As I look back at my years, I think I have been blessed with more vivid October memories than any other month. So, needless to say, I really look forward to the early autumn days soon upon us.
I remember being a part of family happenings in October. I especially remember mid-October pheasant hunting trips near Artesian, South Dakota on land that my grandma and grandpa Johnson purchased—land that yet remains in the extended family. I remember my grandpa Johnson kneeling beside me for the required, “I shot my first pheasant!” picture (even though I am wondering now if my dad didn’t help drop that first pheasant for me?…with me?).
I have October memories of climbing into my dad’s old Ford pickup, with brothers, a sister and usually a cousin or two, and driving down to the Morris Market melon fields (rural Vermillion, SD) and loading up the back of the truck with late season, scavenged melons that would go to waste if the local, Norwegian peasants didn’t come out and glean the fields. It took time to look under bent over weeds and in shaded furrows to find good fruit, but the reward was remarkably sweet juice running down our faces as we ate melons right out in the field.
I could write pages as I think back on over fifty years of remembered Octobers. Do you have October memories?
I think that these coming, October weeks might provide our congregation with some days and events that we will talk of into the winter, if not into the years. Every Sunday is special this month: New members received; staff celebrated; guest preacher welcomed; confirmation youth Confirmed on successive Sundays.
But, one happening in the month stands out as an October moment that I think I will remember the rest of my life: on Sunday, October 13th, after worship, we will break ground (everyone that wants to, bring your shovel) on our new Outdoor Pavilion. Four generations will gather out to the east of the church proper. We will say our prayers. We will sing a song. We will (weather permitting) enjoy some coffee and refreshments (even our Sunday School kids and teachers will be a part of this) out where we will soon break bread, worship, play, meditate, and just be the people of God.
And, yes, a picture or two will be taken and properly chronicled and then archived. Why? Because people in the coming decades may find their memories fading just a bit asking, “Just what October was it when Beaver Valley built their new Outdoor Ministry Area?”
Pastor Greg Johnson