From The Jemez Valley Messenger (newsleter of the Jemez Springs Presbyterian Church), January/February 2001
We’re Striding Into 2002
“God bless America, land that I love. Stand beside her and guide her through the night with a light from above. From the mountains, to the prairies, to the oceans white with foam, God bless America, my home sweet home.” – God Bless America by Irving Berlin, 1938
The 9/11 events in 2001 changed us in many ways. Hundreds and hundreds of citizens lost innocent loved ones in one vicious, late summer, unprovoked attack. Hundreds and hundreds of others grappled with fear, anger, hatred, sorrow, and anguish. Hundreds and hundreds more sought solace in prayer, in going to church, in looking afresh at what is America. Most of us learned more about the Muslim religion and Middle Eastern countries than we had ever known before. Heroism was visible in extraordinary acts of bravery and kindness by hundreds and hundreds of ordinary human beings.
With mixed emotions, Americans sought to show the world we are strong, we are brave, we are undaunted in the only way we knew how: by displaying flags in every conceivable manner – on cars, trucks, doorways, shirts and hats – in store windows, on rooftops, on road signs and in enormous backdrops in churches.
Now that we know our land is no less vulnerable to attack than any other land, and our nation’s prosperity, democracy and free speech are sometimes looked upon by others with envy, greed and hate, it is important not to let ourselves become small-minded, inward and fearful, but to show the world in even greater displays of generosity and love that America cares, has always cared, and with God’s help, will always care about those less fortunate.
It is incumbent upon us to seek peace and goodwill with our presumed enemies, but it is even more important that we acknowledge ours to be a God of love, not the vengeful Muslim Allah, and to remember that Jesus is not just a prophet, but that Jesus is Lord!
There is a special call to Christians in 2 Chronicles 7: 14 that reminds all those “who are called by My Name” to humble themselves. “pray and seek My Face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
This makes a very good New Year’s resolution for us to take into 2002.
The first half of the year 2001 was uneventful by national or international standards, but had its inevitable small ups and downs for our church here in Jemez Springs.
Christmas 2000 had come and gone, with our choir performing Benjamin Harlan’s Christmas Canticles, led for the last holiday season by Patty Mahoney. Our children had displayed their uniqueness and charm in their annual pageant Jesus Is The Reason For The Season, for which a signed language interpretation was provided by Mary Schultz of the UNM Linguistics Department.
In February a special offering was taken for the Presbyterian Church (USA) in Cuba, totaling $605.
During Love Your Church Month many members armed with paint brushes and elbow grease dramatically improved the appearance of building and grounds.
The Dole family planned a motorcycle and music event in the village to benefit Helping Hands, and Mike asked for congregational support for the annual Run for the Son mission.
Holy Week and Easter services included a Ceremony of Ashes, and a Maundy Thursday service with Washing of Hands, Holy Communion, and stripping the church for Good Friday. Soon after Easter, though, the Rev. Kelley Shin discovered that husband Kent was being assigned new duties with the U.S. Air Force in Las Vegas, Nev., and that after only about 16 months with us as Stated Supply Pastor, she was to leave us in early summer.
About a dozen Presbyterians attended the dedication in Cañon of the new Jemez Valley Baptist church.
A framed photograph of our miraculous ‘dove’ was presented to the church by Charlie and Barbara Allen.
A Service of Healing was held on March 18th, led by Pastor Kelley with assistance from several Elders.
In a giant step of faith, as Jemez Springs Community Presbyterian church said goodbye to the Rev. Kelley Shin and her family, and also to choir director Patty Mahoney, with a special service followed by a reception, it started a serious search for a three-quarter time pastor to live and work in the Valley. This historic step meant that Jemez Springs was calling a pastor to ministry here for the first time in its 120 years. Previously, our church has always been filled with part-time temporary pastors, who lived elsewhere and came to lead worship and work here for only two, or sometimes three days a week.
Melissa and Casey Jaramillo received a house blessing from the Rev. Kelley Shin before she left, although their house in Ponderosa was not yet finished.
Jadie Curran provided members and friends with a special supplement describing euthanasia, assisted suicide, aid-in-dying, abortion and infanticide, living wills, and palliative and hospice care.
Missionary the Rev. Mike Wicker and his son, Michael, climbed the snow capped 19, 650 ft. Mt. Kilimanjaro in Kenya. The Wickers are missionaries in Zimbabwe.
