Brownstown-Sefton News

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By The Staff

Sad Farewell to Smoky,
The (Adorable) Little donkey
Last Wednesday morning Bill came in from feeding the critters and said to call Dr. Bristow, because Smoky didn’t eat his breakfast, and he had also left some of Tuesday evening’s supper. This meant something was wrong, because Smoky always cleaned his plate and would let us know loudly when he was ready to eat.

He seemed to have had an uncanny knack to know when Bill poured his coffee in the early morning and he would bray to let us know he was ready to eat. Thus, we knew there was a problem.
Dr. B was called and he wasted no time getting here from Greenville. The diagnosis was colic, with complications accompanied by bloating and no apparent bowel movement. Dr. B gave the necessary treatment (pain medication, mineral oil and water, and compassionate care).  Although we watched Smoky carefully, he still had no bowel movement.
Dr.B called to check on Smoky the next morning, and bringing a good helper, Kay, he came over and treated him again. Although Smoky had seemed a little better (he came to the fence to me to be petted), his gums proved otherwise and we lost him.  
Smoky came to the Homestead in 2000, when he was 1½ years old.  He had a very sweet disposition and he loved company. When company would come, Smoky would stick his head out his barn window, anticipating being petted.
We think he thought people came to see him, (which was true of the young kids, and some of the adults).
He was posed with and photographed often, and he always posed nicely, putting his best “hoof” forward. He had beautiful ears and he showed them to the best advantage.  
He went to Vacation Bible School for two years at First Baptist Church in Vandalia, and loved being petted by the kids.  He even received a thank you note one year for being there.
He had the traditional marking of his species, the cross on his back, and we named him “Smoky,” because we thought he was the probably the color of the smoke from the shepherds’ fire on that first Christmas night.  We learned later that he had actually been born on Christmas Eve.  
We wrote a children’s Christmas story about him and his friend, SnoWhite Goose, and the first Christmas. We still get requests to repeat the story at Christmas time. A children’s Easter story followed later about the legend of the cross marking on the little animals’ backs, again featuring Smoky and his feathered friend, the wise and lovely, late SnoWhite Goose.
Donkeys are often not appreciated, and are ridiculed in derogatory ways, but Smoky was a sweet-tempered little creature, with people and with other critters.  Although he hated to get rained or snowed on, one time he voluntarily gave up his side of the barn to Lady, the older mini-mare, and we found him standing meekly out in the rain, letting her have the dry barn … like the little gentleman he was.
He loved to play with his big blue barrel, and run along the fence with me.  Sometimes, he was like a little clown with his antics, and was always sweet- natured. When he chewed up his side of the barn, he stood right next to Bill   when Bill was working on it, as if trying to help with the repairs … and looking very innocent.
We are missing him and tears still come to our eyes for our loss of a good and gentle little friend, but we are thankful for the years we had with him and the good memories he left behind with us.
He loved visitors and was always on hand to greet them at his window, and we had planned to have his shelter at our new driveway so he wouldn’t miss anyone coming in.  I was really looking forward to his presence there.
We appreciate the caring attention given by Dr. B. and Kay, and the assistance of good neighbor Scott White and of Bob Trexler.
Fayette County HCE International Dinner …
…will be held next Thursday at the Phillips Building in St. Elmo. Attendees are asked to register by 5:30 p.m. The focus will be on Africa, with Kathy Brown as the featured speaker.  The following units will assume the responsibilities: Sefton-beverages; Wright’s Corner-registration; St. Elmo-decorations; St. Peter-food placement; all units will assist in the cleanup.
Golden Years Club’s Inaugural …
… pancakes and sausage breakfast is on Saturday, Oct. 5, from 7-11 a.m. Donations appreciated for breakfast.
Mt. Carmel United Methodist Church …
… of rural Brownstown will hold its 133rd Homecoming on Sunday, Oct. 6. The day will include church at 11 a.m., with a potluck following at 12:15. There will be a short program during the morning service this year; no afternoon program. The afternoon will be spent visiting with former members and friends of Mt. Carmel United Methodist Church.  
Flu Shots-Tuesday, Oct. 22 …
… at the Golden Years Club Building, 1-3 p.m.  
See You at the Pole …
… is Oct. 25 at 7 a.m. at Brownstown High School.
