Sunday, May 16, 2010


Somewhere in America

Although I never attended a church quite as charming as the one you see above, I sat in many pretty Sanctuaries and squirmed in many a rock-hard pew during my growing up years.  The seats back then were not padded like they are today and most of the single aisle structures didn't even have air conditioning.  For those of you who might not know, my father was a Preacher-Man which makes me a PK (preacher's kid). can imagine I was in church a lot!  I mean A LOT!  Our family rarely (if ever) missed a much so that at times I longed to stay home and just play with my friends.  I can tell you straight up that unless we were on our deathbed you could find my siblings and I fidgeting sitting quietly right next to our mother, usually on the piano side.

This past week I found a sweet little poem I thought perfect for my Sunday Post.  It's a tad bit long...but I hope you will love it just the same.

Edgar A. Guest

The little church of Long Ago, where as a boy I sat
With mother in the family pew, and fumbled with my hat~
How I would like to see it now the way I saw it then,
The straight-backed pews, the pulpit high, the women and the men
Dressed stiffly in their Sunday clothes and solemnly devout,
Who closed their eyes when prayers were said and never looked about~
That little church of Long Ago, it wasn't grand to see,
But even as a little boy it meant a lot to me.
The choir loft where father sang comes back to me again;
I hear his tenor voice once more the way I heard it when
The deacons used to pass the plate, and once again I see
The people fumbling for their coins, as glad as they could be
To drop their quarters on the plate, and I'm a boy once more
With my two pennies in my fist that mother gave before
We left the house, and once again I'm reaching out to try
to drop them on the plate before the deacon passes by.
It seems to me I'm sitting in that high-back pew, the while
The minister is preaching in that good old-fashioned style;
And though I couldn't understand it all somehow I know
The Bible was the text book in that church of Long Ago;
He didn't preach on politics, but used the word of God,
and even now I see the people gravely nod,
As though agreeing thoroughly with all he had to say,
And then I see them thanking him before they go away.
The little church of Long Ago was not a structure huge,
It had no hired singers or no other subterfuge
To get the people to attend, 'twas just a simple place
Where every Sunday we were told about God's  saving grace;
No men of wealth were gathered there to help it with a gift;
The only worldly thing it had~a mortgage hard to lift.
And somehow, dreaming here to-day, I wish that I could know
the joy of once more sitting in that church of Long Ago.

Blessings as you "Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow..."

Love to you~


myletterstoemily said...

how sweet. i love everything about
church, the pews, the scent, the
hymns, the prayers, the sermon.
your poem took me back to the ones
i grew up in. :)

i received my lovely packages from
your store yesterday and just love
everything. you have such exquisite

thank you.

Unknown said...

Hi Rebecca...
I adore Edgar Guest poetry...
your family picture is precious...
Happy Sunday.

Stephanie ~ Angelic Accents said...

Hi, dear Rebecca! What a sweet, inspiring, and true poem. I kinda miss the good ol' days at church, don't you? I've seen a lot of changes, most for the good, but I especially miss the old time outdoor meetings I'd attend while visiting my grandmother and the Wednesday night singing, too!

So glad you like my little giveaway and thanks ever so much for helping advertise it ~ you are such a sweetheart ~ and yep, you've got three chances now to win! :0)

Have a wonderful Sunday!!

Big TX Hugs,
Angelic Accents

Sandy said...

Doing a little Sunday morning blog surfing. Great way to spend a quite day. Your post reminds me of the little white church I attended as a child. All the modern structures with their fancy gadgets don't come close to the family feel of that old time building.

Tristan Robin said...

What a charming poem. Thanks for sharing it.

... and, by the way, we still don't have cushions on the pews LOL.

However, since we're United Church of Christ, we're allowed to squirm :D

Julie Marie said...

So very beautiful Rebecca... I felt just like I was sitting there in that little white church... xoxo Julie Marie

Lin said...

Isn't that the truth!? I love this photo - and loved this church. I used to sit in the pew staring at the ceiling boards during church - and trying to imaging how big God's eye must be to see the whole world. I thought that church was SO BIG back then! Remember the blue glass slats on the roll-out windows? I can still remember the smell of Grandma's purse - Sucrets and Certs. I remember sitting snuggled up next to her....and Mom singing specials like, "Leave it There"....Elaine Luce and Lenore Miller playing the piano and organ....and our first attempts at singing together...("Without Him"... "Mansion Over the Hilltop"...."There's a Church in the Valley by the Wildwood")....Remember being so excited to go to church on Sunday nights?...Rev. Gardner Playing his trombone and Ray singing to the top of his lungs? Vacation Bible School in the Summer (where the Kool-Aid NEVER was quite sweet enough), Riding the Sunday School Bus and the monthly Singsperation" on Sunday night at neighboring churches? How about Bob Shearer leading the music and monthly ZONE SKATES? Gosh - I sure do miss those days!!! Thanks for posting this, Beck!

Love, Lin

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Rebecca, I was always in church on Sundays, too. Daddy was a deacon at the church I grew up in as a child, and my uncle was Sunday School Superintendent at the one where we went when we moved). I can remember those days like the ones described. How far we have gotten from our roots it seems at times!

I was telling someone this the other day... I always got such a sense of anticipation when I went to church with my parents. "I was glad when they said unto me, let us go unto the House of the Lord." I can still see where everyone sat, too, and we didn't have air conditioning. Instead, we used those paper, funeral parlor church fans with praying children or Jesus and sheep, and we had oscillating fans mounted to brackets on the wall in between each of the windows. The huge stained glass windows dating to the Victorian era were opened (they pushed out), and sometimes a bird would fly in and join us!

