Thursday, June 12, 2008

Fellowship - With Long Time Friends

In 1982 we were attending Melodyland Christian Center in Anaheim near Disneyland. We were in the regular 120 voice choir that sang and practiced weekly. We were also in the community musical performance choir (300 voices) three times a year giving special original performances with orchestra and drama. Most of the time it was one weekend type of musical giving five performances. Once we gave 10 performances over two weekends for the Easter season. Our 3,000 seat auditorium was packed for every performance.

These involved many hours of practices and staging. The original theater was "in the round" and the church continued that set up for their services and specials. During our Sunday services, the choir was in a section directly behind the speaker of the day like you find in most churches.

Being together that much tends to develop friendships of those who regularly sing in the choir. There were five basses who were married to five altos and we formed a "Fellowship Group" to meet monthly for dinner, dessert and catching up with each others lives and families. A host couple was selected and the other four couples would go to their home for dinner and dessert. After one round of that, the gals got smart and said "let's go out to dinner and back to the host home for dessert". It's been that way every since.
Original Fellowship couples -- Dick & Ann Moore, Dick & Alice Carter, Harold & Fran Daigle, Priscilla & Dave Bechok, Betty & Bob Mann.

We bought Entertainment books that gives one free meal if another one is purchased and enjoyed quite a selection of restaurants to choose from and enjoy. All five couples lived in Orange County so it was easy for us to get together monthly - on the 3rd Friday night of the month. That was automatically set aside by each couple.

Then we started moving! The Daigles moved to Texas. So we were down to four couples locally. The Carters moved to Oceanside and the Bechoks moved to Carlsbad. Our Fellowship Group continued to meet every month (except December) even though it meant some driving. When it was time for the Carters or Bechoks to host, the Moores and the Manns drove down to their area. When we in Orange County hosted, those south drove north.

Then Alice Carter passed away from cancer and Dick Carter married Carolyn (Kiki) and they moved to Apple Valley. More driving - both ways. The Carters did the most as there were three couples that lived a distance from them. But we drove up to Apple Valley when they hosted.
The current Fellowship couples -- Dick & Ann Moore, Kiki & Dick Carter, Priscilla & Dave Bechok, Betty and Bob Mann.

In January 2007, the Carters were to host that month. Everyone had too much on their schedule (all retired now) and we couldn't meet. Let's try February. No - this month was too busy too! OK - March it is. Finally in the last week of March, we found a day we could all go up to Apple Valley and have our "monthly" fellowship. We changed from dinner to lunch time to help with daylight driving. After that one, we decided since there were four couples and four quarters in the year we would each take a quarter and find a date to host during that quarter. Certainly we could find one day where all could have available. We also changed off of Friday as traffic was heavy going to most places. So starting in 2007 we changed from monthly to quarter and this has worked out best in our busy schedules.

Today (June 12) is that day for Betty and Bob Mann to host. They had the second quarter (April, May, June) and we were able to find a day when all four couples could get together. We still buy the Entertainment books but don't use them as much as we did in the past.

These are fun times with long time church friends. We met them in 1973 at Melodyland and keep in touch by email and phone besides meeting in person quarterly. All couples attend different churches now and no one is in the choir at their church. Music was what brought us together.

Next quarter -- the Moores host.

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