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Lewes, Delaware
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September 13, 1996     Cape Gazette
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September 13, 1996

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CAPE GAZET, Friday, September 13 - September 19,1996 - 23 CAPE LIFE Rehoboth community bids farewell to Rev. Baker By Rosanne Pack In a special celebration service, the congregation of Epworth Unit- ed Methodist Church gathered Wednesday night, Sept. 4 to bid farewell and Godspeed to Pastor Jonathan Baker and his wife Don- na after their 14 years of ministry in Rehoboth Beach. The church was filled with parishioners and friends of all ages who thanked the couple and who gave testimony to what the min- istry meant to individuals and to the community. The evening included scripture and comments on the specific components of Epworth Methodist under the pastoral work of the Bakers, and also, what has become a hallmark of the church, music provided by the Chancel Choir, the Keyes Bell Choir, the Bakers, children and the congre- gation. There were mentions of num- bers and percentages -- how membership has grown, how many children have been baptized, how many confirmed, programs initiated by the Bakers -- but always, the message returned to the spiritual growth and risk-tak- ing and outreach that the church accomplished as members joined the Bakers in commitment to God and serving the community. Lois Gladding said, "You have been the catalyst, you have plant- ed the seeds." Susie Bond said, "You have helped us find relevance to our lives in the Word of God." Pastor Baker's father, David Baker presented a symbolic stole to his son, saying, "It is my plea- sure and privilege to bestow this stole that represents the children of the world to which you have dedicated your ministry." The celebration was also fla- vored with humor. The elder Bak- er reminded his son that there was a lot more hair on his head when the father took part in the ordina- tion of the son. A speaker reminded the congre- gation of how Jonathan Baker was one with his people and their cans- es. "I'll never forget when a youth group shackled Jonathan and brought him into the sanctuary, saying that they wouldn't release him until they reached their goal for a project," said Paula Simpson, "Then, they passed the collection plates, and I can tell you, the mon- ey came out." In his message of thanks and farewell, Baker said, "I came here when I was told, 'Here's a church just made for you.' Who would have believed? "This church has taken risks. Whenever we have been willing to risk, God has blessed us. You have joined my whole vision of the church that serves the community and the world." Symbolizing the outreach mis- sion of Epworth Methodist and the Bakers, representatives of such groups and programs as the prison ministry, AIDS ministry, Habitat for Humanity, the Food Closet and West Side New Beginnings partic- ipated in the service. As a parting blessing and a reminder, Donna Bake r sang "God Is In Control." The Bakers will remain in the area as Jonathan serves as Council Director for the Peninsula- Delaware Conference. Members of the congregation joined the Bakers in a reception following the service. However, for many, the lasting image of the celebration might be that of Pastor Baker sitting on the alter steps at the feet of young Haley and Sadie Staples, watching them as they led the congregation in "I Have Decided to Follow Jesus." RBVFC plans fire prevention awareness program Oct. 6 The Rehoboth Beach Volunteer Fire Company will host its Fourth Annual Fire Prevention Aware- ness Program and Apparatus Dis- play on Sunday, Oct. 6 from noon to 4 p.m. at the Rehoboth Beach Bandstan. d. Everyone is in,ited to kick off Fire Prevention Week 1996 by jommg m. There will be safety displays by the Rehoboth Beach, Lewes, Millsboro, Millville and other Delaware volunteer fire compa- nies, as well as fire safety houses from the Millsboro Fire Company. Also offering safety displays will be the Delaware State Fire School, Delaware State Fire Mar- shal's Office, Delaware State Police, the Delaware Emergency Management Agency, Delaware Department of State Forestry and the Chester/Crozier Burn Center. Children will have the chance to meet Smokey the Bear and get their picture taken with him or a picture taken on a fire truck. Fire and emergency safety information booklets, activity and coloring books and fire safety items for all ages will be available. For more information contact the Rehoboth Beach Volunteer Fire Company at 227-8950. Rosanne Pack photos Pastor Jonathan Baker shares a farewell moment with parishioner Geraldine Purdy at a reception honoring him and his wife Donna. Backed by the Chancel Choir, Jonathan and Donna Baker, right, receive a gift from church members, from left, George and Paula Simpson and Music Director Judy Moore. Pastor Baker has accepted the position of Council Director for the Peninsula-Delaware Conference. Ou 6st la beach? Remedial courses abound off-season Now that most vacationers have left the area, local residents can take off the mask and get back to running wild and naked through the streets, parking on sidewalks, drag racing up and down Route One, draining cases of Bud Light, placing whoopee cushions all over city hall and practicing the Macarena at all hours of the night. At least that's what most tourists think we do here after Labor Day. I'm sure you've heard it before. "We love to vacation here, but what the beck do you do in the off- season?" Well, the last time I looked we were still attached to the U.S. and even had electricity and water. What most tourists and the "Washington Post" fail to under- stand is that as locals we start immediately to get in shape for the following summer. They do this at the end of all the big events like the Superbowl and the Olympics. For instance, we have the "Les Beach Driving Schoolet." This is a course that's a must for any local who in one day goes from cruising down Route One with a total of five cars on the road to what resembles the start of the Gold Rush or some type of free land give away. This remedial course gets every- one in shape for the following sea- son. Here's a small test to see if you should belong in the "Les Beach Driving Schoolet." If the left hand lane is for fast driving cars and the far right hand lane is for slow driving cars and you are in the middle lane, why is it the car in front of you is going 10 miles an hour, backing up traf- fic to South America and what should you do about it? Should you (a) get in the fast lane, (b) get in the slow lane, (c) press the built- in automatic Dramamine dispenser on your dash board, or (d) use your cell phone to call a Bat signal that will automatically send a crane to pick up this car and its occupants and deposit them in a large tank filled with sharks (Excellent!). The answer of course, is all of the above. Second question: You are dri- ving in the middle lane and a car going approximately a speed faster than a snail pulls out in front of you from Kmart. This car then stops dead in front of you in order for it to move to the far left lane to make a U turn in front of 600 cars backed up to Dover. Should you (a) drive over the car, (b) turn to Psalm 23 in your Bible, (c) press the built-in automatic Valium dis- penser disguised as your cigarette lighter or (d) use your cell phone to call a Bat signal that will send a crane to pick up the car and its occupants and deposit them in a large tank filled with sharks (Excellent!). Again, the answer is all of the above. As you can surmise from the above, not only is the shark tank filled to capacity, but the "Les Beach Driving Schoolet" has quite a waiting list. Well, that is ever since they hired Frangois as the teacher, who used to be a regular on Hee Haw, where she periodi- cally jumped out of a fake corn- field wearing one of those skimpy Lil' Abner outfits. But, there are other remedial courses available, such as "Les Martha Stewart Christmas Wreaths Made Out of Old Parking Permit Schoolet" and, "Les Advanced Thought Process Schoolet," for those who wait for parking places on Second Street in Lewes. So, when tourists ask what I do in the off-season, I simply tell them I take a lot of French lessons.