- Jonathan Huddleston
We Are Moving Forward
Inspired by the upcoming Memorial Day holiday, I have been researching the history of our congregation. Fascinating stuff.
A group of people got together, mainly in homes, as early as 1836, agreeing "to be joined in the bonds of the Gospel and to follow Jesus according to His word." What a wonderful commitment! Sign me up!
Our current building was constructed in 1921. Lee McKlveen remembers hearing how his grandfather hitched up a team of horses and dug the foundation. Another member of the church, blacksmith J. C. Morley, shaved the shingles.
Over the years, we added carpet and pulpit, chairs and then pews, an organ and a baptistry. Some of our current members remember the addition of the "classroom wing" in 1963. In the 1960s, we had youth programs with 30 youth, and Bible School with 50 children.
All this happened before I was born. But when I came to Laughlintown two years ago, I came to a church on the move. We had made decisions to study the Bible in language that people today can understand; to have fewer restrictions on who could serve and lead; to sing fresh songs that worshipped Jesus; to use new technology such as projected music, and online services, and (of course) a website.
The KICK program (Kids In Christ's Kingdom) is still a fresh way to reach our kids through 5th grade, and I consider it higher quality than any comparable programming I've seen for this age, mainly because of our creative and hard-working volunteers. We've gone on field trips, cooked meals, hosted Trunk-or-Treat and Sitcom Trivia Dinner and Easter Egg-stravaganza, created a much-appreciated pandemic-era video Christmas service with greetings from our various families, and come together to plan a new construction project (revamping the entry room).
We've had baptisms and weddings, one birth down and another on the way, new members and new neighbors, celebrations of life and , yes, celebrations of people passing. We've had graduations and community services, new deacons and teachers and elders, and blessings that are new every day.
We can see God's hand in the history we inherit and the history we are making. We are still bound by the same "bonds of the gospel," still teaching and encouraging one another "to follow Jesus according to his word."
We can see God's hand in the history we inherit and the history we are making.
I said it last week, but I'll say it again: Week after week, we gather and learn, worship and share. Week after week, we teach children about the Bible, and read and pray so we can grow. Week after week, we rally around those who are sick and hurting, and we look for ways to reach out to new people.
And God is present in all of it.
This Saturday, May 28, at 5 p.m., we will meet at the church for a prayer walk around our neighborhood in Laughlintown. I encourage you to give this a try, as we learn to see God's presence in the everyday life of our neighbors.