Regular attendance to church didn’t begin for me until the fifth grade. We moved to Hyde Park in Chicago. That is when I began to call the Methodist Church home.
I sang in the choir on Sundays and went to Sunday school and then stayed for the Sunday sermon. At the time I didn’t realize I was building a foundation that strengthened my faith.
Fast forward to summer 1966.
My husband Buck and I were moving to Princeton with three year old Kim and six week old Guy. This was our new home; ready or not here we come.
J & L was a big steel company being built in Hennepin, Illinois, on the Illinois River and just down the road from Princeton. Everyone had dollar signs in their eyes. Business was expected to boom. Their was a new sub-division on the north west side of Princeton named Bird Haven being developed. This is where our new home was located. Eventually this would become home to many families transferring from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but for the time being we had only a few neighbors.
What greeted us that summer day was a house with no yard, dirt roads and an unfinished driveway. There was construction equipment everywhere and houses in various stages of completion. While there are dozens of homes today, then, there was only one dozen.
New mother that I was, with some postpartum depression going on, the scene looked and felt overwhelming.
“Back in the day” we only had one car. Buck needed ours for work so that left the kids and me all day alone, with the exception of Mr. Halberg who delivered the milk.
It was a lonely time and I felt isolated. So when the Methodist Church called to ask if I would like to join a newly formed morning circle, I did not hesitate.
Little did I know that life long friendships were about to begin.
We were a pretty large group. Most of us had one, two or three children and we did not hire a baby sitter. We met above Cushing Hall in the kindergarten room and nursery. It was, to say the least, chaos. But to me it was salvation.
Roll call went something like this...First meeting we had 15 mothers 19 children, second meeting we had 23 children 18 mother, and third meeting we had 31 children and 22 mothers.
On September 3rd 1974, we voted to pay a sitter $6.00 if she drove her own car and $5.00 if she rode with someone. We actually had the nerve to invite guests to offer us programs and devotions.
We didn’t mind the noise, we did our part as best we could, to support United Methodist Women (UMW)
and the important global mission work then and now.
It pleases me to know that my grandmother way out in Colorado and Buck’s mother here, were active members of UMW and that gave foundation to me.
While world wide mission work is so important, I have discovered that I have been one of the missions. This wonderful group of women reached out to me and called me friend. They all were and still are God’s angels saving me.