We left our church family at the end of May 1942 celebrating the graduation of the largest senior class ever, with 109 graduates. The parents of the boys, however, must have had mixed emotions – pride tempered by worry over their sons’ futures.
Now It was June, the beginning of summer. Our official board met on June 4th, for its monthly meeting. After reading and approving the minutes of the prior meeting and the finance report, committee reports were given. Mr. Crider, Chairman of the Finance Committee stated that he had no report on the every member canvass because of the 20 workers, only 8 had contacted all on their list, and turned in the results. I remember the every member canvass. Back in 1960, shortly after our marriage, Clyde and I became one team of those workers who had to go to the homes of members to solicit their pledge for the upcoming yearly contributions to our church. We found the whole idea of it distasteful. We felt embarrassed to be asking and we felt that some of the folks felt they were being judged by the amount they pledged to give to the church. I was happy when our church got away from that system. However, it was in full force in 1942. It wasn’t too long before 1942 that the amount each person gave in support of the church was published for everyone in the church to know. Back to the Board meeting – Rev. Maly reported that on Tuesday, June 9th, the Women’s Society of Christian Service would be holding a reception for the new members who had been received into our church since the Pastorate of Rev. Maly. Rev. Maly requested that all members of the Board also attend this reception. The February 12th edition of the Girard News reported on this reception. It consisted of a luncheon, followed by a short musical program, and a speaker, Fred McLean who spoke on “Gold for Christianity”. (Have to wonder what the speech was about – did “Gold” refer to monetary matters or was it spiritual? I hope it didn’t have anything to do with the pledge drive.)
The day after the luncheon, Wednesday, June 10th, the Friendly Class held their monthly covered dish dinner at the church. Forty-five people attended. The Friendly Class was probably our largest adult Sunday School class.
On Sunday morning, July 14th, Rev. Maly spoke on “Burden Bearing” during his morning sermon, according to the Girard News. The following Saturday, at the Bride’s home, Rev. Maly officiated at the wedding of Beatrice Bullen and Frederick Reynolds. Our Annual Sunday School Picnic was held on Wednesday, June 24th at Liberty Park. That same day our Annual Conference began at Lakeside on Lake Erie. The following people from our church attended: Mr and Mrs Isaac Howells, Mr and Mrs J S Burtsfield, and Rev. and Mrs Arthur Maly.
Of course, all of these activities of our church family occurred against the backdrop of WAR in both Europe and the Pacific. In early June, the Japanese had invaded the Aleutian Islands, which was the first invasion of American soil in 128 years (1814 – remember the War of 1812 when the Brits burned our Capitol). However, at the same time as this invasion, in the Battle of Midway – June 4 – 7, our Navy destroyed Japan’s carrier fleet, thus ending their domination of the Pacific Ocean. This good news was perhaps the best that our country had since the bombing of Pearl Harbor. But we know there was still a long war ahead, and the parents and wives and children of those fighting that war worried and prayed, and did everything they could to help support those brave warriors. June of 1942, - in our church, in our town, and in our country - 75 years ago.