by the Rev. Robert Olsen
As I write this we are preparing for our Celebration of 50 Years as St George’s. I’ve enjoyed going back through photo albums and scrap books learning more of the history of St George’s. It has been just as much fun reliving the past 25 years, as learning about St George’s first 25 years. Getting out of the Army the spring of 1990, Sandy and I were here for all of the 25th Year Celebration and events in 1991.
Looking back at photos of events and the people who made up the congregation over the years brought back a lot of fond memories. And yes we have had a lot of folks come and go over the past 25/50 years. Finding an old directory from 1971, I learned that Barbara Cooper and Vicki and John Karsten were at St George’s when they put out a pictorial directory. We’ve done a bit better over the past 25 years, with a dozen of us still attending.
As I reflected on what I had read and the photos, two things came to mind. First, even though we’ve turned over a lot of members during the past 25 and 50 years, I’ve come to realize how active the majority of the congregation has always been, melodramas, craft fairs, animal blessings and on and on. Now I can’t speak for the first 25 years, other than from stories passed on to me by others, but for the last 25 years regardless of folk’s comings and goings, while they are/were here at St George’s they were active in the life and ministry of the church. With all our moves Sandy and I have made and the many Episcopal Churches we have been members of, I can only think of one congregation where the percent of the congregation who were active in the various ministries of the church was as large as St. George’s. Not surprisingly, it was a small church in North West Tennessee where by necessity pretty much everyone had to help with the day-to-day life and ministry of the church. I’m thinking it probably took a quarter or more of the congregation to fill the mission committee positions.
The second thought that crossed my mind was – where will I be at the 75th or 100th Anniversary. Now for the 100th, I’m very confident that I’ll be in residence in the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery in Dixon, as I have little expectation of hitting my 119th birthday. On the other hand, it isn’t outside the realm of possibility to be around for my 94th birthday, having Fr Bob as an example.
What will St George’s be like in 25 years? My wish and prayer is that although many of the faces will be different, it will still be the same wonderful congregation of loving and caring people it is today. And based on the past 25/50 years I don’t see why not.