06 June 2017

1st Annual Recitation Fellowship

Our friends, Hailey and Derek hosted a recitation at Oak Glen Park where a bunch of families gathered after church to recite poetry, bible verses, passages from books, etc. The topic was friendship. 

The kids loved being outdoors and climbing on trees.

Here we are, at the pavilion, getting ready to start.

Faith recited a poem by Isaac Watts called, Love Between Brothers and Sisters.

Grace recited 1 Corinthians 4-7 for Friends.

And later, the girls recited a piece as Wilbur & Charlotte from E.B. White's Charlotte's Web.

We had a variety of poems from Robert Frost to Longfellow, bible verses to passages from favorite books.
A few of the adults participated, too.

Hailey, our hostess and Derek, the MC.

All the kids.

And all the teenagers and adults.

A scrumptious potluck was next and then the kids had a blast playing in the park and running around. It was 15-20 degrees cooler than the desert! What a treat!

It was a lovely afternoon celebrating friendship and perfect weather!

The kids all did wonderfully and it was so fun to see the variety of pieces and the expressive way they presented them. However, I have to say, my favorite part was a surprise performance that came at the end. 

I'm still sort of in shock about the whole thing because Morgan can tell you himself, public speaking is NOT something he particularly enjoys. I was tending to Zach so I didn't get a chance to record the whole thing but I heard all the words of his emotional speech and let me tell you, there wasn't a dry eye!!
Of course, the words don't convey the emotion in the live performance, but with permission to post,
here's what he said.

Friends by Morgan Gough                              

I have always thought that I don't have but a few friends. And when someone heard me say this they would say “People are lucky to have 2 or 3 good friends in a life time.” And I would always agree with that statement. 

This week, as I was lying in bed at 3 in the morning, thinking about my life and a “friends” speech I was encouraged to give today, I realized that my list of friends is a little bit longer than I ever imagined. Let me share with you some of that list.

My first friend was my mom. And then my dad, he was a close second. As soon as I could play, then my older brother, Ben. Then came Jennifer, my sister. And a few years later, Roy, my youngest brother. There were aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews and later in life, in-laws. In school, there were some very close friends. And other friends I called teachers or counselors, classmates or teammates, principal or librarian, nurse or the lunch lady. Some were coaches and others competitors. And after high school came college, and in college, my brother, Ben helped guide me to the most important friend I didn't even know I needed, my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 

I could stop right here, but I would be leaving out my best and most amazing friend here on earth, my wife, Catherine. God knew I needed her in my life in more ways than I can even go into. But I will say, through Catherine, God used her to help lead me back to Him. Through Catherine, God blessed us with our amazing twin daughters, Faith and Grace. And without me knowing at the time, that we weren’t done, that I wasn’t “too old”, and today I realize, that I was actually ready for a son. And God again, through Catherine, blessed us with our son, Zachary.

Now, how do I define a friend?  With the love of my sweet daughters, Faith and Grace, they helped me see the abundance of friends in my life. I learned this from watching them, because everyone they meet, even if they met them that day, came away with the title of "friend."  So now I have realized that all these friends that I've met throughout my life, no matter if they were put there for a brief time, for a difficult time, or for many years, God has put all these friends in my life to help me become the person that I am today. Thank you God for all the people that you have put in my life that I can now and forever, call my friends.

I always knew he was a keeper but COME ON?!

Bravo to the bravest and most expressive speech of the day!

He's just the BEST.

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