August Town’s Married Couples Journey to Spiritual Intimacy
Written by: O’Neil Harris | Friday, June 8, 2018
On Sabbath May 19, 2018, the August Town SDA Family Life Ministries Department staged a special and separate Ordinance of Humility Service (foot washing service) for the church’s married couples during the communion service. This special service was the second being held at the August Town Church and was labelled Journey to Spiritual Intimacy, which is a spin-off from the East Jamaica Conference’s Journey to Intimacy Seminar held in February 2018.
In readying themselves for this special service couples were encouraged to make their regular preparation for communion service but to also ensure that their marital unions were in an even higher state of harmony.
During the service each spouse washed the other’s feet. It was a blessing to see couples reverently performing this sacred rite with smiles as they conversed. This was a refreshing change for all couples as customarily this important Christian rite is performed with the sexes separate.
At the end of the ceremony, the Family Life Ministries Director, O’Neil Harris, gave a short charge in which he encouraged the couples to view holiness as the ultimate goal of their marriage and not just mere happiness.
“Happiness is fleeting...”, he said, “...but holiness is more eternal and brings something more everlasting- joy,” he continued.
Also, he encouraged each married person to look within him/herself and strive to be the right person in the marriage rather than making their focus on the other person, that is to say each married person should seek to make him/herself the target for self improvement rather than pointing out the faults of his/her partner. In order to strive for holiness and self improvement Bro Harris suggested that the Holy Scriptures provided an adequate guide in Galatians 5:22 & 23, the Fruits of the Spirit - love, joy, peace longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance. In addition, he asked the couples to pray for other members to remain faithful in their marriage vows until the death.
The ceremony ended with a special prayer by Claudette Harris, Assistant Family Ministries Director, with each couple holding hands and at the end, recommitted themselves to each other and to God.
Local Pastor of the August Town SDA Church, Romean Smith, and his wife Antoinette, married for seven and a half years, happily and prayerfully participated in the ceremony. Pastor Smith commented on the ceremony with special delight that he was privileged to share in the experience where he had the opportunity of washing his wife’s feet.
"While not being my first such service, it was refreshing to me and persons present. Such a service which is a welcome break from the normal practice, will only serve to strengthen marriages and families".
Melissa and Marlando Bailey, married for fourteen years, were also blessed by the service.
“We used it as an opportunity to recommit to God and to ourselves. It was quite refreshing and gave us an opportunity to search our hearts and humble ourselves as husband and wife before God," said the couple.
Meshia and Oniel Davidson, married for thirteen years, also shared, “We really appreciate the thought of allowing us the opportunity to wash each other’s feet. The most memorable part for us was the charge at the end. The points which stood out in our minds were that we should aspire to have a holy marriage and to seek to be the right person in the marriage as well as being patient with our partners”.
From all indications those in attendance found the experience a blessing.
The next stop on August Town’s Journey to Intimacy will be a grand renewal of vows for married couples* at the church on June 16 in the afternoon, followed by a Couples Night Out, in which all married couples will go out for dinner and special activities at a restaurant in Kingston.
*Please note that the renewal of vows is for all married couples and not just for Seventh-day Adventists couples.
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