Friday, June 27, 2014

Heather Remembers

*Heather has been attending HMC her entire life. The following are some of her memories, shared through an internal publication celebrating the 100 year anniversary of our church in 2001.

Hanover Missionary Church - Flashback FridayI remember how my little legs stuck to the highly varnished pews in the first sanctuary of this church while I listened to Pastor Bill Lehman preach.  I remember Mom piling sixteen children into the car (in the era before mini vans and seatbelt laws) to drive us to Vacation Bible School during Pastor Wideman's bus ministry. I remember writing elaborate notes to my friends while Pastor Illman begged the congregation not to leave without getting it right with God. I remember riding my horse to the outdoor evangelistic services in (what used to be) the Zellers parking lot. I remember the kissing tree - a favourite meeting spot behind the church - and I remember the high notes I never hit in the last solo I ever sang while Pastor Bill Smith led this church. I could tell you about the slightly misguided Halloween party I helped to host as youth group president while my father (dressed as a woman) greeted everyone with his shotgun at the entrance of our you'd like to hear more about that...

If this church merely represented a lot of fond memories, it would hold a huge place in my heart.

But more than anything else, the Hanover Missionary Church has been a place for me to meet with God. My parents carried me to the altar and dedicated me to God as an infant in this church. I was taught God's word and memorized a lot of scripture through the encouragement of Vacation Bible School, Keys to Life, Missionary Cadets and great Sunday School teachers. I chose to be baptized as a young girl in this church. When I made wrong choices or felt the blows of crushing defeat in my spiritual life I sought God's forgiveness and listened for His voice at the altar in this church. When I was angry with God over circumstances beyond my control, He touched me, taught me to submit and spoke in miraculous ways in this church.

It's strange how you can feel like the church is such a huge part of you and yet realize that you are such a small part of the church.

I've seen people I love walk through the doors of this church (and) reject the truth of God's word or take offence over inconsequential things and leave. I've watched others that almost literally crawled into church as the ultimate act of humility or defeat be lifted up by the Spirit of God. It's miraculous this church, the body of believers - so human, so fallible and yet so saved by Grace and loved by God. I feel so fortunate that the Hanover Missionary Church has been part of my life because God seems pleased to meet me here.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Memories From Vi

{Vi MacKinnon passed away in the Spring of 2011. She had been a vibrant piece of HMC for years. The following is a collection of some of her memories, transcribed from her hand-written notes for a publication that was released for the 100th anniversary of HMC in 2001.}

flash back friday
My family and I joined the Church in 1962. It has meant a lot to us. I felt a very loving, caring, friendly place to worship.

I have to say that my fondest memories were being a Sunday School Teacher. I would like to call it 'serving the children'. I started out as Dorothy Schmitt's helper in her class of 4 & 5 year old's. I loved working with God's precious I started Junior Church. Then the Church decided to start a bus service. I took part in the visitation that it required. We ran the Bus Ministry for several years.

I would need a lot of notepaper to record all the fond memories of so many things about the children. We had singing of choruses, Scripture memorization, children becoming kind to each other, and just loving to get on the bus for Sunday School and Church.

Lynne Crossman was a great helper. She was always there for the children. There were different bus drivers but Gary Schmidt was our last one. The children all loved Gary and Lynne. I was very grateful to God for their help. I always felt so blessed by how the children would take part in the singing (on the bus rides).

One Sunday morning stays with me. It was a fall morning and we were on our way to Sunday School. We had our usual sing-songs and action songs and fall colours were at the Master Painter's best. Driving through Allan Park, there was such a great spirit on the bus, Gary turned and said, "I think we should stop here and have a service." I quite agreed. It was a beautiful ride and a beautiful feeling to go into Church with.

Corn roasts, hayrides, and barbeques brought old and young together for great times. There is such a great blessing when one decides to work with God's children. The work was a joy to me.