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A Day in the Life

 

Summertime worshippers at historic Pauline Methodist Church keep cool with classic church fans from decades ago. Courtesy of Pauline Methodist Church. Summertime worshippers at historic Pauline Methodist Church keep cool with classic church fans from decades ago. Courtesy of Pauline Methodist Church. A Day in the Life of a Community of Faith

From cantatas to Christmas programs, fundraisers to pheasant feeds, Pauline's only house of worship has been the hub of activity for over a century. The images on this page offer a glimpse of just a few of the activities a parishioner might have experienced during the past century.

Sunday worshippers of the 21st century can beat the summer heat with historic fans, such as the one pictured at right. The reverse side of the fan bears a poignant message that rings true decades later:

The back of a fan bears a poignant call to worship.The back of a fan bears a poignant call to worship.

"Somewhere, some way, sometime each day

I'll stop and turn aside and pray

That God will make this Church the way of righteousness to men."

YOU NEED THE CHURCH and THE CHURCH NEEDS YOU

 

"Choir rehearsal was held Thursday evening at the Alfred Lofquist home."

-The Hastings Democrat, Thursday, Jan. 24, 1929


Cantatas, Plays Highlight Church Life

The accompanying photo depicts just one of many elaborate productions that have been staged at Pauline Methodist Church. Costuming and other special effects helped carry the day. The precise date and name of the event shownThis photo, likely dating to the 1920s, shows one of the many elaborate religious productions that took place at Pauline Methodist Church early in the last century. Among the participants in the photo are Harvey and Rosanna Jones and Sarah Goding Post. The undated photo is courtesy of the Adams County Historical Society.This photo, likely dating to the 1920s, shows one of the many elaborate religious productions that took place at Pauline Methodist Church early in the last century. Among the participants in the photo are Harvey and Rosanna Jones and Sarah Goding Post. The undated photo is courtesy of the Adams County Historical Society. in the photo are unavailable. However, a local paper carried a report of one such production, which may have been similar to that shown in the photo:

"A Sacred Easter play entitled, “The Sign,” will be presented in the Pauline Methodist church on Sunday evening. It will be given in biblical costumes with colored lighting effects. A number of musical numbers will also be included. The cast of characters is as follows: the three Roman soldiers, Julius – Chester Anderson, Gaius-Carl Evens and Brutus-Darrell Bauder; Mary Magdalene, Margaret Swigart; Mary, Mother of Jesus, Esther North; Mary, the sister of Martha, Margaret Osgood. "

– “Pauline Items,” by Mrs. Harvey P. Jones, The Hastings Democrat, Thursday, April 2, 1931.

 Measure your waist line inch by inch . . . 

The Women's Society of Christian Service actively helped with many a cause relating to the workings of the church, sometimes enlisting the help of the church body. Shown is a doll-sized apron with a cleverly written note tucked into the pocket:The Women's Society of Christian Service utilized doll-sized aprons with a cleverly written note tucked into the pocket as a fundraiser. Courtesy of Lois Gates Mohlman and Pauline Methodist Church. The Women's Society of Christian Service utilized doll-sized aprons with a cleverly written note tucked into the pocket as a fundraiser. Courtesy of Lois Gates Mohlman and Pauline Methodist Church.

"This little apron is sent to you,

And this is what we'd like you to do.

Measure your waist line inch by inch,

And see that the measure does not pinch.

For each small inch you measure around

Into the pocket put a penny sound.

The game is fair you will admit,

You waist your money, we pocket it.

While the money your pocket freely pays,

Our W.S.C.S. will use in the nicest ways."

Pauline Methodist Church

Mrs. Art Post, Treasurer

 

Over the years the King's Daughters (later re-organized as the Women's Society of Christian Service) contributed regularly to the financial well-being of the church. A news items from the 1920s bears testimony: 

"The King's Daughters have purchased a new gasoline stove for use in the basement of the church." –The Hastings Democrat, July 15, 1926

A page from the November, 1941 minutes of the W.S.C.S. reflect the group's financial contributions to church life. Courtesy of Pauline Methodist Church, Pat and Larry Smidt.A page from the November, 1941 minutes of the W.S.C.S. reflect the group's financial contributions to church life. Courtesy of Pauline Methodist Church, Pat and Larry Smidt.Meeting minutes of November, 1941, (shown at left) reflect also that the women purchased flooring for the church foyer and contributed to the minister's salary. A perusal of King's Daughters / W.S.C.S. minutes over the decades show that the group commonly made financial contributions of this nature. Money was often raised via church suppers, described by the following news item:

"The Kings Daughters will serve a chicken supper in the basement of the Methodist church Friday evening, February 1."

