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60 years and counting

Written by Bonnie Scranton. Posted in The Seed

60 candles cupcakeAs it states in the introduction of our 50th Anniversary booklet from 2010, “It is impossible to measure and recall exactly how God's spirit created – and has sustained – this fellowship of Christians. We do know, however, that the establishment of this mission church was a successfully unique and challenging experience for those who committed themselves to the task. We are both blessed by, and grateful for, their courage and tenacity.” That statement remains true to this very day.

We asked Norma Tofall and Olin Shuler, charter members, to write something for this 60th Anniversary Seed about their memories of this congregation and its beginnings. I know you will enjoy what they have written and you just might learn something you didn’t know about Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church of Quincy, IL (our official name).

Also included in this edition of The Seed is a list of the founders who, on Sept. 25, 1960, signed the Charter that currently hangs above the water fountains in the narthex. That document reads, “We, the undersigned, believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, as our Savior, and desiring to have a place in our community where we and our children may worship Him, thereby petition the Home Mission Board of the Illinois Synod of The United Lutheran Church in America to permit us to organize ourselves into a congregation by such a means as they deem wise and advisable to foster its growth.” Be sure to check out the list of signers. No doubt you will recognize the names of some of those faithful dreamers and doers.

Over our 60-year history we have had 16 different called and interim pastors, not including the mission developer, Rev. James Plymire, who served from July 1960 – July 1961. Nine of those 16 were called pastors. God has not let us down yet in the search for a pastor and we know He won’t abandon us in this tenth search, either. He will lead the right person to our doorstep in His own good time. As President Tabb has reminded us frequently, we just need to “Stay Calm and Carry On” while we wait.

Speaking of waiting, we had planned to have a 60th anniversary “day of celebration” later this month, but don’t think we can now do so safely. So, we will look toward spring for that celebration. We’ll keep you posted as the planning progresses. And while waiting to officially celebrate, we wanted you to have a bit of fun. Be sure to check out our special section in today’s Seed, “Back in 1960

Fulfilling Our Mission in a Very Strange Time

Written by Bonnie Scranton. Posted in The Seed

Stu Bell stopped in a few minutes ago and, as he typically does, asked if he could help with anything. My prompt reply was, “Yes, you can write the cover article for The SEED for me. My mind is a blank slate.” Stu just kind of chuckled, shook his head, and went back to the yellow room, which is one of the spaces where his talents blossom and bring forth all sorts of blessings for this church. As I thought about that moment, it made me once again appreciate all of those unique gifts and talents that each of you bring to this church family.

While most everyone has stayed hunkered down during this COVID-19 pandemic, a few of our members have been able to get out and use their talents to the benefit of our church and our community. Some of that work on behalf of the Lord is quite visible and can be seen in the tending to our church and church property. Jeff Clauss’ knowledge of lighting, and facilitating of a major gift of new LED lights throughout the church, will make a huge difference in the ability of many of our members to see better when here and will make a big difference in our utility bills as well. It also greatly improves the appearance of our worship and fellowship spaces.   Judy and Roger Wegehenkel’s time, talent, and leadership, along with others who have helped tend to our outdoor spaces, have made an enormous difference in the beautification of the church grounds. It began in earnest with the Memorial Garden and continues this spring with new landscaping and gardening in numerous spaces around the church.

We also have members who have been using their time during this crisis to help meet growing needs of others in our community. A number of our members have been making face masks to meet a most unexpected need for safety and wellness. Since we can’t gather at church for Sunday School, Trish has been putting together Sunday School packets for us to mail to the homes of our members with children, and to the homes of a couple of families who aren’t members but have visited frequently. Sue & Jim Hobbins have led us in helping to meet an ever-growing need for feeding the hungry in our community, especially those who have been adversely affected by a loss of income during this pandemic.

We are extremely blessed to have a team of people, led by Amy Stollberg, who have found a way to bring our worship services into your homes, and the homes of others, every Sunday via technology. It is so important for us – especially now – to stay connected to our faith and to continue to be spiritually fed each week! And thanks to the major commitment of time on the part of our Shepherd Leaders, we are able to stay connected as a church family while being asked to stay safe and stay home.

These are just the things happening that I know about. And knowing who we are as a congregation, I have no doubt that there is even more going on now in your homes and your lives to make a difference in the lives of those around you. Whatever you are doing to help, thank you! It makes me extremely proud to be a member of this church family, where we take seriously our mission, “Christ Cares. Share the Faith!”