The first week of February is full of family memories. On February 1, 1950 Rhoda, Rachel and I left for Florida which we became our home for the next 56 years. We arrived on Feb. 4, and on February 10 we celebrated Rachel’s second birthday. This Sunday we will celebrate another birthday for Rachel and her son, Phil
The Last Sunday of January was likely the last time I will be in charge of a Sunday School class. During class time we honored a past teacher: Royal Bauer. In March, 1949 Royal and his wife Evelyn were sent by the Mennonite Board of Missions (now MMN) as missionaries to India. Unfortunately, Royal’s wife became ill with polio so after only three years in India they needed to return to the US. Her exceptional recovery allowed her to review books, do art work and type on an electric typewriter with the aid of an arm-sling. Until his retirement, Royal was a member of the faculty of Bethany Christian Schools, Goshen. Indiana.
At the beginning of Greencroft fifty years ago, the College Mennonite Church was responsible for the appointment of Sunday School teachers at Greencroft. Royal Bauer accepted an invitation to teach a SS class in the Gathering Room of Evergreen’s Central Manor. He continued teaching forty-eight years. The class had the privilege of celebrating his faithfulness. For four Sundays we had been immersed in the Psalms so we did a short review and I wrote a psalm-like litany as a part of the celebrative service:
Praise the Lord from India
Praise him for sending missionary couples
Let the churches of India give thanks.
Praise the Lord from Bethany Christian Schools
Praise him for faculty and staff
Let the students give thanks
Praise the Lord from Greencroft Evergreen
Praise him for faithful Sunday School teachers
Let the Residents of Evergreen give thanks
As was his custom, Royal played the organ for the class, and we closed with refreshments and a social time. Since this was my last Sunday as teacher at Evergreen Place I am back to my usual routines at College Mennonite Church. This includes attending the Borderlands Sunday Morning group and trying to resolve the tension over how to behave when welcoming LGBTQ persons of faith. For me, the tension melts away when I define “all” unconditionally.
gives graceful welcome to all
as we all received