Longevity Honored in Billings

The Billings Church has living proof that a healthy lifestyle along with a trust in God provides full and long lives. On March 22, the church honored its 22 members who are in their 90s. John Bryson, Billings Church pastor, preached a sermon extolling the virtues of proclaiming God’s love to another generation and showed pictures of each person taken over the years. Flowers were presented to each one, and a special banquet was prepared following the service. The honorees sat at a long table before the other members while interesting stories were shared about each one.

Of those over 80 years old in the Billings Church, half still volunteer in their church and community, serving on boards or acting as greeters, spiritual team leaders, committee members and foster parents. A third are still working full- or part-time, and most are still driving their own cars. Their hobbies include gardening, canning their own food, raising sheep and chickens, and doing light farming. Many are involved with the arts, from quilting to painting, at both on the amateur and professional levels. One couple in the group has been happily married for 65 years and two other couples for 64 years.

These people have seen so many changes in our world: from kerosene lamps to LED lighting, from Model Ts to SUVs, and from party lines to cell phones. And they have adapted to modern times with grace, wit and kind demeanors. They have faced wars, losses in their families, changes in our world’s finances and cancer. But they are still with us with smiles on their faces. Bryson spoke for the entire church when he said, “We honor you today, we are proud of you today, and we pray for many more years enjoying your presence with us.”

June 20, 2014 / Montana Conference