South Acton Congregational Church History
History is facts, but the interesting history is stories! We are collecting stories of what has happened at South Acton Congregational Church. Angela started us off and I hope that many of you will choose to share your stories–those from the recent past, and those from the long past!
Angela at SACC (Offered on Memorial Day 2016)
I do not come from a military family, my father had a medical disability, but his brother Gordan was a prisoner of war in World War II after he was shot down over France. My husband Charlie was in the Navy at the end of the Korean War. But as Memorial Day approaches I began remembering all my years here at SACC.
There have been lots of changes of that time, four settled pastors and more interims, good years and challenging ones.
I first came in 1971 walking here with my two little girls in a stroller. We lived on Spencer Road at that time, next door to the Sammetts who make chili for our bake sale every year, and three doords down from where the Bosbachs life now.
A lovely lady, Freda Davis I believe, opened the door and said “Let me help you with your children.” Such a simple thing but right then I knew I had found a home. Let us hope that welcoming voice never changes.
The church at that time was full of young families, many moved here to work for Digital Corporation. In order to foster connections the minister Bob Henderson set up “covenant groups”. Charlie and I joined one we call “The Yellow Bus”. We pledged to attend each monthly meeting, knowing that if one couple was not there the dynamics of the group would be different. We arranged our own meetings, some with families, picnics, hikes, barbecues, some weekend retreats–a weekend in Martha’s Vineyard in February stands out–and work at the church. We decorated the bathrooms. They were where the stairs are now.
We hung together for many years as many of the others disbanded. For us it provided us with family when many of us had no relatives close by. It connected us to the church in a special way. I became a Sunday School teacher, others were on church boards, members of women’s discussion groups, etc.
Of course not everyone was in a covenant group and there were problems with that; feeling left out, not being part of the “in-group”. Not all ideas fit everyone.
My other experience was with the women’s group “the Pollyanna’s”, once called the Junior Guild. We met once a month to knit and make things for the annual church fair. Addie, Gladys and Judy McKendry can tell you more. These ladies were wonderful to my girls, providing a grandmotherly presence for them that was something they missed.
The prayer shawl group feels somewhat the same and I love it when Nina comes too.
There have been many changs since then, we changed the time of the service from 11 to 10:30, to many long services prompted that. Carrying out the light came from one of our interims.
Ross Lilly was pastor when the girls were teenagers, the youth group loved him–who wouldn’t want him to teach them to windsurf? After his son was born with cerebral palsy his interest turned to helping people with disabilities and establishing Access Sport America. He went on sabbatical just as I became head deacon. He left not long after that he left for good. That was a challenging year for me but one I remember as feling good about myself dealing with two interims–one good, one not as good–and holding it all together until Katrina arrived, our first female settled pastor.
I miss the children, the joy of little girls patent leather shoes gong tap, tap across the floor on Easter. I miss the organ music, and hymns known by heart from childhood, but I still find Joy in this place: friends and people who will always say “let me help you with that.”
Some things change but who we are as a congregation has stayed the same: warm, loving, and helping one another get ready for the next challenge.