Sunday, September 14

Shall we gather at the River......

Sunday morning dawned very damp, slightly foggy, but no rain for the morning activities of Heritage Days. I won't be sharing photos of any quilts and stitching in this post but I will be sharing that many of us were "in stitches" with joy and laughter at the scene that played out along the banks of the Minnesota River here in Henderson this morning.
I'll set the scene for you so get ready and lets step back in time...........It's the late 1800's and word has come that a new minister will be arriving in Henderson - and it's a lady. Mr. Straub, the local choir director (with his back to you in the picture) has been telling everyone how awful this may be, why it just can't be right to have a lady minister!!! But her canoe has been spotted and she will soon step ashore, so Mr. Straub leads us all in song as we sing "Shall we gather at the river." Many from the community have gathered to be a part of the welcoming committee for the new pastor and, of course, fine dress is a must. Miss Amy (on the left) is looking especially lovely in her new suit of clothes and matching hat.

The canoe and its precious cargo nears the river landing. Fortunately the waters were very still this morning. (Is that a "back-up" canoe, in case the first one capsizes and there would have to be a rescue?)
Mr. Straub, who only minutes earlier was not sure there should be a lady minister in our town, takes her hand and helps her from the canoe.

I think she must have charmed him as within minutes he was laughing and the two of them headed up the hill to the waiting wagon while the choir followed behind singing more choruses of "Shall we gather at the river".

Pastor Kathy and Miss Lamona wait for the wagon to fill and soon the wagon was headed up the hill to the Tent Revival.

Many choir members and community residents followed the wagon and we had to do some clever stepping not to get stuck in the mud! Fortunately, we weren't in a real tent as it probably would have leaked when the rains came. Instead, we were in the covered shelter at the Bender Park. Music from the Joyful Noise Praise Band from Belle Plaine, MN played while the new lady pastor, Miss Kathy, greeted members of the community and fears of how awful it might be to have a lady pastor quickly disappeared!

The shelter was full of people and as service began, everyone hoped the rain would stay away. All were welcomed and we read the Lord's Prayer together. The choir sang "Amazing Grace" and it truly sounded amazing as voices of the choir we led by Mr. Straub and Mrs. Straub accompanied on the organ. Then just as the new lady pastor was beginning her message, the rains began and so those on the outside moved in a bit. And then it rained some more, so everyone moved in again. And this was a good thing as it was getting a wee bit cold so huddled together brought us much needed warmth. The choir sang another old and favored hymn "Just as I am" and then an offering for the local food shelf was collected. Then the new lady pastor introduced us to the Circuit Rider, Father Keith of the Church of St. Joseph. He shared his story with us and just as he finished, the noon whistle blew and he said "I think this means I have talked too long" so with a closing prayer and another hymn from the choir, those who had come to worship headed out to enjoy more of the days festivities.................
And now, back to the present. Unfortunately, the rain continued all day long. I made a run for my car and headed up to the library to unlock so that visitors could enjoy seeing the quilts. And 51 visitors came to see the quilts, which on a rainy day in our little town is probably a pretty good turn-out. I was hoping to get photos of the quilts into a slide-show format but by the time I packed up all the quilts, got home and fixed supper, made a triple batch of my "Southern Roots Biscuits" and some No-bake chocolate oatmeal cookies - well, I was tired. So, tomorrow I will post the quilts and tell you more about them. I think the sun we wanted for today is going to show up tomorrow. Oh, well. Hope you all had as good a day as I did!
Sandi

2 comments:

sparkle jars said...

I'm enjoying your posts so much. I want to move there! :-)Thank you for taking us on a field trip. It's so fun to see what you are up to.

Nanette Merrill and daughters said...

I loved this. It was almost like being there. What a fun enactment of a sweet moment in history. Rain or shine, it was a success.

"Peace can be found in the piecing of a quilt."
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