On Nov. 12, all four pastors of Yarrow (B.C.) MB Church were invited to dinner at a member’s home. Dress would be semi-formal, they were told. That’s all they knew. Not one of them had any inkling of what the evening would mean to them.
The event, designed to wrap up pastor appreciation month, was dreamed up by Yarrow’s pulpit committee: chair Pam Robertson, Dave Traub, and Pete Froese (a former cooking professional). They enthusiastically plotted how they might best show the church’s appreciation to lead pastor Eldon Fehr, assistant pastor John Walker, and two volunteer/part-time pastors, Russ Ideson and Ike Bergen.
As the guests and their spouses arrived at the Traub home, they saw a front-lawn sign reading “Traub’s Fine Dining Restaurant.” They were greeted by Traub himself, complete with top hat and formalwear, who ushered the guests into the living room, set with four small round tables, each perfect for one couple. The room was decorated “like it was Christmas,” says Fehr. There were roses. There were candles. There was live piano music, provided by Joy Robertson. And there were hors d’oeuvres.
A meal to remember
Then came the five-course meal, creative and perfect, served by the pulpit committee members dressed in white. There was a seafood soup. Fresh green salad with pecans and oranges was served in bowls made of cheese. The main course was a fondue with choice prawns, scallops, lamb, beef, ham, and mushrooms. There were stuffed nugget potatoes. Dessert was chocolate mousse cake. The tastes, the treats, and the service made it a meal to remember.
The committee members, their spouses, and one other couple who volunteered to help also had a wonderful time, laughing and working together in the kitchen.
Fehr says the meal was planned and served with amazing attention to detail. Nothing was overlooked in any element of the evening.
“We just felt totally pampered,” says Shirley Bergen, pastor Ike’s wife.
The preceding four weeks had been rich enough. Each week of pastor appreciation month in October, Yarrow churchgoers had opportunity to leave notes of gratitude in any of four decorated shoe boxes (one for each pastor) at the front of the sanctuary. Some left gift cards, too. So, the meal – held in November – surprised them all.
Once the dinner had concluded, the whole group chatted, then sang hymns and prayed. Then, the members of the pulpit committee circulated in turn to each pastor couple, praying that God would bless them, their ministries, and their families.
“In almost 16 years of ministry,” said Fehr, “I have never felt so blessed.”
Robertson paid tribute to Pete Froese, who proposed the idea, adding that doing the meal was a great experience. “And it spoke to our pastors of a deeper appreciation than mere words can express.”