My Religion Is a Lot Like the Game of Baseball

Chapters Chapter 1 Early Years Chapter 2 Patty Chapter 3 1-room School
Chapter 4 Friends Chapter 5 High School Chapter 6 Grandpa
Chapter 7 Marianne Chapter 8 Rookie Chapter 9 At the Plate

Chapter 8  - My Rookie Year

In the 1954 rookie season Wally Moon (St. Louis Cardinals) beat out none other than the great Henry Aaron (Milwaukee Braves) for rookie of the year award.

The minister’s wife was an energetic, friendly person who never overlooked anyone.  She was uninhibited and sincere as she engaged in conversation with young and old, men and women.  She seemed to know something about each person.  “Is your knee better?”  “How is that new grandbaby!”  “When will you be leaving for your trip?”  What a pretty sweater – did you knit it yourself?”  I had known outgoing girls who seemed to tackle life with fearless ease, but I had never observed anyone with the genuine desire to make people feel welcome, needed and loved as did this woman.  Her name was Dagmar.  She was the first to invite me to a group meeting of churchwomen called Christian Women’s Fellowship.

On successive Sundays, other women invited me to the group meeting.  Midge invited me and offered to pick me up.  If I were to go to the meetings, I would need a ride, so I took her up on her offer.  We became acquainted riding in her car for the twenty minutes to the church from our apartment.  The meetings were held in the church parlor on the second Wednesday each month.  The women came dressed as if it were Sunday morning.  How I looked forward to those meetings!  I spent the better part of the day fixing my hair and deciding what to wear.  I needed the “fellowship.”  I loved being with the women, and I was learning that “Christian” doesn’t mean sitting in a pew on Sunday morning and shaking hands with the minister on the way out the door.

The business part of the meetings included detailed reports of how the women in this church were involved in the larger “church” locally, nationally and around the world.  It was like “Greek” to me, but I was fascinated.  I had never been with people who knew so much.  As each person gave her report, I wrote her name on a card or circled it in one of the program booklets.  I worked at putting her name with the face I was sure to see again on Sunday morning.

The June meeting was election of officers with the Installation of Officers Tea in July.  Toward the end of May, three women calling themselves the Nominating Committee, approached me about being on the ballot as secretary.  When I told them I didn’t think I could do that, they told me two other women were also nominated.  I recognized the names.  One was Midge, the woman who provided my transportation to the meetings.  I felt safe.  Everyone knew Midge.  So I said they could put my name on the ballot.

When the voting was over I was the newly elected secretary!  The meetings took on a new dimension.  I had to pay attention to everything that was said in the reports.  Emma took me under her wing.  She knew something about every committee in the local church, in the community and what was happening in the denomination.  Minutes of previous years included details of the reports.  Emma said “taking minutes” was basically a record of the motions; it was not necessary to record anything beyond that.  After the meeting we all went to the Fellowship Hall.  Emma would search me out and sit beside me to fill me in on the background details regarding the motions so I could get them written with the correct wording.

I was a “rookie” in the game of Christianity.  The days of sitting in the stands as an observer were over.  Christian Women’s Fellowship made me a member of the team.