Starting the new year with sacraments

Posted: Sunday, January 02, 2000

While some Juneau residents danced and drank, others worshiped as 1999 ended and the year 2000 began.

Catholics celebrated Mass, Episcopalians gathered for a eucharist service and other churches held watch night services, some of which included food and games.

At Faith Lutheran Church across Egan Drive from the Carrs supermarket, 16 parishioners began New Year's Eve with a 7 p.m. communion service, followed by a millennium watch fellowship.

In his sermon, the Rev. James Brubaker hearkened back to the Year 3000 in the Jewish calendar, known by the modern calendar as 700 B.C. It was the time of Isaiah, when Jews were expecting the House of David to produce a Messiah - yet a time when the future seemed uncertain.

That time, 2,700 years ago, was a lot like 1999, he said.

``We have heard a lot in the last couple of days about hope,'' Brubaker said, ``hope that computers around the world will not go down, that banks will work.''

``But we need to remember that our hope is in the Lord. We can put our hope in a lot of things in this world, but all will fail. Even time as we know it will eventually not be, any more; that is what the Bible says. But our eternal hope is in none of these times; our hope is in the Lord. And that is the promise of tomorrow - which just happens to be a new day and a new year and a new century and a new millennium.''

At the fellowship, Sue Davis, 58, a veteran legislative staffer and mother of four, said the celebration was a good way to being bringing in the new year.

``It's a new millennium and it seems only proper to be here,'' Davis said. And, with a wide smile, she added, looking around at her friends, ``a hundred years from now we may all be in heaven together.''

Following the service, Davis and her husband planned to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary a few days early with a special dinner.

David J. Waarvik, 60, a retired state trooper as well as a retired gunsmith, said he enjoyed spending the evening with family.

``Fellow Christians are our family, so being here means being with family,'' Waarvik said. ``And participating in the sacrament is a good start for a new year.''

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