Twenty-Five Years Ago

by Mike Roberts, Church Historian

Much changes over twenty five years’ time but some things don’t. Let’s take a step back in time to January 1991, twenty five years ago in the history of our church. At that time Elinor Artman was serving as an interim minister. Bob Booth was President of the Board of Trustees, Sue Riggs was the Director of Religious Education, Andrea Benchley edited this Heirloom newsletter and Jan McRoberts was the office secretary.

Church attendance for the previous month had averaged 60 people per service. Forty children was the average attendance at RE. The four levels of RE classes were studying When Winter Comes, the Life of Jesus, The Wonder of Birth and Our Jewish and Christian Heritage.

During the Christmas Eve service, members were encouraged to place a message of peace as an offering to the church and community. Among those messages offered were:

  • “Write and talk to congressional leaders about the need to encourage peaceful resolution to the Mideast conflict. Learn more about the Moslem culture.”
  • “Make peace with my wife and myself.”
  • “Send lots of letters to my friends in the armed services for moral support.”
  • “I will continue to pray for an increase in Hussein’s and Bush’s self-esteem.”
  • “To continue to teach my son that prejudice is wrong. That war is ugly and that having him has made me a better human being so that he may spread the word to his friends and family.”
  • “Promote peace at work by not looking for flaws in people but for strengths.”
  • “My mind will remain open to the differences in all people on the earth.”

Committee chairs were Bob Booth for Building and Grounds, Margie Spinney for Religious Education, Andrea Benchley for Communications, Jerry Howard for Membership, Les Nomeland for Program, Sandy Gaither for Ministry and Joann Gray for Finance. The Friday Night Supper Forum was meeting on the last Friday of the month to enjoy pizza and the movie, “The Last Temptation of Christ.”

Three new families were admitted to membership. These were Nelson Horseman and Marie Frenzke and sons David and Kyle. Also admitted were Jean and Jim Crocker-Lackness and sons Jimmy and Alex. Finally, the Wilson family of Garry and Stephanie with daughter Laurel and son Seth gained admission. Stephanie shared that prolonged chats with Jean Ruff while Stephanie was cleaning her teeth at Dr. Loewe’s led her to explore Heritage.

Clara Hasemeier celebrated her 99th birthday. She was overwhelmed by dozens of birthday cards from church members.

The Memorial Garden saw several new additions. A hemolepsis fir was planted along with a spruce which was used as a live Christmas tree. Also, a Kousa dogwood was planted. Finally, two Chinese elm trees were added to give shade to the picnic area. Please consult with the Booth’s as to how many of these are still there.

Some names are familiar from this era. Others are gone but not forgotten. Such is the path of church congregations.

Image: Rev. Elinor Artman

February 2016.