We left our Girard church family in late February, 1941, happy with a win that tied them with St Rose in the church basketball league, and looking forward to a play-off sometime in March to determine the league championship. As usual, much of the information about our church family is found in the pages of the Girard News, our town’s weekly newspaper for many years, available on microfilm at Girard Free Library.
Meanwhile, our church was busy as it always is during the month of March, with meetings of the various groups and Sunday School classes, and looking forward to Easter which would fall on April 13th in 1941. Rev. Maly, our Minister since October, was becoming more accustomed to life in Girard, part of which consisted of getting his sermon title for the coming week into the Girard News office in time for printing in Friday’s edition. By March he was batting over 500, but, he apparently missed the February 28th edition, because the sermon title line for Sunday, March 2nd was empty. However, he made it for the March 7th edition, because in the column “Church Notes”, his morning service sermon for March 9th was “Use Not Honor” and for the evening service, he would preach on “The Best Wins Last”. Meanwhile, on Friday evening, March 7th, the Althea Class met at the home of Miss Mary Williams on East Liberty St. at 6 PM with Miss Eva Bonham as co-hostess. On Monday, March 10th, the Women’s Society for Christian Service met at 6:30 in the Church dining room for a dinner meeting. Mrs. Arthur Maly led the devotional services. Mrs. John A Howells spoke on “Beginnings of Our Church” , Mrs. S. B. Ginn spoke on “The New Church”, and Mrs. J. B. Davis spoke on “Women’s Part in The Church”.
Then, on Tuesday evening, March 11th, the Sunday School Board held its monthly dinner meeting at the home of Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Burtsfield on East Kline St. After dinner, Mr. and Mrs. S. B. Ginn were honored for their service at our church.They were leaving Girard for a new home in Indianapolis. Miss Jean Burtsfield played piano solos, and Rev. Arthur Maly presented an amusing skit.
On Wednesday evening, the Friendly Class met at the church for its monthly dinner meeting. The Clarks, Nance’s and Parrish’s were in charge of the dinner.W. J. Moore led the business meeting, and the Rough’s were in charge of the program.
On Thursday, at last, came the playoff game for the basketball church league title. According to a small article in the sports section of the News, a last second shot from center floor by Colapietro gave St Rose the win: 20-18.As usual, the sports writer couldn’t be bothered with first names, but that must have been Augie Colapietro who, I believe, had just graduated from Girard High in January.If it were, indeed, he, then while he won the game for St Rose, he would later become a member of our church family when he and Dolores were married.
Even after that busy week, Rev. Maly managed to get his sermon title to the Girard News in time for its Friday March 14th edition. On Sunday morning, March 16th he would preach on “The Balance Wheels of Life”.He apparently hadn’t worked out the evening service sermon in time, however, for it just read: “Evening Worship 7:30 PM”.But, we will have to forgive him, for his past week included two dinner meetings for him, one for Mrs. Maly, and a church league basketball playoff game.I believe they also had two young boys. We certainly keep our ministers busy.And, in between the morning service and the evening service, there was a Clarinet Recital by Russell Girts with Foster Hotchkiss on the organ.Being a Methodist Minister is not an easy life.
As I have been noting this past year, our church family, as all Americans were, was living with the threat of war.Every day’s news brought reports of battles in Europe, bombings of cities in England, and sinking of ships in the Atlantic by submarines. President Roosevelt had asked Congress to approve a lend-lease bill to help England and our allies, presenting it as a simple neighborly act: if your neighbor’s house was on fire, you certainly would lend him your garden hose to put out the flames. The House passed it in February, the Senate passed it March 8th, and the President signed it on March 11th.
On March 27th, not known until many years later, a Japanese spy named Takeo Yoshikawa arrived in Honolulu to study the Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbor in preparation for a future attack.
On Sunday, March 31st, Rev. Maly preached on “The Sparrow’s Fall” in the morning service, and his evening sermon title was “Postponed”.
And, with that, we will leave our church family in March of 1941, awaiting Holy Week and Easter in April, and hoping that we would not be drawn into the wars in Europe and in the Pacific.
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