The weeks leading up to Oct. 21, 2017 were filled with a lot of emotions, the excitement
of transitioning from a church in the valley to a church on the rim, the hope of making new
friends, the anxiety of my wife and I taking on new jobs, the exhaustion of sleepless nights with
an energetic baby, and the curiosity of this thing called “Pioneer Day.” The name alone led to
questions like “What is it?” and “What is its purpose?” were quickly followed by “What am I
supposed to wear?” While those questions were honestly answered, you really don’t understand
it until you have the opportunity to attend and participate in it.
Imagine stepping back in time to the mid-1800s. Women donned their Victorian dresses
and bonnets, while men wore bowties, top hats, and suspenders. The platform was adorned with
musical instruments as the church was blessed with special songs by a variety of members.
Pastor Charles White presented stories and anecdotes from his ancestors. He focused on the
young denomination’s initiative to share the gospel in Australia in the first segment, and
followed it up with how music played an integral role in the early Seventh-day Adventist
Church. Both presentations were informative and refreshing as stories passed down from one
generation to the next were shared from the perspective of a direct descendent of original
pioneers of our church. Following the service, we met at Rumsey Park for a potluck dinner that
left all satisfied.
As my wife and I ventured to the swings for a special family moment with our 10 month
old, I reflected on what Pioneer Day is. True, it is a day to acknowledge what God accomplished
through a small group of believers. It is a day where we can look back at our roots, while still
moving forward toward the future of a home with Christ. We were able to hear good music, and
good stories. However, I would suggest it is more than that. It is an excuse for God’s children to
get together for a day and experience His love together as family. Though we may not wear
retroactive apparel, may we find an excuse to share God’s love with each other every day. Until
we are all gathered together in His celestial home, there can be no greater joy.
Elder Vincent Woolsey