This past weekend I had the joy of attending my college friend Laurie's wedding in Kansas City. She had met a wonderful guy named Nick through physical therapy mission work while in graduate school. After they graduated, he moved to Kansas City, and after a few months they got engaged. Both are deeply involved in the Catholic Worker House close to where Laurie lives, and they got jobs at the same hospital doing PT work. So now they are married, and I'm so happy that she found such a perfect match for her.
I left early on Friday morning and had two flights and a long layover. The second flight was on a tiny plane, and with the turbulence we hit, I was sure the plane was going down. But alas, I made it! I stayed at Laurie's house, but didn't see her till late that evening since they had all the rehearsal stuff. So in the mean time I went out with her old Pasadena friends who were in town for the big day. We did an airport run, then went to eat at a Kansas BBQ restaurant that came highly recommended (even though it was actually at a gas station). Later we met up with the wedding party and all Laurie's roommates and hung out for a while. Then it was off to bed.
The next day was busy! I went to the reception site to help decorate, so we were wrapping napkins, making center pieces, hanging lights, etc. We returned to the house to eat lunch, sneak a peak at the bride before she headed off for pictures, then I got myself ready. Off to the ceremony we went! It was at an old church that had nice pews and stained glass windows. Laurie looked beautiful and happy. The sun was shinning. It was a great day. In the ceremony, the couple planted a tree, as both their families had done when they were born (what a coincidence), and the tree was going to be planted at the Catholic Worker House. We sang hymns, the pastor spoke, the vows were vowed, and then the kiss!
At the reception we enjoyed a fabulous Brazilian dinner prepared by Laurie's aunts (her dad and aunts grew up in Brazil as missionary children). Then her roommates band played some great music and I mingled. There were a few familiar faces, including Point Loma alums and old roommates Kelly and Leigh. For dessert they had a different item on every table that was made by a friend/family member of Laurie or Nicks. When it came time, we were supposed to wander and find what we wanted, and as we did meet some new people as we went. I had the apple pie made by Leigh. Delicious! Later there was the first dance, then some salsa dancing. Fun to watch, but didn't get the guts to participate. No fun when your dance partner isn't there. Then it was time to bid the couple farewell. I was sad that I didn't get to see Laurie more, but I know that's how it goes. I can look forward to the next time we meet up; maybe in Seattle? :) After some clean up, it was back to Laurie's house, where all the girls ate popcorn and watched When Harry Met Sally.
I was glad to return home to my family after a long day of travel the next day. Though the time in KC brought back great memories of my college days: living in a house full of girls, seeing familiar faces. It also reminded me of my time at Mid-City Church of the Nazarene, located in a very low income part of San Diego. I was brought back to the days of being involved in a true church community, where people from all walks, races, and incomes were welcome. Where people were so involved in each other's lives that you never felt alone. Where people were there for you in the happy times and times of grief. Where everyone was involved in serving the community. And there was no judgement. I wish all churches could embrace this type of community.
So, all in all, it was a wonderful weekend with lot of new memories and resurfaced ones as well. Congrats to the new couple. I know that together God is going to do wonderful things through you and your ministry together. Miss you already!