This is our journal of what we pray is our sojourn of life (Hebrews 11:8-10) along the narrow way (Matthew 7:14), even the old paths (Jeremiah 6:16), submitting to the Bible as a light unto both (Psalms 119:105). It is our prayer that these documented moments in our earthly time benefit whom God might choose to edify, but ultimately that God glorifies Himself through them.

Our First Fellowship Betrothal

Well, it has been a few years since several of us started living here on the land. When we first got here, all of the children were just that — children. But, after five years, as you would imagine, that’s not exactly the case for all of them any more. In fact, one of our young misses just recently became betrothed — our first betrothal on the land!

Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines “betroth” as the following:

BETROTH’, v.t. [be and troth, truth, faith. See Truth, and Troth.]

1. To contract to any one, in order to a future marriage; to promise or pledge one to be the future spouse of another; to affiance; used of either sex. “The father betroths his daughter.’

2. To contract with one for a future spouse; to espouse; as, a man betroths a lady.

“Betrothed?” you might ask? Yes, betrothed. The ideas of “romantic love” and engagement, or even “courting,” are foreign to the Bible; not that there can’t be romance, but it is not the main driver or motivator behind relationships; and in fact, betrothal is what is prescribed in the Bible. Why might it be important to have betrothals instead of typical engagements? First, the Bible prescribes it as the only pre-marriage methodology; and second, it was set up as a picture or “type” of the relationship between Christ and His bride-to-be. In this current reality of time, Christ’s chosen bride, the elect from the foundation of the world, is not married to Christ yet — that happens at the marriage supper of the Lamb (Rev 19:6-9). His chosen is betrothed, or espoused, as expressed in 2 Cor 11:2 – “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.” God instituted the “type” of betrothal to show the unbreakable bond of His chosen bride to Himself based on His volitional, self-sacrificing, and unconditional agápe love.

Betrothal of Mark Contra and Tracy Bunker

With Mr. Bunker, Miss Bunker’s father, making the original offer to Mr. Contra, and with Mr. Contra accepting, Mr. Bunker and Mr. Mark Contra formed the contract for Mr. Contra to marry Miss Bunker, with various other agreements between Mr. Bunker and Mr. Contra. Although not absolutely necessary, since an older and hopefully wiser parent, with God’s help, should be able to determine which man would be good for a daughter to marry, Mr. Bunker did first allow for Miss Bunker’s approval of the gentleman in question; and she did approve. 🙂

And so without further ado, here are some moments from Mr. Contra’s and Miss Bunker’s betrothal party:

Mark and Tracy Betrothal Party

Mr. Contra and Miss Bunker:

Mark and Tracy at Their Betrothal Party

Supper time:

Supper Time at Mark and Tracy Betrothal Party

And don’t forget the desserts!

Desserts at Mark and Tracy Betrothal Party

Here are a few more pictures of the fellowship time, starting with the new couple:

Mark and Tracy Around the Supper Table at Their Betrothal Party
Fellowship Around Supper Table at Mark and Tracy Betrothal Party
More Fellowship Around Supper Table at Mark and Tracy Betrothal Party

Here are some sights and sounds:

And some more, including Mr. Bunker’s discussion about the betrothal ceremony and some important parts of the ceremony itself (please forgive the quality of the video as our camera doesn’t film well at night):

We are thankful here on the land to be able to be a part of a couple joining in the way the Bible prescribes. We pray for many more, as the Lord wills, and that He continue to grant us understanding of His revealed will as described in the Bible.

— David


  1. Kara Powers

    How beautiful and unique! The means of the world are so ugly and pointless in comparison. The Lord keep and bless the couple. Thanks for giving us video of the occasion.

    Ryan Powers

  2. Ante Zivkovic

    Have a blessed 2011, if that's all right to say, I dunno. May Lords mercies and grace ever abide with you David and Susan, regardless of the year. Beautiful betrothal. Great of you to put it up.

  3. alc

    Thank you for sharing this joyous occasion with us. It was very enjoyable and educational to watch. Many blessings to the happy couple.


  4. Anonymous

    I was hoping that you would have some video to post of this beautiful evening. thank you so much. – Todd

  5. David and Susan Sifford

    Thanks for saying hi, all. Glad you all enjoyed it.

    Ryan and Al, amen!

    Ante, thank you much, and to you too.

    — David

  6. rob

    Thank you for sharing this blessed occasion

  7. Emily

    Do you drink alcoholic beverages? Thanks.

  8. David and Susan Sifford

    Hi Emily,

    Our group is in a bit of a state of change, and the elders are working on putting together a statement of faith and probably other things that might be more official positions on things like what you're asking, so my answer here is not directly speaking for the group and is my own personal answer. Also, while older blog posts may seem to indicate certain things, the group has changed in various areas over time, which we always pray is in a more godly way. 🙂

    While I believe an alcoholic beverage is biblically lawful within the bounds of moderation, and certainly drunkness is sin, at this time none who are part of the fellowship consume any in public gatherings. I don't know if any do privately at a meal or the like. I believe that would be more of a household decision.

    At this time, we do use wine in the communion glass that we sip from as it is passed around, although during our Passover ceders, we have the option of juice or wine for the "cups" that are part of the formal ceder, and those amounts are just sipping amounts as well.

    HTH, and thanks for saying hi!

    — David

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