April 19th we celebrated Jonathan’s confirmation (Lutheran version of Bar Mitzvah, without any of the really challenging parts!) with close friends and family from out of town. I’m posting this only now, because I waited for the photo’s from the “official” photographer, who is to thank for documenting the ceremony for the families. After the church ceremony, we celebrated with a lunch and afternoon tea in a newly renovated old school house, which has been converted to a neighborhood, multi generational community center. Among many other events/programs, they encourage the performing arts by hosting Sunday matinée concerts. Jan and I have performed one of our “story concerts” there several weeks ago, getting a positive review in our local paper. In addition to the great location for our party of about 40, we had the opportunity of engaging a catering service of which I have become a huge fan. I will write more about it in my next blog, because I am so impressed with it and with the man who started it. Fitting to our “into all the world,” international theme, we had a buffet with hot and cold dishes from a myriad of countries mostly in the southern hemisphere, the recipes of which stemmed from the home countries of the women who cooked them.
We kicked off the party with a champagne reception and game. Upon arrival everyone got a paper with a country and pertinent information about that country taped to their back. Then everyone had to ask yes or no questions to try and find out what country they had, asking no one person more than two questions. When everyone was let into the main dining hall, they found their table by looking for the one labeled with the continent of their country and got a “grab bag” of table mates. We also had a large, blank map posted to one wall, in which guests where asked to write in any and all of the countries they were able to name - we, as a group, filled in almost all of them- and then they could also use the post-it arrows to mark all the countries they had already been to or lived in. As you can see from the pictures, our World theme was carried thru the entire decoration as well.
Through the afternoon, however, Jonathan was the center of attention, and not only was he (and we even more so) overwhelmed with an abundance of very generous gifts, but he was also the subject of a fun quiz show, was serenaded by little Alex singing, “He’s got the whole world in His hands,” and was featured in a back drop of a running slide presentation with accompanying background music. Also his very creative God-parents, who are long time friends and have been very engaged in both Jonathan’s and Charis’ lives since their baptism, staged a couple of gigs. Stephen performed a song on guitar, and Hella peddled a sundry of costume hats and accessories for guests to choose from for their big photo debut behind a large antique frame, thus giving Jonathan a comical documentation of every guest.
Below are pictures of the day, and HERE is an open letter from me to Jonathan and a presentation (here the extended english version) which was shown as the climax of our theme that afternoon.
We are very thankful for the presence and participation of all of our friends and family at this celebration, and are even more touched and grateful for the involvement of so many in the lives of our children! We are truly blessed.