It has been said that one hundred is the new seventy-five. (Okay, maybe that had not been said until I just wrote the words, but from this time forth, let it be said.) This weekend, we will celebrate Jim Boswell’s one hundredth birthday. On Sunday, after worship, we shall reassemble in the Parlor to sing and eat cake. It will be sort of a prelude to the Super Bowl activities scheduled for later in the day which I am guessing will be anticlimactic to the Boswell celebration. The fact is that we are getting fairly proficient at this centennial celebrating, having had a little bash in September when Catherine Cubberley hit the century mark.
At any rate, I thought I should try to put our dear friend’s time among us into some kind of perspective. So, consider the following: Jim was born on February 2, 1919 – a Sunday. Woodrow Wilson was President, and World War I had ended just three months earlier. Jackie Robinson was born three days before and Eva Gabor was born nine days after Jim. That year, the most popular boy’s name was “John.” So while our party will be on the 3rd, we note that Jim’s actual date of birth is the 2nd. That is to say, when we finally get around to singing “Happy Birthday,” we will technically be celebrating Jim’s 100.00003rd birthday. That is because more than 36,500 days have come and gone since Jim entered this world.
If he is average (which he most certainly is not), he has spent more than 12,000 of those days sleeping. By another measurement, he has been knocking around earth for more than 50 million minutes . . . more than 3 billion seconds – his first billion seconds of life passed sometime on October 11th, 1950. From another perspective, I can tell you that there have been 1,237 full moons in Jim’s lifetime. (Do you wonder which one he enjoyed the most – I’m guessing it may have been one involving Mozelle).
Okay – here is something interesting. In dog years, Jim is now 465 years old. (Doesn’t matter – he still has the firmest paw shake I have ever felt.) Well, enough of my foolishness. I know I speak for all of us when I say that we are looking forward to Sunday. Jim is a wonderful family man, a giving friend, a national hero and an extraordinary man of faith, and as always in such moments, we can say that we have been the ones truly blessed by his days among us.
o, assemble on Sunday.
Bring a card with you that shares some of your memories and affections for this good man.
And let the candles be lit and the cake be cut.
Blessings and Peace,
#fccwilsonnc #ncdisciples #ccdoc #turning100 #100yearsyoung #century #happybirthday
There are moments which define life and faith and work and the ties that bind. There are moments that open our eyes and tell us more than we knew or even suspected. The Christmas Day community lunch went off with hardly a hitch. Leslie Kendall spent December overseeing weddings, so she tasked Bob with the duty of organizing the event. That assignment might have been daunting for many folks, but Bob is the consummate planner. Plus, Leslie handed Bob a notebook . . . a very thick notebook . . . with an abundance of memos.
So, in the weeks leading up to the event, people signed up to bring tableware, fruit, candy, green beans, fruit cocktail, and punch . . . and they brought it all. The CWF anchored the desert table with a dozen cakes while others added to the decadence. Plas-tic ware got wrapped and tied in napkins. Tables were set-up and decorated. The preced-ing weekend, Robert Wells and Ricky Brown cooked extra Boston Butts (the original donat-ed butts had been delivered to others because the CMF had such a successful sale).
The day came, and the Episcopalians showed up with potatoes. The Methodists opened their doors for some post-meal gifting. Kathy Sandifer took up her station at the piano. Theresa Mathis gave instructions to some 60-70 volunteers. The doors were thrown open. The banquet was on! I am told that we served a record 233 men, women and children.
Now some of you may be wondering what the preacher’s job is for an event this immense. By Christmas day, ministers are in a state of some exhaustion. We are moving slowly, so this preacher tries to stay out of the way. I put up half of a sign . . . I unlocked one door . . . I located some extra garbage bags. The rest of the time, I chit-chatted with volunteers and guests.
It was in pursuit of this last ministerial function that one of our volunteers told me that one of the children at the table she was serving said to her, "This is my best Christmas ever!"
There are moments which define life and faith and work and the ties that bind. There are moments that open our eyes and tell us more than we knew or even suspected.
To imagine that a child of some unknown age could say that a meal in a church fellowship hall constituted the very best of his Christmases, however many that had been – 5, 7, 10. A glass of punch and a plate of food . . . a bag of fruit and candies . . . a couple of moments to pick out a toy in the hallway outside the food area . . . a couple of people offering a smile and a greeting – to try to imagine how that makes for the best Christmas ever will bring you to tears.
Someone asked me whether I thought there were more children this year than in previous years. It seemed like it to this observer. I can’t really say. What I can say is that when you break it all down, a fellowship hall can serve as a kind of stable – it has a barn-like quality, after all. It is large and mostly empty until you fill it with hay or tables or whatever. But of all the places through which I wandered this season, I am pretty sure that it was in our fellowship hall/stable/banquet room that Christmas was most alive.
Presumably, Bob has returned Leslie’s notebook though it may be a little thicker now. On we go, into 2019 – Ring out the old, ring in the new!
Blessings and Peace,
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These thoughts and reflections come from our Senior Minister, Minister of Music and Board Chair. We hope that they provide both challenge and inspiration for your spiritual life.