I decided that this blog was better suited to my Hasekamps of Tulip blog than rambling on for several minutes at church this morning, so here's the background. Today was the 150th Anniversary celebration of Sturgeon Christian Church. This is the church that I grew up in. One of the most interesting parts of the celebration was when Kenny (Hubble, my childhood friend, now the Chairman of the Board there) passed the microphone around the congregation. Everyone told a story of their memories of the church. I knew he was planning this so I sat down and really thought about alot of things that I remember. Since I didn't want to ramble on and on there, I will share them here.
Some of my earliest memories are of Sunday School and Vacation Bible School. The first SS teacher I remember specifically was Louise Jones, followed by Carol Bowne, then Vickie Smith and Bonnie Chase. I remember the church nursery room had what I thought as a child was the biggest drawer of toys that I had ever seen. Perspective changes as you get older, it fit under a baby crib, so maybe it wasn't so big. I remember Margaret Ritchie leading the childrens Sunday School singing and worship time. Her daughter, Louise Barrett played the piano. I learned this morning that she was very well trained by the time she got to my age group as several members older than I mentioned having the same memory. I remember during that time a little 'fake' birthday cake that held candles and when it was your birthday everyone sang for you and you got to blow out the candles. I remember VBS, that was the summer highlight of fun as a kid. The kids from our church and several other town kids attended, in fact I remember attending some other churchs VBS weeks as well, I think Mom still has the cutting board I made at the Baptist church VBS several years ago. At our church there was a certain order to things. The oldest kids who had graduated beyond VBS, probably 7th or 8th graders, were the recreation leaders. Recreation was generally a quick walk over to the school yard for games of kick ball or dodge ball. Refreshments were lovingly prepared by Mrs Creola Mason and Mrs Eva Kelly. I am sure there were others but those are two who stick out in my mind. They prepared individual snacks for each kid, which consisted of two or three cookies wrapped in a paper napkin. What a great surprise everyday to open it up and check out its treasures. As we got older, and a bit more observant, we figured out to check out the contents of the napkins and make sure we got the best ones. Kool Aid was the drink of the day. I can remember many a time sitting on the front steps of the church the snack tray sitting at the table that normally houses the guest book and picking up your cookies and drink, everyone sat on the steps and ate. I remember my Grandmother Ruby Barnes and her best friend Mary Woodruff were craft leaders several years. I can remember several interesting and intricate crafts that we made.
I remember a revival that we had when Tony Conley was the interim minister. I joined the church then, November of 1980. During the revival, his wife would sing a special and while she sang he drew a picture that I can't remember but can guess it possibly tied into the song. The person who had brought the most guests, received the picture. I joined the church the same time as my best friend from childhood, Michelle (Chase) Sandker, others I remember being baptised at the time were Bruce Pollard and my cousin Buford Bowne. I remember to this day the COLD water.
As I got older, I began to attend Youth Group. Hadley Haux, one of the older kids was our 'fearless' leader. I think he sort of got railroaded in, as he was the oldest. We must have trained him well as he has now spent the rest of his life working with kids as a band director in a school in the St Louis area. We did lots of great things in our youth group. I remember bowling, skating and swimming parties. I remember a few of these trips a little more vividly than others. One in particular was a trip to Rock Bridge State Park south of Columbia. It has an attraction called Devils Ice Box. Now I can't tell you if we even went down there or not. But know that we ran up and down the trails all over that park. I can tell you that there was poison ivy somewhere along the way. That particular summer, Michelle, Kim Barnes and I did EVERYTHING together. And chances are after that trip we all stayed all night at someones house together. Well by the next day, Kim and I both were covered head to toe with poison ivy and Michelle who ran with us every step and slept in the same bed didn't have it all. Kim and I both ended up going to the doctor it was so bad.
I remember church camp very fondly. The kids from SCC went to Rickman Conference Center Camp south of Jefferson City, MO. The first I knew of church camp was from the stories that Brad Blakemore and Kenney Hubble shared after their experience. The second year, Michelle and I got brave enough to go. I remember when it was time to go, I was less than enthusiastic, but by the end of the week, I didn't want it to be over. We must have been some great salesmen, as the third year, Sturgeon sent 14 kids to camp! We met kids from all over Mid Missouri. Some I remember particularly were from HArrisburg, Centralia, Troy, and Eldon, MO. Some of the kids we played sports against as we got older, some I still know today.
I remember church league. This was a slow pitch co-ed softball leugue that played games one night a week. I remembered 3 teams, but it was mentioned at church that our church had 4 teams. I know that my cousin Buford and I were captains of a team one year. What a statement that makes to not only have one team to represent your membership, but four! WOW!
I remember during the time we were led by Eldon Drennan, who made such an impact on my preteen and early teen years. The church started a newsletter, The Christian Outlook. Eldon wanted the kids to put together an edition of it at one point. I don't remember if it actually came to being as I remember one of our initial conversations was wanting to change the name for that edition to the Christian 'Look Out' I know that for someone who grew up and moved away, I have my day made once a month when the Christian Outlook arrives in my mailbox. I read it cover to cover ALWAYS. Virginia Haux adds just the right combination of announcements, and news bits for me to consider it a must read.
There are so many more memories. I was 'showered' twice there, once for my wedding and second when I was pregnant with my first baby, the one that today I have to look up at! I remember my wedding, complete with the fainting groomsman. I was married by Jimmy Jones, the same minister who married my parents, 23 years before. I was lucky enough to experience being led in my faith by Jimmy twice in my life, first as a child at Sturgeon, then as a young woman at Tulip.
I grew up in the Sturgeon Christian church as a person and as a Christian. I grew up and I left, like alot of kids do. But I have been blessed in my life to join another church just as loving, the Tulip Christian Church, where now my kids are stockpiling similiar memories of growing up in church. As I looked around that room today, so much of who I have become can be tied to the people and memories of growing up in that church, for that I feel fortunate and blessed. God Bless Sturgeon Christian Church, may you continue to serve the congregation and community for another 150 years and beyond.
Back at Tulip this evening~