Some major events in the life of a church are difficult to handle. Among those are the removing of a congregation from its facility, its home, to a new location. This is what the members of our church faced when they decided to leave their Salem Acres facility and take up temporary quarters until a new church could be built. The President of the Board of Trustees when this occurred was Muriel Steelman. She addressed the congregation during its final worship service at Salem Acres on June 20, 1982 with the following words:
I know there are a wide range of feelings among you about our move, and I thought I’d like to share a few of my thoughts with you. I have mixed feelings. I’m really sorry to be leaving these lovely grounds, but thankful to be relieved of all the problems of this house.
Not that I expect the coming months to be free of problems, but they’ll present a different challenge, and we can look forward to having a new church home that is planned to meet our needs.
There had been some fear expressed that we shall lose members while we’re in temporary quarters, and that it will be the end of our church, but, why should that be? Isn’t it the people who are the church, not the building? If we care enough about one another to want to stay together, we’ll do so, regardless of where we’re housed.
This week has seen a lot of activity with packing and moving into storage those items we’ll be taking to our new home, but what about the things not going into storage? Don’t we all have a host of memories to take with us? A lot of friendships have been made and nurtured here; we’ve shared our joys and our grief with one another; we’ve worked together and we’ve played together. And all this is part of the long, rich history of this church, which celebrated its 150th anniversary a few years ago. It has survived a number of moves in that time, and this latest one will be taken in stride, I’m sure. Let’s get moving towards its 200th year.
Ms. Steelman’s hopes for the future have been fulfilled and we now [in 2014] are just 13 short years from that 200th birthday that she envisioned.