Pastor Bob Johnson had 2 favorite stories he always enjoyed sharing with us when he returned to fill our pulpit after his interim pastorate.
We had decided to undertake a large project for our church – moving
our manse behind the church to our east Wiens property, and then building a large fellowship hall to the west of our church building. Well, the day came when the manse was lifted and ready for its eastward journey. Soon a few people came to see the eventful move. Then the few became more and more, until a large crowd of Presbyterians and Marion townspeople was standing at the destination spot. This sparked an idea in the mind of John Tschetter “With a crowd like this, we need to take an offering.” So, he took off his hat and went through the large crowd taking an offering for the church treasury to use for the moving and building project. It was definitely a “moving” experience!
The second story involved a Sunday worship service and communion bread. When it came time for the distribution of the bread, the elders had quite a surprise. Upon uncovering the silver bread plates, the minister found 4 empty plates. Someone had entered the church after the serving elder had set up the
communion table with bread the night before, and the intruders had taken all of the bread.
Marianne Smith, one of the elders standing at the table, turned around and went down the aisle to the usher standing in the vestibule. The usher was Bernell Nelson. She immediately asked him if he had any bread at home, to which he replied, “Yes, I think Carol made some in the bread-maker last night.” So, Bernell quickly ran home to fetch the bread, while the minister stalled waiting for the return of the bread. Now upon Bernell’s arrival at home, he found that there was no loaf of homemade bread on the counter. To the breadbox he went, to find only a new package of bread cube croutons, the kind used for turkey dressing. Well, with the bag in hand, Bernell ran back to the church. He handed the bag to Marianne telling her that was all he had found. Marianne tucked the bag under the jacket of her dress and walked up the aisle to the front of the church. Soon a tinkle, tinkle, tinkle sound of the crisp bread croutons dropped upon the silver plates was heard throughout the sanctuary. The croutons were blessed and
the congregation was served. The congregation was not told of the exchange, and the communion service was finished. It was only after the congregation was leaving the church sanctuary that the story unfolded. Evidently, someone had entered the church the night before and had helped themselves to the communion
bread. All of us who were there that day can attest to the fact that we have never had a crunchier communion service since that day!