has done.
“For Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the heavens, You who have done great
things; O God, who is like You?” Psalm 71:19 (NAS)