The Hastings Democrat, Thursday, Jan. 24, 1929

Meals at the church were not always fundraisers. Newspaper items of nearly eight decades ago show that the church frequently hosted school events, such as the junior-senior banquet, in an era when church and education were not strictly segregated:

Junior-Senior Banquet At Pauline Monday

By a Staff Correspondent

Pauline, May 24 – The Junior-Senior banquet was served Monday evening at the Methodist church basement. Covers were laid for thirteen guests including the three seniors, five juniors, faculty members and Frank Schafer. The theme of the banquet was a circus. Senior colors of yellow and lavender were used in decorating the room. Balloons of many colors were hung from the ceiling. The centerpiece of the table was a large bouquet of yellow and lavender pansies, while yellow roses and lavender lilies were placed at each end. Four large tapered candles were used for lighting. Favors were horns and each guest wore a clown hat. To each place card was attached a miniature celluloid clown training a dog. Small drums were used as nut cups. The program and menu were written on circus tents. The menu included fruit cocktail, chicken fricassee, mashed potatoes, gravy, creamed string beans, spring salad, rolls, jelly, pickles, ice cream, cake and coffee. Willamae Grogan acted as toastmaster. Welcome was given by Herbert Gartner with response given by Harold Bloem. The class will was read by Virgil Sloenecker, class prophecy by Velva Breithaupt and class history by Harold Bloem.

–The Morning Spotlight, Wednesday, May 25, 1938

The church was also the setting for a colorful baccalaureate and graduation, as further evidenced by newspaper reports of the time:

Pauline, May 23 – Baccalaureate services were held Sunday evening at the Methodist church. Juniors had banked the front edge of the rostrum with yellow roses and yellow and lavender lilies and placed yellow and lavender candles. As Mrs. Harvey Jones played the processional the three Seniors with Superintendent S. Phillips and Principal Onita Phillips were ushered by Glenn Sherman and Dale Slonecker, Juniors, to seats reserved for them. Relatives of the Seniors were seated immediately back of them. The program was as follows: Invocation by Rev. H. F. Beebe; hymn by the congregation, "Day Is Dying;" High School Girls Glee club, under direction of Onita Phillips, sang "Take My Hand;" scripture reading by Rev. Beebe; Girls Sextette, "Green Cathedrals," directed by Onita Phillips; hymn by the congregation, "God Be With You;" benediction was pronounced by Rev. Beebe.

–The Morning Spotlight, Tuesday, May 24, 1938

"Rev. M.O. McKenzie delivered the baccalareaute sermon here on Sunday evening. The topic of his discourse was "What Time Is It?" Commencement exercises will be held in the Methodist church on Thursday evening, when Dr. C. French of the Hastings College will deliver the address of the evening."

The Hastings Democrat, May 22, 1930

In days past, church activities were a part of daily life, spilling over into nearly every area of the community, as evidenced by a news clipping from the 1920s:

"The 'Pauline Boosters' Sunday school class held a bake sale Saturday afternoon in the T.W. Jones & Sons store. Proceeds amounted to about ten dollars."

-The Hastings Democrat, Thursday, March 8, 1928

Occasionally community/church events were more solemn than Sunday school  bake sales, however. Following is a program from a 1955 Memorial Day service sponsored by Pauline Methodist. The observance began at the church, then was moved to Oak Creek Cemetery, where many former Pauline residents are buried. The program is provided courtesy of Lois Gates Mohlman, who along with her parents, attended both services.

 

The church newsletter, dating from a few years previous, makes an interesting read. Concerts, MYF lessons, women's society topics and temperance signs are matters of interest. Highlights encompass local events such as a pheasant feed, and denomination matters, on both district and worldwide scales. Following is the October 23, 1951 issue, also provided courtesy of Lois Gates Mohlman.

We end this page with an image of a group, decked out in their Sunday best, on a church picnic. The presence of Pastor Duane and Marilyn Hutchinson dates this photo to 1950-53.

Pictured are a group from Pauline Methodist on a church picnic. From left, are, front row: Chester and Agnes Anderson and daughters, Owen Evans, Gladys Leighfield, unidentified, Marilyn Huthchinson (holding purse), Clara Emel and Sarah Brown. Back row: Duane Hutchinson, Lizzie Evans, Bennie Leighfield, unidentified, Tom Emel and Vern Brown.  Pictured are a group from Pauline Methodist on a church picnic. From left, are, front row: Chester and Agnes Anderson and daughters, Owen Evans, Gladys Leighfield, unidentified, Marilyn Huthchinson (holding purse), Clara Emel and Sarah Brown. Back row: Duane Hutchinson, Lizzie Evans, Bennie Leighfield, unidentified, Tom Emel and Vern Brown.

 

The Kings Daughters will serve a chicken supper in the basement of the Methodist church Friday evening, February 1.