Hoping you are having a wonderful Sunday. I'm recuperating from a fall in which I'm convinced that angels cushioned me. I'm sore, but doing well and thanking God for His protection! :-)



Dolores said...

I love the sweet picture of your family......everyone dressed so nice! Seems like people don't dress up for church like we did in times past.

Love the poem......brings back good and sweet memories!

Lori @ Katies Rose Cottage Designs said...

Ohhh Rebecca ~ that is such a precious poem ~ it so very much reminds me of going to church when I was a little girl ~ I remember my mom elbowing me to sit still and it was so very hard at times ~
Thank you for the sweet memories ~

Jennifer Ann Fox said...

That's one thing I like about living in the mountains. We have alot of little quaint churches here and I love them.
Enjoyed your post....

Feathers in the Nest

Mari said...


Rebecca Nelson said...

A Little "PS" from me:

I'm amazed at your memories! Thank you so much for sharing! xoRebecca

To my big sister, Lin...

As I read all the things you wrote I was taken back to the church of our childhood. For all the mistakes our parents made (and they made them, just like we have), TAKING us to church and exposing us to all the WONDERFUL things you shared set our lives on a path of 'good'. It's the single most important thing they DID RIGHT! I'm so grateful for their years of faithfulness.

The "Sucrets and Certs" in Grandma's purse made me tear up...gone too soon. And...Mom singing "Leave It There"...well~that was something I NEEDED to hear today. I still struggle with that.

I miss you more than words can say...thank you...and I love you~

Terra said...

Ah nostalgia, thank you for the poem. And "How firm a foundation" is one of my favorite hymns, which we sing quite often at my church.

Janine Claire Robinson said...

What a precious family pic! And the poem leaves much food for thought for us as the church today. May we as the church learn the power in simplicity when it comes to being more focussed on knowing, loving and reflecting the One who gave it all for us!

Deanna said...

Dear Rebecca, The photo of your family is so sweet. I started thinking back to 1963...what a great time for the United States. I was 8 years old. Seeing pictures from this era so many people dressed so nicely and the hairstyles were clean and nicely shaped. Lovely pearls. Jackie O's style was so popular.

You had a blessed upbringing as a PK.

Have a great week!

Vicki said...

Hello, my friend,
I loved your post, and the poem was perfect!! I, too, was at church every time the doors were open. And yes, at times I wanted to stay home and play with friends or watch Disney on Sunday evening. However, like you, I am more the better for having been there. These sweet people of the church I grew up in molded me and made me into the person I am today, and I will always be thankful. Love to you~ Vicki

Unknown said...

Rebecca I love Edgar Guest and I have this poem too. I love it and identify with it too. I was never able to miss church either as a child and now, I wish I could attend more, but Landon does not do well at church. Dale and I take turns though, so it works out. Have a wonderful Sunday and a great week ahead dear friend.

Andrea said...

I always love hearing PK stories, for it gives me a glimpse of my own children's perspective of our lives together.

Thank you for sharing, Rebecca, and the picture of yoru family is beautiful!



P.S. My sons always sat with me on piano side. :)

English Cottage in Georgia said...

Rebecca, I love this post! I saw the picture and yearned to spend a Sunday morning in a white, country church. Then I read your words, "rock-hard pew" and had the memories of "not yet a diagnosis" ADHD setting in and fidgeting.
LOL! I will stick with the not quite so quaint church with the padded seats:-)

A Rose Without A Thorn said...

Dear Rebecca, I so love this poem and it was a complete joy to read. Thank you for letting us have this moment, blessings, Maureen......

stefanie said...

I loved your post today!!! thanks

Lisa said...

I really like this. Most of memories from childhood are of Church! They are great. My parents take my nephews and niece and I am so glad. It is really great for them to have that and they LOVE IT! One sleeps in his clothes so they don't forget him if he sleeps late (he NEVER does on Sunday ;)!

Happy Sunday!
Hugs, Lisa

Rebecca said...

Hello Rebecca
I also attended a church that looked much like the one you posted. My dad was was in the choir and my mother was usually in the nursery. I sat in the front row so as dad could keep an eye on me - I can still see the evil eye if I squirmed too much! We also attended the Sunday evening service which I always didn't want to go because it conflicted with the Disney program I wanted to watch...funny how things have changed.
I too am a PK...
Many blessings

BECKY said...

This is just too precious, Rebecca! I could almost picture myself there as well! Thank you for sharing it!!

Hope your week is sprinkled with joy!!

Jacalyn @ said...

There is nothing quite like that little white Church! I was fortunate enough to get married in one about 21 years ago!
Please stop by my blog as I am having a give-a-way!


Rose said...

Hi! thanks for stopping to check my blog. I plan to folloe your blog. I, also love poetry books, esp.Helen Steiner Rice. Enjoyed the poem as well love to go to antique stores to look at books and other things. Have a good day.Rose

paperbutterfly said...

These memories are so sweet to me. My dad was a deacon and my best friends were PK's. The best part of the wek was Sunday morning, in church where I felt the love and security I yearned for. Those times placed me in God's loving hands. Where I have needed to be.
Have a week full of God's blessings,

paperbutterfly said...

Wonderful memories. My dad was a deacon and my best friends were pk's

sunday mornings were the best.The place I felt loved and secure. With people you were guided by divine love and the ever present love of God.

We still go to church but some how not always feel those sweet memories.

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