The TLC singers presented a “farewell for the summer” concert in church on May 20, led by Beverly Musgrove and assisted by Wendy Strain.
New Bibles to match the hymnals were purchased, and Phylis Lewis made labels dedicating individual books in memory or honor of loved ones.
The Board of Deacons hosted a steak and chicken dinner on May 12 to benefit their fund.
Eight new members were received on My 13, including Martin Dole and Savannah Gilbert who were confirmed into the faith. The new members include John Charos, Casey Jaramillo, Rhoda Spidell, Misty Stacy, Bonne and Jack Taylor. Also, Shayline Michelle and Heather Abigail, , daughters of Misty and Chad Stacy, were baptized.
The spring cleaning of the cemetery took place on June 9th, with loyal and hard-working volunteers providing a spruced-up improved look to the place. Work
on installing the new gate was begun, with Charlie Allen, Dale Bjerke, Jadie Curran, Emmett Cart, Jack Taylor and Jim Weed installing eight 9-foot railroad tie posts. Emmett Cart made the gate, which is to be put in place shortly.
On Corpus Christi Sunday in June, Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception church processed through the village, and included a stop for prayer at the Presbyterian church’s parking lot, where they were welcomed by members of our church. The Handmaidens of the Precious Blood mother superior led the procession.
Katherine Leslie Lewis (Katie) became the bride of Richard Riley on June 16, with the Rev. Bill Sawyier of Cuba officiating. Kate is the daughter of Doug and Phylis Lewis, and of the late Dale Elizabeth Lewis in spirit.
Our church float took 2nd place in the July 4th parade through the village. A replica of the church was built by Charlie Allen, Dale Bjerke, Jadie Curran, Dick Ford and Dick Lake to celebrate its 120th birthday. Pat Bjerke, Ann Lake and Bonne Taylor created stained glass windows and other decorations for the award-winning building. Dick Ford rang the real church bell as the float passed in review in the village center.
Vacation Bible School was scheduled to start on July 23rd, with Barbara Allen, Barb Smith and Anthony Strain, heading up the crew of workers and Sunday School teachers who volunteered their time to make the week a success. All The King’s Men was the theme.
The circle was completed in December, 2001, by another splendid pageant, this time directed by Melissa and Casey Jaramillo, for which the children and teens led the entire morning service on December 9th. The following Sunday our choir presented Rejoice In the Season, their always popular annual musical service which attracts many visitors from the community.
Prayer Warriors packed Thanksgiving and Christmas boxes with food and toiletries at the appropriate times, to a total of somewhere around 75 assortments, distributed within the village and environs, and to the Pueblos of Zia and Jemez. The food pantry is a project of the Board of Deacons, and is headed up by Mona Francis. Once again members filled shoe boxes with small toys and essentials for the Franklin Graham Samaritan’s Purse project. Rosemary Cart took the filled boxes into Albuquerque on behalf of the church. Helping Hands’ Angels were also picked up by our members, and the unwrapped donations of toys and other needs taken to the Community Center in Cañon for gift wrapping and distribution.
During the course of the year 2001, Barb and Dennis Smith sold their house in Minnesota in five minutes, and plan to move here permanently this summer; Emmett and Rosemary Cart, and Emmett and Jeannette Shelton, celebrated fiftieth wedding anniversaries; several members welcomed new grandchildren, including Barbara and Charlie Allen – Maggie in March, and then Alexandria Rhea in August; Pat and Dale Bjerke – Olivia Belle; Sherry and Horris Crane and great-grandmother Mary Joyce – Hailey Erin; Donna Lea and Ted Greer – Zapata Diego; Ann and Dick Lake – Megan Lynn; Bill and Joyce Olsen – Annika Emily, and Bonne and Jack Taylor – Isaac James.
Some of our members sadly lost loved ones in 2001. Among them Mona Francis’s father, Bernard Rust, died in January. The Lewis family lost Arthur Lee
Lewis in March, and Eppie Bolle’s 95-year-old mom, Dorothy Isabelle Rude, died on March 30th. Judy Kilburg’s father, Henry Roybal, passed away in April. John Adams passed on in August, and he and his wife, Lucille, had previously lost their daughter to complications from diabetes. Brownie Duemler died suddenly in October. Rick Crabb’s sister went to be with the Lord, the Carts grieved for a family member, as did the Fords, when DH’s sister died very unexpectedly, and Rick Lauer’s brother, Al, lost his battle with leukemia in December.