A couple years ago Patty's mom was going through her basement full of memories in preparation for selling the house. And so, every time we went to visit there were more pictures to look at. And even though I had to keep asking “Who's this?” or “Where are you” I loved it. Looking at family pictures is a great way to learn about each other.
Church directories are family photo albums. I quite enjoy looking through a set of them in a church. As you do that you see how the community has changed over the years. Each edition has a different set of people – babies have been born, older children have moved away from home, some folk have moved (in or away), others have died. These directories become part of our history, part of how we tell our story. Besides who can ever resist those “did I/he/she really look like THAT” discussions?
This directory is but a snapshot of who we are as a congregation in 2010. It shows who is a part of the community as we look ahead to our 100th anniversary in 2011. We are the descendants(sometimes in a very literal sense) of those who formed a congregation and built a log building on this site. But we are also those who will pass on this community of faith to those who come after us. Who will be in the family snapshot next time? What story of faith will they tell?
In closing, I remember the first song I learned as a member of Junior Choir. The first verse proclaims:
The church is not a building, the church is not a steeple
the church is not a resting place the church is a people...
Here in these pages we find St. Paul's United. Not all of it since no family portrait ever gets everybody in. But the people staring back at you as you flip the pages, and those whose pictures are missing, that is the church. And so, whether you have been in every directory or this is your first time, welcome to the church...