By Cass DuCharme
According to my personal calendar, 1953 was 7 BC, "before Cass." Since I'm a 1960 model, I have no memory of what happened 60 years ago. Although I was not around way back then, I have been told by some of you who were, how special that year was.
This past Sunday, Highland Hills celebrated 60 years of walking together as a church. And what a celebration it was! We remembered God walking with us in the past. Through six pastors, four ministers of music, and several youth, children, and preschool ministers, God has been at work. We celebrated that God still walks with us today. With Brett as our interim pastor and a long-tenured staff, God continues to work. We prayed with confidence that God will always walk with us. Not knowing what the future holds, we press on knowing that the God of our past and present will be with us in the future. The service was led by two former pastors, Dave Hailey and Jim Bruner, a former minister of music, Lyn Hicks, current staff, charter members, and newcomers. What a joy it was for two of our founders, Beverly Mallary Findlay and Mary Willingham to also be in attendance. The day also included dinner on the grounds, but because of the rain I guess we could call it dinner-all-over-the-church. Many a chicken and pig gave their lives so that we could celebrate our big day.
Speaking of 1953, that year was special in my family, too. My parents met on July 4, 1953 and were married on August 1of the same year. My dad wasn't in to long courtships, so 27 days after they met, they married. For 51 years, until Mom's death in 2004, Mom and Dad walked through life together. With their faith in God and each other, they survived five kids, colleges, weddings, grandkids, good days, bad days, sickness, and health. Side by side and hand in hand they walked. Although Mom is no longer with him, Dad continues the journey.
Our church's journey is like that, too. The best part of our journey, like in a healthy marriage, is that we are walking it together. Although I was not around when our church began, I'm glad that the founders of our church and many of you were. This beautiful church has always been a place for us to walk together, literally and spiritually, and although many of those who were here in those early days are no longer with us, our journey together continues. With God as our leader, we walk on to a bright future.