The church is the only institution in the world that accompanies us fully through the cycle of life. From birth to baptism to adulthood, through relationships to death, the church accompanies us through the cycle of life. The church has her own cycles as well. Congregations, Sunday School classes, choirs and other groups within the church are born, flourish, struggle, flourish again and sometimes find an end. It is always a true witness of faith and trust in God when this happens well. It serves as an encouragement to our individual journey through the cycle of life.

I received the following words from our Covenant Sunday School Class recently…a beautiful testament to the cycle of life:

For the past 34 years, the Covenant Sunday School Class has been a vital part of our Sunday morning worship experience. We have gathered together to pray, discuss God’s word, encourage and console each other, and walk through life’s experiences together. We have been ‘church’ to one another.

In January 1984, the class was formed as a ministry to First Baptist Greenville’s single adults. As the years passed, the class began to include single and married adults. The name of the class was suggested by Beth Ball Granger. The first teachers were Jim and Bonnie Smart and Gayle Bolt Price. In subsequent years, we were taught by: Tom and Nancy Kirby, Lois and Gerald Stroud, Charlie Bussey, C.J. Young, Paula Cargill, and Michael and Judy Stogner.

In the past seven years, our class has lost some beloved members due to death, and we began to realize it was time to move to other classes. To our members, past and present, we are entering a new phase of life, and give the blessing from Numbers 6:24-26, ‘The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.’

We give thanks to Anne and Paula Cargill for their historical information.

Nancy Kirby, Tom Kirby and Lois Stroud

What a beautiful witness and celebration of the cycle of life within the fellowship of faith…

— Jim

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