OHIO—Members from seven congregations in the Northeast region gathered in Moraine from January 20-21 for the annual Midwest family weekend, traveling from across Ohio and from Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
More than 150 attended Sabbath services at a civic center near Dayton, hearing a sermonette by Abraham Blondeau outlining specific ways to pray for Dr. Eilat Mazar’s current archaeological excavation in Jerusalem and a sermon by Northeast Regional Director Cal Culpepper focusing on important lessons from God’s history with Jerusalem. Preaching Elder Victor Vejil delivered a Bible study on why Jerusalem is the mother of us all, drawing on the experience of the recent birth of his daughter.
Following services, the congregations shared a festive meal and a family game night activity. Brethren split into 12 teams to compete in three challenges. The first was a trivia game featuring questions on the Bible, geography, history, Americana, music and the life of Herbert W. Armstrong. The second was to build the tallest freestanding tower out of straws, paper, spaghetti, balloons and a small amount of tape. (The winning tower rose to a height of 60 inches.) The third challenge had two team members looking at and describing a picture, while the rest of the team members drew it from their descriptions. At the end, Team 2 was awarded “the greatest prize they could imagine,” which was going first in the lunch line on Sunday.
Deacon Mark Pozorski, from Elkhart, Indiana, said, “It was a great lesson in teamwork, and it was great opportunity getting to know those on the team better.”
Sunday’s main event was a pine car derby where 63 pine cars registered by adults and children competed for awards in creativity and speed in a double-elimination tournament. As the derby narrowed down to the final races, everyone’s focus shifted to the food contest.
This year, the contest was “bring your best spaghetti sauce in a crockpot.” Eight judges took two rounds of judging 28 sauces. The “sauce boss” winner for 2018 was Cincinnati-Dayton congregation member Maria Buckner.
Following the contest, members tasted sauce entries during a spaghetti lunch, with the final races for the pine car derby taking place afterward.
The final activity of the weekend was a cakewalk, where random winners received a total of 17 prizes ranging from cupcakes to baking utensils.
“I believe the winter socials are great tools for building God Family unity among the brethren and in the congregations,” Mr. Culpepper said. “It gives us a chance to grow in family oneness we all need. When the brethren leave the winter socials on a high and inspired, then we had a successful Church event.”
Pine Car Derby Creativity Winners
1st place: Y’s Greatest Joy, 5-year-old Kariah (accepted by Mona Frampton) / 2nd place: Owleen, 10-year-old Hannah Adams / 3rd place: Speed Star, 10-year-old Caleb.
1st place: Daniel 2 Image, 16-year-old Daniel / 2nd place: The Knowledge Shelf, 13-year-old Michael / 3rd place: Winner Winner Chicken Dinner, 17-year-old David.
1st place: The Book Mobile, Mark Pozorski / 2nd place: Crown Royal, Laurel Flory / 3rd place: Nothing Special, Joel Sander
Pine Car Derby Race Winners
1st place: Speed Star, 10-year-old Caleb/ 2nd place: Tiger Stripes Claw, 5-year-old Ezra / 3rd place: Mine Car Driver, 11-year-old Brenda.
1st place: Daniel 2 Image, 16-year-old Daniel / 2nd place: Soundtrack, 14-year-old Jeremiah/ 3rd place: The Ugly Duckling Strikes Again, 16-year-old Dustin.
1st place: Don’t Worry be Happy, Barbara Pozorski / 2nd place: Crown Royal, Laurel Flory / 3rd place: Penny, Scott Flory.
Spaghetti Sauce Contest Winners
1st place: Maria Buckner
2nd place: Barbara Swain
3rd place: Jordanya Blondeau