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Why Do We Wash Each Other's Feet?

2 The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. – John 13:2-5

Original Artwork by Caleb Mathews

1969 was a good year! I got out of the Army in February, I went on my first disaster relief project (Scottsville, below Charlottesville, had a flood that was my introduction to cleaning up messes!), I was hired by IBM in September, and I married Mary in December. 

We moved to Manassas and settled in. Shortly after moving, Mary said that we should find a church. I agreed. Since Mary was already a member of the Church of the Brethren, we decided to attend there. The minister, Rev. Carl Smith, took me under his wing. I was a little rough around the edges in those days. (Mary had to put up with a lot!) Rev. Smith gradually got me involved in the church.

We had been attending for a while and Easter came around. Reverend Smith asked me if I would like to take part in the foot washing ceremony. I had never heard of this ceremony. I had grown up in the Methodist church in Midland and we DID NOT WASH FEET! I asked Mary and she said yes we could go if I wanted. I sort of forgot when the night came around for the ceremony. Rev. Smith never said anything. When Easter came around the following year Rev. Smith asked me again. This time I was a little more curious about the whole ceremony. Once again Mary said if I wanted to go we should. So we went, me with a great deal of trepidation. 

When we went into the church, the men were on one side and the ladies were on the other. Now I was nervous, Mary was my support system here. After a small service, we went to two different rooms. We took off our shoes and socks and sat in a row. Rev. Smith just happened to be next to me. When it came time for my feet to be washed, Rev. Smith washed my feet and then passed the towel to me. I washed the man’s feet next to me. What a humbling experience. I felt like I was at the table with our Lord. We left there and then had a simple meal. I have to admit that it was one of the most meaningful Easters that I had ever had.

I would say that if you have a chance to participate in a foot washing service, please do. I believe that you will receive a blessing from it. 

About Gordon Haines
Mary and I moved our family to the St. Thomas church in 1983. Since then, we have worked on many committees and been blessed and continue to receive blessing from our church family.

Bear Each Other’s Burdens
Fill Your Days with Worship!
 

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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

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*  Currently, our regularly scheduled worship on Sunday morning & Tuesday evening is suspended until further notice due to the coronavirus restrictions. 
Please join the community’s Worship Livestream Event on Sundays at 9 am Traditional and 11 am Contemporary.

Contact

St. Thomas UMC
8899 Sudley Road
Manassas, VA 20110
703-368-5161
info@stthomasumc.org 

Our Haymarket Campus

Worship: Sundays at 10 AM
Haymarket Elementary School

Office:15000 Washington Street
Suite 206  (Above Town Hall)
Haymarket, VA 20169

haymarketchurch.org

 

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