Life in the Church

Mom was scheduled to teach her Sunday School class on Sunday November 14, 2004.  The subject was life in the church.  We found her notes at her feet on Saturday.  They are presented below just as she wrote them.  Keep in mind that they were just notes for her presentation and not intended as a written piece.

History of My Church Life

 4 years old – told my Mom of my image

6 years old – Moved to a farm, learned to milk cows, do chores, pick strawberries, etc. Sunday School at Verona Baptist Church. Told teacher my first name was Nona.

Went to church in a buggy or a wagon.

Black cat – wondered about God’s power.

My Pop’s team of horses, plowing, Jesus Christ. My older sister and brother were baptized in the Verona Creek on a beautiful summer day – image of Christ being baptized.

10 years old – moved into town. Mrs. Bulgar, furniture store owners wife taught our class. She gave me a green satin box and a string of beads. We met in the basement. Someone came to our church and talked us into building booths in the basement. My younger brothers and three sisters sat on the steps of the Baptist church early every Sunday morning. I don’t remember Mom and Pop going but they made sure we did. We moved to another farm when I was in 6th grade and I learned the Beatitudes sitting on a woodpile.  I went to that church until I went to Springfield to college.

When I was 15 I taught 12 year olds the lesson for our church. Somewhere in those years I latched on to Phillipians 4:13 and never let go. I was accused of bragging but I’d explain I’d have help.

Even though I had help getting out the high school yearbook, I let the staff put in the saying “Being good is such a lonesome job” by my name. I considered it a compliment in a funny way.

Age 17-18 – went to college and to the Springfield Baptist church. My high school typing teacher asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I said I wanted a Bible. She gave me my first Bible with my name on the cover and a green sweater set. I was baptized in that church and belonged to a big college Sunday School class. I took a college course about the Bible taught a Methodist minister.  Finished college in three years.

1940 – Moved Hannibal Missouri to teach in Oakwood High School – my first job. I went to the Hannibal Baptist Church and taught a Sunday School class of 21 girls about my age. We had a social life too.

1941 – Evanston Illinois to Northwestern University. Baptist church in the North was so different.

February 1942 – Married in St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. Husband drafted in April.  He went overseas for three years.

September 1942 – taught at Sue Bennet College in London Kentucky. Strict acting president – no smoking, no dancing, no card playing but dancing in the gym.

Christmas 1942 – I visited my college and all my teachers said I should be where the war action was. They all knew the Dean of the Business Department at Oklahoma A&M college and recommended me to teach the soldiers how to type. He hired me sight unseen so I left the college in April and went to Stillwater and taught the soldiers and WAVES up to 1945 whe the European war was over. I don’t remember much about church activity there except that lots of the professors were Christian Scientists.

April 1945 I moved to North Chicago and taught at Katharine Gibbs Secretarial School at 700 N Michigan Ave on the 12th and 14th floors. I taught there until my husband came home from Europe in October. He was discharged at Ft. Sheridan. I called the President that A.M. and never went back.

We started our family. We lived in Fernwood (103rd and Halsted). We moved into our first house when Rich was 2 weeks old. I didn’t teach until Richard was in first grade. As soon as we got settled, I looked for a church for Artie, 6, Ron, 3 and the baby. Fernwood Methodist Church was within walking distance sow we began going there. Then I decided that if I expected other mothers to work with my children, I should work too. I wrote my Mom that I had strayed from the fold because I’ve joined the Methodist Church. When she read that, she proceeded to send me two very old letters of her Mom and Pop – grandma and grandpa’s membership letters in the Methodist Church.

We were in the Fernwood Methodist Church for 9 years. I was superintendent of the junior department with 8 teachers helping me. I also worked with the youth leader in the evenings for teenagers. At the same time my husband was Cub Scout Master for our 3 boys – and he stayed in Scouts even after the boys were grown – scout camps, paper drives, etc.

We moved to Morgan Park and I went back to Fernwood for a year as superintendent, then got involved in Morgan Park Methodist Church. Rich and a couple of others fainted from the heat at confirmation. My sis and husband visited us in Morgan Park.

Boys went away to college and we moved to Encinitas California after 17 years of teaching at Thornton Community College.  I joined the Encinitas Methodist Church and was a member of a big adult Sunday School class, church bridge – even my square dance club used our church. Eleanor Burns of “Quilt in a Day” fame belonged to our church. She got several of us together one day and we made a quilt to be autctioned off for out money making drive. It sold for only $125 so she wasn’t very happy about that.

My husband’s memorial service was held there in 1984. I stayed out there 6 more years teaching at Palomar Junior College – business and computers.

Moved back here September 1990. Carol McMahon came to see me with a coffee cake.  I told her I wanted to get into bowling, bridge and square dancing. She waived a magic wand and I was enrolled in all three. It helped that Art, Jill and daughters were members too. I took two disciple classes.

I saw a notice about Hospice soon after moving here so with my 5 years of experience I joined. Eileen got me into Stephen Ministry in 1992. But this year I’m slowing down after 19 years with Hospice.

So that’s the journey of my life with the influence of the church. I don’t know how young my twin sister and I were in relation to our church and Sunday School, but I have two Christmas cards from a church member to us twins and my twin died at 23 months. So, I guess the church has touched me for 83 or 84 years. It’s quite a journey.