Saturday, October 31, 2009


Most every Saturday I read my hometown newspaper on-line. I check the obituaries, but my favorite thing to read is what the local churches are doing. Growing up, the town (population 87) nearest to our farm had two churches in it: the Presbyterian Church and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We were rivals, we were friends. Each week when I read the religion section I look to see what the Presbyterians are doing. There’s a comfortable feeling seeing the names of people I admired and remember well (Donna, Corny, Rhea, Bob, Mildred, John, Ilona, Dorothy) still conducting business, parties and Dutch-oven dinners, Sunday school worship and coffee hours forty years later.

I also enjoy seeing what the churches in the larger valley are doing. For example this week:
  • The Lutherans are holding their Community Harvest Festival and serving hot dogs and chips with candy and prizes given away. (They ask that you to bring a can of food for the community Christmas baskets.)

  • The Methodists are having a potato bar in one congregation while another is serving turkey stuffed with sauerkraut, roasted turkey, turkey dressing, mashed potatoes with turkey gravy, fruit and tossed salads, green beans, rolls, cakes and cookies. (Have you ever stuffed a turkey with sauerkraut?)

  • The Congregational Church’s harvest dinner is having turkey and dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry salad, homemade noodles, and homemade pies. (They’re serving it family style and homemade noodles are available for purchase. Have you ever served noodles with turkey, dressing and mashed potatoes?)

  • The Catholic Church is having a festival that includes bingo, a carnival and a turkey dinner.

  • The Episcopal Church is holding its bazaar and soup and pie will be served. Another congregation is selling plum and carrot puddings for $7 each. (They borrowed a "closely guarded plum pudding recipe, recorded in a 1951 cookbook, from a congregation 150 miles away and were only given permission to use the recipe if they promised they would keep it a secret.” This is my favorite piece of news because I can imagine these women trying to decide who of the parishioners actually gets to read the whole recipe and then when the recipe does leak how they will decide who did it.)

One thing I love about America—be it rural, inner-city, or urban—is her churches and synagogues. Long live freedom of religion.


Kathy said...

I have loved walking around the U District and seeing the myriad of churches there. When we grew up we had three main churches; Baptist, Catholic, and LDS. I still love my class mates from those other faiths, it was fun to interact with them at our last reunion.

Samantha said...

I loved this post. When we moved to our new small town here in CA the first thing I noticed is that on the way to our house we go down a street that has 4 or 5 different churches on it. It's fun reading the signs of the different activities the churches are involved in. It makes me feel like we are surrounded by other people who are trying to be good and live good helpful lives.

Derek-Jenny-Kaitlynd-Ethan-Dylan said...

Sounds like you community knows how to really get people involved.
That is great!

michelle said...

I love this. Especially the part about the plum pudding!

bBchronicles said...

Sweet post! I grew up in California with the same potpourri of faiths and cultures - and you love them all! I miss that sometimes!

Kelsy Watson said...

Leaving Moses Lake, I was able to truly appreciate it. I am happy I was able to talk to you today because it was great. Thanks for the advice. Here I am! Add me haha!