Friends of Covenant History Reception Speech

Greetings. My name is Andy Meyer and I’m very happy to be here today representing the Covenant’s Commission on Covenant History. Specifically, I’ve been tasked with telling everyone how they can get involved in the group “Friends of Covenant History.” This group – supported by the Commission on Covenant History – is intended to gather, connect, and equip people interested in Covenant history so that together we can engage and expand the Covenant story.

This is a really exciting and interesting group – and I wanted my announcement to be equally exciting and interesting. So I thought “what would make for a great announcement?” and “who makes great announcements?” I thought to myself: politicians! – they make great announcements! But then I thought – politics can be polarizing forces – “Friends of Covenant History” is meant to be as inclusive as possible. So I scrapped that idea.

Then I thought – infomercials! They have perfected the sales pitch; I could provide a little background, reveal the project in stages with rhetorical flourishes. But “Friends of Covenant History” isn’t about selling a product or trying to create a need; “Friends of Covenant History” is about trying to foster a community of people centered on solving real community needs. So I scrapped the infomercial idea.

Then it dawned on me. This group is looking for members – members united by shared interests and yet rich in diversity. We are looking for informed and engaged members. The best model for this announcement isn’t a political campaign. It’s not the infomercial. It’s the Public Television or NPR membership drive!

So, without further complication or introduction, I’d like to kick off the first ever “Friends of Covenant History” membership drive!

  • The best way to get involved with “Friends of Covenant” is by becoming a member! Membership is a way to formalize your support with a financial contribution. The membership fee is minimal – it mostly goes to cover the cost of printing, cookies, and coffee – but is an important part of making this project sustainable.
  • And if you become a member of “Friends of Covenant History”, you get an awesome gift! Right now, it’s this amazing mug but we have other dreams for the future. It’s our way of saying thanks for becoming a member!
  • Beyond membership, you can also join the growing “Friends of Covenant History” communities on social media. Right now, you can find us on Facebook and Twitter. We will continue posting interesting articles and cool pictures – but we also want to hear from you! Share an important date, post a picture or stories, ask a question and we’ll do our best to connect you to others.
  • I’ve talked about membership, I’ve talked about the amazing membership gift, and I’ve talked about connecting with us on social media. If this were an infomercial, I would say – “But wait, there’s more!” Another way to get involved is to contact the Commission directly and share your thoughts, stories, or questions. There are opportunities to write for the newsletter, host regional gatherings, to equip local churches to preserve and share local stories, and many more. The Commission’s role isn’t to manage all those projects but to connect and resource local people and churches. If there are opportunities for us to better serve the Covenant church, please stop us today or contact us in the future and let us your thoughts and ideas.
  • Finally, the last way to strengthen this group is to get more people involved!
    • Ask your friends to become “Friends of Covenant History” and share us with your church.
    • Tell your local historian or archivist about this organization! Membership in this organization make a great gift for that “special someone” in your church or community!

Our desire is that this group be as broad and as inclusive as possible so that we can gather, connect, and equip the entire Covenant community. Your history is our history – we need your stories to tell the broader Covenant story and we think that the broader Covenant story gives inspiration, warning, encouragement, and guidance to our local stories. Join with us in this work by becoming a member, joining us online, and by sharing us with your community. Thank you!

Best Man Speech Final Draft

Thank you. My name is Andy Meyer and – if you couldn’t see the family resemblance – I’m Jim’s younger brother. I am also very happy to be here today as his best man. It’s been really wonderful seeing so many great people together in one place to celebrate this marriage and I want to thank all the people that have made this possible – especially Donn and Sally Engebretson.

Like I said, I’m Jim’s brother. As brothers, we’ve been pretty close and had a lot of shared experiences and quite a few common interests. We grew up together in Grand Rapids, attended the same church and high school, and then we moved to Chicago together to attend college at North Park. We graduated and stayed in Chicago, usually living near each other and, for some time, actually shared an apartment together. So we’ve shared a lot of life together.

Another thing that Jim and I have shared over the years is a keen interest in technology and the internet. I work in the library at North Park and Jim works in the information technology department and we sometimes joke that a lot of problems could be solved if people just googled their question.

So when I was faced with writing a speech for tonight, I approached this problem like a lot of other problems: I googled it. And, really, google did not disappoint. I read a great article from wikihow entitled “How to write a best man speech” another one from the Art of Manliness called “How to write and deliver a great best man speech” and, my personal favorite, one called “How to give a best man toast that doesn’t suck.”

