Do you remember Dan Hogee? How about Ernie Leal? Mary Jenkins Berkman? These three are long time, active members of Robinson Memorial who are no longer able to worship with us. I can tell you great stories about each of them. Ernie sang tenor in the choir when I started here. He had the sweetest voice I have ever heard. As his abilities failed, he still sang often to his wife, Libby, just because he loved her and just because he could. Mary Berkman was on the PNC that Called me to Robinson Memorial. She asked fascinating questions, not what one would expect.
Then there is Dan Hogee. Dan was a widower when I came. He was at worship from time to time, but hardly in the center of things. He was a good guy, a bit lost following his wife's death, and sort of at odds with life and stuff. At that time, we had an annual celebration of RMPC's committees and programs. Once a year, following worship each group would set up a table with games, snacks, and information about meetings and future plans - everything they could think of to entice church folks to join the committee or group. It was really fun.
Charlotte VanLoan was chair of the Deacons. She had her, "What Do Deacons Do?" papers and posters ready, but she wanted to do something different to gain extra attention. She remembered that Dan had once (long, long ago) enjoyed clowning and making balloon animals. She invited "Scruffy" the clown to be a guest at the Deacon's table. Dan agreed. It had been most of a generation since "Scruffy" had been in church. Many of our long timers remembered and welcomed "Scruffy." Even better, there was a whole new crop of children and adults who had never met him. It was fun at first sight. From that Fellowship Time until Dan was no longer able to worship with us, he seldom missed church on Sundays. He always sat at the inside edge of the back, right pew so he could open and shut the sanctuary doors. He never was "scruffy" again, but then, he never needed to be. Dan belonged again; he re-engaged because he was invited ... ... ... and he came. Seems to me that there might just be a lesson there... ... ... .. .