Dover UCC celebrates by 'Following in the Footsteps'
On Sept. 23, Dover Congregational United Church of Christ celebrated all of the members who have worshipped at the church for 50 years or more. In addition, they also honored all members who were 90 years old or older. There were 40 people in all – 23 who are in the 50 years or more club and 17 who are at least 90 years old. Three members actually fall into both groups. The celebration was termed "Following in the Footsteps" – an appropriate theme seeing as Dover UCC is the oldest church in Westlake.
The entire program was organized by Lyn Kohler, Martha Vivona and Sharron Wilkins. They wanted to acknowledge where the church has come from and recognize those who have contributed to making Dover UCC the church it is today.
The church bulletin read: “In honor of those who have lived their lives with grace and God’s good humor.”
All of the honorees have been involved in numerous committees, projects and missions throughout their time attending Dover church.
Upon arriving for the service, all congregants were given a Celtic knot to write in the circles the names of three people who have blessed their lives. Later, during the service, the pieces of paper were brought up to the communion table on the altar and are now posted in the church.
The service itself was lighthearted and joyful. It began with a video of a young man doing “church-appropriate dance moves.” The young man was using verses from the Bible to illustrate some cool dance moves.
Pastor Keith Stuart’s sermon was entitled “Laughing Our Way to God’s Grace.” He noted that “we all laugh in the same language.”
During the cake and punch reception after the service, members were given a chance to answer some trivia questions about the honorees. Some very interesting facts were uncovered:
- Who went to Hough during the riots to teach Bible school? Joyce Nichols
- Who visited John McCain’s cell at the Hanoi Hilton? “The cell where he was kept was so cramped. He is definitely a hero.” Doris Krueger
- Who chaired a meeting to deal with community feelings after a Westlake home of a black family was burned? Les Nichols
- Who drove people away from her in church because her dog had been sprayed by a skunk? “Everyone kept sniffing and moving away.” Kay Cilimburg
- Kay’s husband, Bob Cilimburg, attempted to polish the huge brass cross hanging in the sanctuary. He obtained a special ladder so that he could reach the cross and polished away – going up and down the ladder over the course of a couple of days. Only after he had spent all this time polishing the cross did he learn that the cross was lacquered and was as shiny as it was going to get.
As with all churches, it is the people who drive the church forward in its mission in the community. Dover UCC certainly has many big shoes to fill as they follow in the footsteps of some remarkable folks.