Vancouver Church is Still Growing… Beards and All

Gene Heinrich, Vancouver Church associate pastor of evangelism and family ministries, made a bold appeal from the pulpit for the men to grow their beards. He was soliciting would-be disciples for the church's first-ever Last Supper re-enactment. Twelve men and Heinrich himself took the challenge. For Communion Sabbath, March 31, the group performed the re-enactment for both church services.

Heinrich made an extra effort to replicate as much as possible the biblical event. He arranged for the disciples to be in a reclining position seated at a triclinium, or three-sided table, a traditional biblical plan. During the Passover meal, it was ritual duty to recline at a table as a symbol of freedom. This accounts for the description of John "reclining on Jesus' chest" John 13:23.

Vegetables and bread were served as silverware, plates, and napkins. Lamb stew, better known as Fri-Chick stew, was the main entrée. Mud, or haroseth, a dip made mostly of cinnamon, apples, honey, and nuts was served to resemble the mud mortar of Egyptian bondage. Also served were bitter herbs, leeks, olives, dried fruits, grape juice and even baked eggs, an ancient symbol of suffering. Since water was carried from the well, they did not use it to boil eggs.

When Jesus finished washing each of the disciples' feet, the church family followed His example and washed each other's feet. After the church family regrouped, Jesus broke bread and shared his cup with the disciples. The church family then participated in communion and closed with singing Shalom.

The following Easter Sabbath, Jeff Richards, assistant youth pastor, used a jail scene to show how lies imprison us. Members then had the opportunity to nail lies they believed on the cross of Jesus and go to His empty tomb where they received scriptures of hope and freedom.

August 01, 2007 / Oregon Conference