Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Ryley Winter Festival 2009 – Men For God

Men gearing up for the game
Pastor Bill Olson

On Friday evening, January 30, 2009, after a wonderful sunny day of above 0°C temperatures, the week was drawing to a close with an absolutely gorgeous sunset. We had just endured a lengthy and long cold snap! The sun was setting with red, pink, orange, and yellow displayed towards the west. This memorable and breath taking sunset was to be the beginning of a very special Sabbath and weekend…The 19th Ryley Winter Festival.

 Friday evening vespers was held at the Ryley SDA Church as many gathered to hear our very special guest speaker for the weekend.  Elder Bill Olson, former Alberta Conference President, highlighted God’s Word throughout the Sabbath in three messages—Friday vespers, Divine Service, and Saturday evening vespers. Elder Olson’s chosen theme for the weekend was entitled “Men for God.”  His topic was very suited for such an event. Pastor Bill chose to highlight three men from the Bible, Joseph, Peter, and Daniel, that were Men for God. Even though Pastor Bill was directing his messages particularly to the men of the congregation, he also made it clear that his messages were for the ladies of the audience as well. All those that came were invited to bring their instruments, and they gathered together in the front row to enhance the Sabbath worship with their talented play. It is our goal to have many who play to come, where we can have a full sized band playing along with those in song praising and worship our Great God. Amen!!!

 The weekend was once again a success and a huge blessing to those fellowshipping together. Approximately 125 were in attendance with many traveling great distances—from out of province and even out of country to be in Ryley for this event.After Sabbath came to a close, Pastor Bill was presented his very own Hwy 14 Crusaders hockey jersey with his name and number 09 given to him as a gesture of our appreciation. We then traveled ½ hour north to Mundare to participate either by playing or watching three games of good sportsmanship hockey. Christians playing—“Christian hockey.” Pastor Bill was also present to drop the ceremonial puck between team captains and opening prayer. Six more games were played for most of Sunday. We had six teams participating:  Doug’s Slugs, Trevor’s Roadrunners, Robin’s Suby Doos, Merna (Sedgewick SDA team), Ole Sea Dogs, and the host team, The Hwy 14 Crusaders. Each year the “Pastor Roy Jamieson Most Sportsmanship Award” is given to the team that exhibits the best sportsmenship (“Christ-like” attitude) throughout all the three games that each team plays. Chosen by the two referees, this year, it was awarded to Doug’s Slugs. They have been playing in this event since the beginning in 1991 and have won this prestige award many, many times. Doug and his “slugs” are from Edmonton and area and are a rec team that we have enjoyed to get to know over the years. Congratulations!!

Many thanks to all that participated and helped to make this event such a success. There is always so much to do for such an event to take place and it could not happen without you all!! Thank you!!!

 Plan to help celebrate with us our 20th anniversary of this great Alberta winter event, January 29-31, 2010, in Ryley, Alberta…See you then!!

 Kent Grinde


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