RURAL BRYANT, SD, PRESENTS:
We have changed a lot over the last years.
We have gone from a family of mostly faramers to hardly any farmers.
We have spread out from households in South Dakota so that today we come from Washingto to Brazil!
We have lived to see children, grandchildren and, yes, even some great-grandchildren!
We have grown up knowing from the time we were small the meaning of hard work.
We grew up with sweat on our brow and sunburned faces.
We have grown up knowing the taste of home-baked food and home-grown vegetables.
We have grown up with having to say, it's not "STAY-DUMB"--it's STAdem!
We have all enjoyed some successes and some failures.
We have lived through times of [good] fortune and [hard] losses.
We have shared times of trouble amongst our families and between our families.
We have lived through times of disagreement.
We have lived through times of reconciliation.
We have lived through the years of health and the times of illness.
We have seen the deaths of mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, husband, brother, uncle, cousin, niece, nephew and child.
We have seen the joy of marriage and the thrill of birth.
We have seen the hard times and the good times.
We have seen them together and sometimes seen them alone.
We have seen what love of a family can do.
We have been taught to pray before meals, at bedtime, and all the time...
We have been brought up with the strong influence of the Lord.
We were raised with the sense of knowing right from wrong, good from bad.
We have seen that though we are all different, we are all alike.
We are short or fat or skinny or tall or a combination of them all--gray or bald,healthy or not--shy or outspoken, good-looking or not--YET WE ARE ALL ONE FAMILY!
So why do we come here from far and wide?
Call it Vacation, call it a business trip, call it fun, call it curiosity, call it a party, call it a Reunion.........call it "LOVE"!!!!
a place where saints and children tell how hearts learn to forgive.
Built of hopes and dreams and visions, rock of faith and vault of grace;
here the love of Christ shall end divisions:
All are welcome, all are welcome, all are welcome in this place.
Let us build a house where prophets speak, and words are strong and true,
where all God's children dare to seek to dream God's reign anew.
Here the cross shall stand as witness and as symbol of God's grace;
here as one we claim the faith of Jesus:
Let us build a house where love is found in water, wine and wheat:
a banquet hall on holy ground where peace and justice meet.
Here the love of God, through Jesus, is revealed in time and space;
as we share in Christ the feast that frees us:
Let us build a house where hands will reach beyond the wood and stone to heal and strengthen,
serve and teach, and live the Word they've known.
Here the outcast and the stranger bear the image of God's face;
let us bring an end to fear and danger:
Let us build a house where all are named, their songs and visions heard and loved and treasured,
taught and claimed as words within the Word.
Built of tears and cries and laughter, prayers of faith and songs of praise,
let this house proclaim from floor to rafter:
All are welcome, all are welcome in this place.