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Posted: August 23, 2012 9:34 p.m.

McCoy: Happy Anniversary

This day will be a day of remembering for you. You will observe it as a festival to the Lord. You will observe it in every generation as a regulation for all time.

Exodus 12:14
(Common English Bible)

Happy Anniversary! In June, my husband and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary. We have friends who have celebrated 40, 50 and even 60 or more years together as married couples. Wedding anniversaries are certainly delightful occasions to gather and celebrate having made milestones together as a couple. We have other anniversaries, too. In June, I celebrated my one year anniversary of being appointed as associate pastor at Covington First United Methodist Church. It hardly seems like it has been a year since my family moved to Covington, and in some wonderful ways, it feels as if we have always been here. Birthdays are anniversaries of the day we were born. In French, people say "Happy Birthday" by saying "Joyeux Anniversaire" - or "Happy Anniversary."

And then, we have sad anniversaries - days when we remember losing those special people in our lives. For me, August is filled with happy and sad anniversaries. We celebrate birthdays for me, my mom, my grandmother, my aunt and my best friend from high school. We also remember my grandmother, who passed away in August just after her birthday, as well as other sad anniversaries. So August, for me, is a month of mixed emotions. It's a time to remember the wonderful people in my life and to be thankful for them, and time to remember those whose faces I no longer see, and to be thankful for their influences on my life.

In our society and culture, festivals are a way of remembering. Soon, we will celebrate Labor Day, and we will remember the great strides in industry and growth that our country has experienced over its history. This holiday has been celebrated since 1882, and we continue to stop once a year to remember those who have labored in many ways to build this country into the land it is today.

In the Christian faith, we celebrate Easter as "Resurrection Day," and each Sunday of the year is a remembrance that Christ rose from the dead on a Sunday morning almost 2,000 years ago. As we go to church each Sunday, we celebrate that death did not have the last word for our Lord Jesus, that he defeated death and sin, and that, thanks be to God, death no longer has the last word for us. We miss those who have gone before us, and while those anniversaries can bring a tear to our eye because we feel the twinge of loss, we can celebrate that because Christ lives forever, we have hope.

Do you celebrate anniversaries? How about celebrating Christ's anniversary on Sunday as you join a community of faith? We'll see you in church on Sunday.

Rev. Jan McCoy is the associate pastor of Covington First United Methodist Church in downtown Covington. She may be reached at

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