In 2010, congregants were encouraged to do some Faith Sharing. Gloria Gaynor and Carol Hanebury delivered a very moving word about where their faith comes from. (ICF: I Come From) This is just a draft, but since I couldn’t get it on video, this was the best I could do. A beautiful testament to the formative power of a faith community….
I/We Come From
G – I’m not sure just why we agreed to do this. Our faith story really involves YOU! So in essence our journey is what it is because you, our church family together with our own parents, have molded who we are.
C – (story behind Carlee’s poem)
C – ICF my loving family who brought me to this church to be baptized. I went on to have Mrs. Stahl, Mrs. Freed, Mrs. Bach, and Pam Edleman to name a few of my Sunday School teachers and role models.
G – And there are so many others. ICF Mr. Sutton’s youth Sunday School class where we were treated to lunch/ice cream, anything we wanted to make at his soda fountain IF we attended church first on Children’s Day TO raising my own children who challenged their teachers (probably more than I’ll ever know!) and sending them to Bible School and church camp at the now extinct Camp Fernbrook.
C – We CF Royersford Elementary School five days each week TO 1st Church where we often ran into our teachers – Mrs. Wonderlich, Miss Krasley, and even Mr. Fisher.
G – and I could add Mrs. Machemer, Mr. Lazorchick, and occasionally Mrs. Fry who often substituted at Royersford Elem. Just seemed like we couldn’t get away from them!
G – ICF an era where we had a choir director, Mr. Mayberry, AND an organist, Mr. Malenke, TO an era where the organist and choir director are one.
C – Some put up with us for a long time, like Marion Reinhart and now Frank Marstellar, who performs magic on our pipe organ, inspiring us each time we hear him play.
G – ICF a small child just learning to read and not understanding why you don’t read line-to-line in a hymnal through junior choir, youth choir (till Wendy was born!), senior choir, and now even bell choir where keeping track of 3 notes is often more of a challenge than I should admit!
G – We should take a moment to mention (express, explain?) the important role that music has played in our lives. Hymns have always been a way of communicating feelings like patriotism, faith, sorrow or joy or of making us feel calm, reassured, or motivated.
C – From “Jesus Loves Me” “Jesus Loves the Little Children”, and “Deep and Wide” we first learned to know about our Savior through songs in the nursery and Bible School.
G – And I grew up at home singing and humming songs like “Have Faith, Hope and Charity”, “Let the Sun Shine In”, and “You are my Sunshine”. Smiley faces and pictures of the sun still make me happy.
C – (Instruments – piano, Mrs. Deery, trumpets, organ, bells, bottle band!! in your words.)
C – WeCF the Dr. Watts era who baptized, confirmed, and married us TO Dr. Watts who baptized our children. Then there was Rev. Crowl and others as well as many interim pastors who challenged our faith in many ways.
G – ICF questioning my Sunday School teacher, Laura Francis, just how Jesus could have been a perfect person if He stayed behind to ask questions of the scholars at the temple causing his parents such worry.
C – ICF the openings in the back Sunday School room, hearing Charlie Kulp and Bub Edleman singing their hearts out to the old familiar hymns.
G – To the Family Living class where we don’t sing, but there are plenty of questions which often lead to MORE questions!
C – ICF the backroom shuffleboard games to progressive dinners to fish ponds to Christmas programs. I can still remember and feel the excitement in the air as I was waiting to sit on Santa’s lap and to ultimately receive that wonderful box of nonpareils that I loved so much.
G – WeCF parents who loved this church and the support offered to each other in good times and bad, joys and sorrows TO a new day where older members like the Landes’s, Hunsbergers, Jean Lincoln, Bea Nester, Bob Austin, Sandy Lazorchick, Caroline Gottshall, the Fishers still step up to the plate to help when needed, after raising their own children in this church family.
C – WeCF friendships that began here and have continued throughout the years. (Kendra Francis, Bill Hepp, Dunlaps, Wettys…)
G – and I’d add Linda Francis, Jonny Sutton, Jill Slonaker, Barb Bower and others.
G – ICF a back pew on that side (point) where I watched the entire Gottshall family share the joy of baby Darlene…
C – Now we marvel at Darlene, secretary to two churches, dumpling and shoofly guru, and organizer ex’trordinaire who remembers all the details and pilots plans into successful events for both churches.
G – WeCF the Reformed Church of Royersford with its many pastors like Dr. Watts (our Pastor Emeritus), and even members like Regis Kiggins, Betty Buchenhorst (whose wonderful sermon on our beautiful church windows still lives on in tape form), and Charlie Kulp (Charlie’s Angels. Charlie impressed me with a passing comment many years ago which has always remained glued to my faith. He said he is a Christian because he wanted to be, not because he was afraid NOT to be.) These folks and others shared their talents of ministry in many ways to full pews.
C – Now we are the United Church of Christ with our energetic and inspirational Pastor Kate in a yoked ministry with our friends at East Vincent. We have faith and hope that we again see these pews filled.
C – WeCF the familiar sights and sounds of this church – from beautiful Christmas trees to that old creeky floor in the back corner of the church and the wonderful baking aromas that spark vivid memories for us.
G – WeCF a powerful community of God.
C – First UCC has molded us in so many ways over the years…
G – As I mentioned from the start, we are not ones who should be up here. YOU all are the ones who wrote our story!