Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Celebrating 115 Years ... but then, We Must Say Goodbye

Zion Lutheran Church 1896 to 2011
This is the little church were I grew up...
Baptized, Confirmed and Married here.
This weekend, Emily went home to attend the Sunday Services with mom...
to Celebrate 115 years as a congregation...
combined with a Closing Worship Service.
Remember our water situation?
Besides swallowing up the family farms, it has turned our little town of Churchs Ferry into an island.
This is the man-made dike that has been keeping water from our church,
but sadly, before long, this will not be enough.
As the president of our congregation read our history,
many of us listened with a tear or two.

Worship, sitting with my mom and my grandma.

Sunday School...and the Christmas Programs, followed by the much anticipated treat bags that included an orange, peanuts and a little candy.

All-day Bible School...we all brought a lunch pail and put it in the pew in the church entry.
All ages played games in the church lawn after eating our sandwiches and fruit.
Bible lessons in the morning and after lunch were accompanied by arts and crafts projects.

In high school, we were called to teach the younger children during Summer Vacation Bible School...Luther League...Youth led Worship Services...

All of this took place in the Old Church Building.
The education wing was built in 1967...
It was beautiful...we had classrooms and a fellowship room for potluck dinners.
And in 1976, our new church sanctuary was built.
The old stained glass windows were incorporated in the design of the front of the new church.
I alway thought it was so beautiful.
The original bell was used in the new bell tower, every Sunday.

Doris has been our organist for over 40 years...
leading us in all the old familiar hymns.

The church was full for it's last celebration.
After the service, many of us lingered...
for reflection...
A potluck dinner followed...a time for fellowship...
good food...laughter and tears.
This isn't goodbye...
We'll see you again...
In another place.

A new beginning.

Take care,
~Natalie

12 comments:

Cozy said...

It tears me apart to think about what so many have or will have to let go of this year as I sit safe and warm, high and dry complaining about another spring snowfall.

I hope some of the beautiful things like the windows can be salvaged for the congregation's new home.

jdavissquared said...

Gosh, I cannot even imagine how emotional that must have been. How devastating to that community for everything familiar to just be gone like that. So sad.

The Moonlit Stitch said...

Oh Natalie...those pictures of your town are unreal. Is the water going down? Is Zion ELCA? I work at an ELCA church...know what you mean about the history-so much a part of people's lives-so hard to say goodbye. New doors will open - take care ~*~Lisa

Tina Eudora said...

Natalie I am grieving with you for this loss. My prayers are with your town and wonderful little church. Is it too late for a miracle?
Although you are far away and I have not met you in person, this day my heart is heavy thinking of your brave community and their dignity through this awful time.
God bless you all...
Tina xo

Amy, a redeemed sheep said...

My heart just breaks for you all...

Willoughby said...

What a shame. I hope, as Cozy said, that some pieces will be saved and incorporated in the new church.

M said...

Oh this is so sad...sometimes knowing the end is coming is worse. Did they take the bell and save the things that could be taken? Thank goodness for memories and pictures :)

Diane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Diane said...

Thanks so much for sharing the memories and the pictures of that rich piece of history in so many of our lives. Weren't those oranges absolutely the best tasting ones ever. So many blessings came out of that little building. So glad I was a part of it.

Busy Bee Suz said...

Natalie, I am crying for this loss..for you...for your family...for the entire congregation.
Prayers for all of you.
xoxox

Dawn said...

Natalie.

I can't even begin to say how sorry I am. My thoughts and prayers are with you, the church, and your little town.

Dawn

Karen/My Colonial Home said...

Oh goodness such devastation...to look at it from someone who is experiencing it - it's just too sad.
Praying for something that can help!
Karen