There are a lot of reasons the Pastor Emeritus at my church retains his popularity. I think one of the main reasons is that he is one of the most unchanging people I know, and I mean that in a good way.
Several weeks ago we heard that Pastor had been asked to officiate at a wedding in Jacksonville, Florida. (200 miles from here MOL). The story I heard was that he had baptized the groom years ago at Palm Grove Church. This young couple had won a Dream Wedding from a local television station and when it came to deciding on who should perform the ceremony they asked Pastor. The wedding was to be televised live on the sponsoring station.
Today was the day and I watched the live feed on the Internet with interest. Would Pastor be nervous? Would the couple ask for some strange ceremony? Would there be room for Pastor's style to show through? I was impressed that Pastor looked and sounded like he always does. The ceremony was quite traditional, and it moved along apace. It was held at a beach front resort hotel, out on a deck sea-view side. It was nice to see a newer symbolic covenant made by the couple. Everyone in the world must know the one with the two candles lighting a third and then being blown out. Probably a lot of people know about the Sand Ceremony too, but I hadn't seen it. The mothers of the bride and groom came in together each carrying a glass cylinder, one looked white, the other beige. After the vows and the rings, the bride and groom each picked up their cylinder, and together poured them into a third container. Two different people blending together inseparably in marriage. Pastor narrated and illuminated the actions.
His recommendations to the couple: Pray together, take the next three weeks to read the Gospel of John - a chapter a day, and worship together.
We love Pastor because of his predictability, his unchanging faith, his positive nature.