In Memoriam Mary Elizabeth Womack
On Friday, November 24, the world got a little darker as my grandmother, "Big Mom", drew her last breath. Aptly nicknamed "Big Mom", she was a giant in the family, community, and the church. Her sense of duty (be it
building butterfly bombs for the war effort during WWII, nursing sick family members back to health and when needed providing their hospice care, visiting the shut-in church members, or simply playing with her grandchildren and great- grandchildren for hours on end) was unrivaled and her love knew no ends. She would tell us "Hunny, Big Momma loves you more than you know". In the last few years I started to realize how much, as she couldn't say it without breaking down into tears. Soo much love.
Big Mom was always there for us and you didn't hesitate to call her if you needed anything. She was on duty 24/7/365. Her porch light was always on for you. She was voted by her grandchildren as "Most likely to bail you out of jail", though she also won "Most likely to join you for a night out on the town". Magically, she was someone you could completely depend on and yet have a ball doing it. That's a wonderful and rare trait.
One thing you didn't do was leave Big Mom's house hungry. She always had something to quench your thirst or satiate your hunger. One night in particular, Sis and Jon had arrived in town late and stopped by Big Mom's. Expectantly, Big Mom
asked, "Can I get y'all anything to eat?" (Before you could ever answer she was already off to the kitchen noting exactly what she had). Seconds later she said "I don't have anything made right now. Do you want me to bake you a cake? I could make you one; it'll only take me a few minutes". Who does that you ask? Big Mom, that's who.
As Sinatra sang: "I faced it all and I stood tall. And I did it my way". Yes, Big Mom, you did do it your way and it was beautiful! Cheers! God bless you and we love you Big Mom. Rich Webb
The Saint of the Month
Martin Luther King, Jr, Civil Rights Leader and Martyr, 1968
Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta. As the son and grandson of Baptist preachers, he was steeped in the Black Church tradition. To this heritage he added a thorough academic preparation, earning the degrees of B.A., B.D., and Ph.D. in Systematic Theology from Boston University.
In 1954, King became pastor of a church in Montgomery, Alabama. There, Black indignation at inhumane treatment on segregated buses culminated in December, 1955, in the arrest of Rosa Parks for refusing to give up her seat to a white man. King was catapulted into national prominence as the leader of the Montgomery bus boycott. He became increasingly the articulate prophet, who could not only rally the Black masses, but could also move the consciences of Whites.
King founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to spearhead non-violent mass demonstrations against racism.
Many confrontations followed, most notably in Birmingham and Selma, Alabama, and in Chicago. King’s campaigns were instrumental to the passage of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964, 1965 and 1968. King then turned his attention to economic empowerment of the poor and opposition to the Vietnam War, contending that racism, poverty and militarism were interrelated.
King lived in constant danger: his home was dynamited, he was almost fatally stabbed, and he was harassed by death threats. He was even jailed 30 times; but through it all he was sustained by his deep faith. In 1957, he received, late at night, a vicious telephone threat. Alone in his kitchen he wept and prayed. He relates that he heard the Lord speaking to
him and saying, “Martin Luther, stand up for righteousness, stand up for justice,” and promising never to leave him alone— “No, never alone.” King refers to his vision as his “Mountain-top Experience.”
After preaching at Washington Cathedral on March 31, 1968, King went to Memphis in support of sanitation workers in
their struggle for better wages. There, he proclaimed that he had been “to the mountain-top” and had seen “the Promised Land,” and that he knew that one day he and his people would be “free at last.” On the following day, April 4, he was cut down by an assassin’s bullet.
From the Loft
In the frigid days of early January, it warms my heart to think back upon the wonderful music we shared in December.
On Advent III, our children delighted us with their pageant of poetry and song. I was astounded, and possibly, you were, too, at the deep well of musical talent in our young people. We were treated to several vocal solos as well as performances on violin, tenor saxophone, and trumpet (and a ukulele on the final song). We thank each of them for sharing their talents with the church: Emery, Ashleigh, Jacob, Natasha, Lucas, Carter, Shaon, Shoumili, Erick, and Alex.
Christmas Eve services brought rounds of familiar carols from the congregation as well as the choir. Our church is a singing church, but particularly at Christmas, we love to sing out with great heart. “Joy to the World” and “Silent Night”, and all the others, are a welcome alternative to the pop Christmas songs played on the radio and in the malls. Wasn’t it wonderful to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas with our church family, singing these timeless carols together?
In January we are entering the season of Epiphany, with hymns about light and the fulfillment of prophecy. Let’s sing them out with joy!
One final thought:
The enthusiasm of the youth during our pageant preparation has made me wonder whether we might start a Youth Choir. (We had one for a while when the Spain girls, House girls, and the Sinhas were younger). If there is interest, let’s talk about it. JANE EMERY
From the Altar Guild
The Altar Guild consists of four teams of two members. Each team serves one weekend each month. The members are responsible for the weekly care and cleaning of the nave for the preparation of the candles, linens, display of the hangings and banners and caring for the priest’s vestments. The various colors and design of the banners depict the seasons throughout the year. When we’ve finished the duties of the Altar Guild, we stand back. We look at the beauty of the colors and watch the sunlight streaming through the stained-glass window above the altar. We feel that our duties are truly a service to our Lord!
January/February Outreach News
Our Winter collection for Room in the Inn is men's gloves (adult sizes/new), hats (new adult sizes) & men’s white socks (new). Drop off is in the Outreach Box by the piano in the nave. Our thanks to all for their continued generosity!
Bruce's Recipe of the Month Cranberries in Snow
1 lb. cranberries
3/4 cup water
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup chopped nuts
1 8 oz. cream cheese
1 large box cherry Jello
2 cups sugar
1 7 oz. jar marshmallow crème
1/2 pint whipping cream
Cook cranberries in water until tender, drain
Add to Jello and sugar. Stir and let cool. Add pineapple and nuts. Refrigerate
until set. Topping: Mix cream cheese and marshmallow crème and whipped cream (whip first.) Spread on top of Jello. Serve and keep refrigerated.