And, really, these websites offered a lot of great advice!

They said that it’s probably good to start with a funny story or a joke. However – these same websites also said to avoid the following topics: any arrests or prison time, ex-girlfriends, wild drunken nights, and anything that might be insulting the bride. And I thought – wow, that really limits the material I have to work with!

I’m glad that joke worked out so well – I have a few others planned as back-ups, but that was my best attempt.

After telling a joke to break the formality, the websites instructed me to tell a touching story that would focus on Jim’s strengths. So I of course started thinking – when has Jim ever done something heroic or amazing that would make for a great story? I thought to myself – I guess Jim has gone on mission trips, he teaches Sunday School, he volunteers with the church youth group… but why hasn’t he rescued any kittens or puppies? And, to the best of my knowledge, he has never saved anyone from a burning building.

And that’s the problem with Jim – he is a good guy in all of the least glamorous ways. And the story I’m about to tell fits that model perfectly. Years ago, I thought it would be a good idea to try riding my bike all winter. So one “warm” February day – I biked down to my job at the University of Chicago. Or course, I neglected to check the weather report for the rest of the day. So when my shift ended at 9pm, I was alarmed to see that it had started sleeting. The weather was miserable – it was dark, cold, wet, and I was stuck a long ways from home. Not knowing what else to do, I called my brother to explain the predicament I had created for myself and to plead for a ride back home.

And Jim said something like “sure, I’ll be right down.” Now but then it’s well after 9pm, the weather is pretty bad and getting worse, and it’s a 45 minute drive each way. I don’t know what Jim was doing or what he was planning on doing – but he drove down to pick me up out of that mess.

And that’s the strength that I want to share with you all today and especially with you, Kristen: that Jim will be there for you. No questions asked. No explanations needed. I’ve certainly experienced that as his brother. And I’m sure you’ve already experienced this in your relationship with Jim. It’s my hope and prayer that you both continue to experience faithful and steadfast love that always seeks the best for the other.

So now you all know that I think Jim is a great guy.

And I want to be equally clear in saying that I think you are a great woman, Kristen. We, of course, didn’t grow up together and we haven’t shared life as siblings, but I still know a bit about how great you are. I know you’re great, in part, because of how great your friends and family are. It has been wonderful to get to know them and look forward to growing in those relationship. Another reason I know how great you are is because Jim tells me. All the time, in fact. But this isn’t just second-hand news or rumor – I know it firsthand as well. It’s been wonderful getting to know you and wonderful celebrating here with you. I could not be happier for you and Jim.

Now that I’ve finished the touching stories, I’m free to conclude with a toast to the couple. So, please raise your glasses with me: Jim and Kristen, may you always remember this moment – surrounded by friends and family that love and support you – and may God bless you with a lifetime of joy and love.

Best Man Speech – Outline

  1. Introduction
    1. How I know Jim and Kristen
    2. Thank the families for making it possible.
  2. Let Me Google That
    1. Jim works in IT and we are both rather techy
    2. I consulted the folllowing websites:
      1. How to write a best man speech (http://www.wikihow.com/Write-a-Best-Man’s-Speech)
      2. How to write and deliever a great best man speech (http://www.artofmanliness.com/2008/07/22/how-to-write-deliver-good-best-man-speech/)
      3. How to give a best man toast that doesn’t suck (http://deadspin.com/how-to-give-a-best-man-toast-that-doesnt-suck-485774731)
      4. There is even something called the Universally Perfect Best Man’s Speech” that offers a MadLibs style guide to this speech.
    3. Tell a joke or a funny story
      1. Avoid ex-girlfriends, drunken nights, insulting the bride, or prison terms.
      2. That’s all my best material!
      3. “A good best man usually shares a joke involving the groom, giving everyone a peek at the groom’s personality. If you want to throw in a classy but funny quote, consider Oscar Wilde’s “Marriage is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.”
      4. Avoid inside jokes
      5. Welding definition. Weeding definition.
    4. Tell a touching story and focus on Jim’s strenghts
      1. Jim is really good at:
        1. Playing guitar hero
        2. Giving thumbs up in photographs
      2. When Jim picked me up from the University of Chicago in a sleet storm.
        1. Jim is always there for you – no questions asked. No explanation needed.
        2. Jim is loving and faithful and loyal – I’ve experienced that as his brother and I’m sure you’ll experience that
    5. Toast the couple
      1. May you both always remember this moment – surrounded by friends and family that love and support you
      2. Here is to a lifetime of love and happiness for Jim and Kristen!