When we read Joshua 4:1-14, we learn of the experience of the nation of Israel crossing the Jordan River and finally entering the Promised Land. This was the pinnacle of their 40-year journey through the wilderness. During their journey, they met many challenges, fell and failed often, but were always led by God. As they passed over the dry Jordan River, Joshua commanded each of the tribal leaders to take a large rock and pile them upon each other as a monument. As this happened, I imagine that it was a moment of awe and celebration for the nation of Israel. This monument would be a sign of God’s faithfulness and guidance for generations to come.
This week, we at NorthPark Presbyterian Church also reach a pinnacle as we celebrate 150 years in serving the Lord together as a church. Just like the Israelites, we have gone through trials, joys, and many leaders. As we reach our pinnacle, we’ll celebrate by sharing a large meal together and will hear from dignitaries, former leaders, and current members. We’ll enjoy video presentations of the history of NorthPark. We’ll celebrate the years gone by and the many facets that make up NorthPark Presbyterian Church.
At our Pinnacle Worship Service on Sunday, we’ll witness an Olympic-style torch relay and enjoy special music by the choir. We’ll hear a special 150th Anniversary message from Rev. Brent Barry as well as proclamations from past members and leaders. We’ll celebrate Communion together, realizing that this past 150 years has been all about being God’s people, called by God. Finally, looking into the future, we’ll move into the new SoulFood Greenhouse for a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Having this future vision is important. When the Israelites laid the stones on the bank of the Jordan, it was a monument to the past. But, it was also a symbol of the future. They were new people in a strange land. They still had battles to fight. They had to portion out the land and settle it. And through it all, they still had to trust in God, who led them through the wilderness.
That is why our 150th Pinnacle Celebration looks at the past, present, and future of NorthPark. As the oldest Presbyterian church in Dallas, we realize that we have come a very long way. However, there is still plenty work yet to do. We hope and pray that our Lord will lead us in new endeavors as we continue to serve God, our fellow humans in Dallas, and beyond. We invite you to come celebrate with us and join us on our journey.
Suthee Thumasathit is a Thailand native who grew up in Iowa and is now practices internal medicine for Texas Health Resources. He is a leader in NorthPark's Thai Fellowship and a current NorthPark Presbyterian elder.