Saturday, January 29, 2011

Liberty EUB Church: Childhood

Childhood in Liberty involved the church frequently.  Every Sunday, the church bell served as a reminder, we were being called to worship.  I remember walking the two blocks to church with my dad and mom or my Grandma Jonas.  My Grandpa Jonas stayed home and prepared Sunday Dinner while listening to Rev. Harvey Hahn preach on the radio from the Methodist Church in East Dayton where Grandpa grew up on Steele Avenue.

The youngest babies were in the nursery during Sunday School and church service.  Women members organized a volunteer group to provide the nursery care, as in many churches.  Sunday School teachers were also volunteers. Clara Weaver, Lowell Schenck, Gladys Alread were some of the teachers I remember.

The neighbor kids all went to the church, too.  Donna and Peggy, Jimmy and Danny, Bobby, Sandy, Brenda, and Sylvia were there.  I don't remember if  David and Susie, Nancy and Judy, Patty, Billy and Freddy were there.

My youngest memories of church services involved playing with a toy car and lying on the floor under the pew.  I remember my Grandma ordering me to sit still over and over.  Maybe I didn't focus well enough on the service.  During the hymns and the Doxology, I enjoyed my Grandma's unique voice, which she used also to lead singing here and there.  The voices in Liberty included the unique sounds of Russell Wolf, Grandma Jonas, Frances Wolf, Jean Ney, and Gladys Alread and others I've forgotten.

Our pastor when I was 9 or 10 years old, Rev. John Bergland somehow learned that I was learning to play chess.  He invited me to the parsonage to play chess.  I was really impressed that the preacher would play chess with me.  He won in three moves the first game.  You're never too young to learn the "fool's mate".  I still remember how much he impressed me as a caring person and a leader.

Vacation Bible School (VBS) each summer was a highlight of the summer for me. We learned more songs, such as "Keep in Step All the time".  Moses in the bullrushes was a great story at Bible School.  Pharoah was not a nice guy.  Joseph was a great hero who was very forgiving after being betrayed by his brothers.  We made crafty items.  We pasted papers together with paste that we made and we also used glue to make a mess and hold papers together.  We painted with water colors.  Teachers and leaders included Grangma Jonas, Clara Weaver, Gladys and others. I remember Romita Allen was one of the youth age teachers who helped to teach me in VBS.  We memorized Bible verses.  We played Red Rover outside.  I remember being good at Red Rover.  (Did Jesus ever play Red Rover?)

More later (softball, woman with large goiter, junior and senior choir, more teachers, ice cream socials, volleyball, Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit.)

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