Renewed Vows Affirm Commitment

Post a Comment » Written on April 20th, 2006     
Filed under: News
By Stan Friedman

REDWOOD CITY (April 20, 2006) – Chris and Phyllis Perry have been married 56 years. Chris and Heather Davidson have been married a little over seven months. Recently, the two couples were among more than 100 individuals who declared “I still do” during a renewal of their marriage vows at Peninsula Covenant Church.

Glenn and Rita Stewart “It was a tremendous evening,” says Daisy Segal, ministry partner to Senior Pastor Gary Gaddini. “It was so wonderful to see people so passionate about their marriage. It was a refreshing and uplifting night.”

Gaddini has been preaching a series on marriage, and the staff thought the renewal service would be a good way to live out the first message on renewing the marriage covenant, says Segal, who coordinated the evening.

“People were all just very surprised at how meaningful it was,” Segal says. “A couple of the guys said of their own weddings, that it was just a blur. This gave them a chance to hear what they were really committing to.”

Most of the couples were from the church, although some were from the broader community. Segal says one couple brought their parents, who didn’t attend the church, to witness the ceremony, only to have the parents decide when they arrived that they wanted to participate as well.

Segal says the service was easy to pull together. The ceremony included old love songs from the 1940s to the 1970s that played while slides of the couples were projected. Gaddini gave a meditation based on the Song of Solomon, after which he invited all the couples to come forward, face each other, and say their vows.

One man who had been married more than 40 years told Segal, “I can’t remember when the last time was that I looked into my wife’s eyes that long.” He added he would be doing so more often.

Yvonne and Todd Gumbrecht Following the vows, the couples read prayers on the back of the bulletin and then took part in communion and a time of prayer. The couples then returned to the pews, where the husbands and wives shared memories of their weddings. Gaddini then pronounced them “renewed in their vows.” Segal says the service was designed to take half an hour, but lasted 45 minutes because of the large number of people.

The couples had been encouraged to make the evening special by going out for dinner afterward, but some did more. One care group ate dinner before the ceremony and then had a wedding reception at someone’s house afterward, Segal says.

The next day, church member Paula Conlon had called a friend to tell her about the evening. The friend then replied, “I’ll hang up – you’re on your honeymoon!”

Editor’s note: the top photo shows Glenn and Rita Stewart, married 47 years. The lower photo shows Yvonne and Todd Gumbrecht.

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