Potluck Supper at United Methodist Church …
… Sunday at 5 p.m. At 6 p.m-Singing with “Guitars for God.”
Community Thanksgiving Dinner …
… at First Baptist Church at 6 p.m. on November 27 (the Wednesday before Thanksgiving). All in the community are encouraged to make plans to attend.
             Lighthouse Pregnancy Center Baby Bottle Campaign …
… fundraiser ends Oct. 6. Fill bottles and return them by Oct. 6.
Local Celebrations
Birthdays: Mike Smith, Lavina Copher, Phyllis Smith, Terra Schnarre, Leona McConaughay, Carol Severns, Nathan Grull, Eraden Elam, Ginny Wilbur and Larry Henna.
Anniversaries: Ben and Billyanna Forbis; Wyatt and Terra Schnarre; Earl and Laura O’Kuly; Zack and Jessica Fulk; Don and Cindy Holding; Tony and Robin Elam; Zack and Jenna Townsend; and Jeff and Renna Kelly.
Little Free Library Selections
The little Free Library, located on the parking lot of First Baptist Church is self-service 24/7: “Take A Book, Leave A Book.” Three of the many available this week are:
• “Captain, My Captain,” by Deborah Meroff. A romantic novel based on a true life account of Mary Patten, who had a flamboyant view of women’s rights (in the 1850’s) and through her inner spirit discovered an inner strength she realized came from one other than herself.
• “Stories for A Woman’s Heart” – An enchanting collection of stories that celebrate the wondrous ways of women.
• “Miriam,”  by Lois T. Henderson – A warmly human view of Moses’ sister and her journey to absolute trust in God.
Several children’s books, read aloud books and children’s Bible dictionary.
Coming and Going
Catching Up with Jennie Alice
Jennie Alice Harner enjoys company from near and far. Recently her nephew’s widow, Nancy (Bill) Logue, stopped to see her. Nancy lives in Bridgeport, N.Y.
• Jennie Alice’s daughter, Jo Alice, and her two children, mason and Ashlyn, from Stillwater, Okla., and stayed a few days at the Harner farm, where they were joined by Katie Mateer and her daughters, Hannah, Jordan, and Claire, of Rockford, Mich., along with Jana Dakin and Gabriella from White Cloud, Mich. Jennie Alice enjoyed many outings with her daughter, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. One outing was to the Effingham pool.
• Tony and Kelly Frisbie, with their son, Tanner, from White Cloud, Mich., made a visit recently on their way to Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Okla., where Tanner is enrolled as a freshman.   
• Over the weekend of Sept. 6, Kelly Frisbie and daughter Alexandra from White Cloud visited Jennie Alice. Jarielle Winkleman of Springfield also came to visit.
• Jorita and Gary Cook of Leroy, Mich., were guests with Jennie Alice over the Sept. 13 weekend. Jenetia and David Ruble of White Cloud also joined the Cooks and Jennie Alice.
Company Comes Calling at the Homestead
Don and Jill Jenkins traveled from Decatur last Sunday to visit and have Sunday dinner on the Homestead “House on the Prairie.”
Stephanie Blackwell visited one afternoon and got re-acquainted with Josie, the 13-year-old “puppy.” Stephanie was the one that named Josie years ago.
Celebration of sister Ava’s Birthday
Bill’s sister, Ava Taylor of Mulberry Grove, accepted the invitation for supper Saturday at the Homestead “House on the Prairie” in honor of her birthday, which is September 21. A peach pie was baked in lieu of a birthday cake. Following the meal, they all watched the Cardinals game on TV.
Fayette County HCE Board meets
Ten board members of the Fayette County Home and Community Education Board meeting were present to answer the roll call for the Sept. 23 board meeting, held at the Extension office in Vandalia.
Flo Allen called the meeting to order and led the pledge to the American flag.
Secretary Joyce Mueller called the roll and read the minutes of the last meeting. Treasurer Dorothy Harpster gave the financial report and gave each a copy of the report.
Discussion included:
• October is IAHCE Month and HCE Week will be observed the week of Oct. 6-12.  In observance of the week, a baby quilt made by Shirley Klitzing will be given to the first baby born in Fayette County to a Fayette County resident (mother) during that week. The baby may be born in a different county hospital, but the mother must be a resident of Fayette County.
• The past and present officers’ luncheon will be at the Los Amigos Restaurant following the Oct. 28 HCE Board Meeting.
• The purchase of the water filters (at a cost of $61 each) for third world countries.
• Anna Jean Rhodes (second vice president) reported changes in the membership count.  Reported earlier was 108 members to start the year. The count is now is now 113 members.  Five new members have joined since June.
• Rhodes also commented on the recent IAHCE Workshop held in Mt. Vernon and shared information regarding ideas for HCE activities in the community to involve potential members.   
• Anita Smith-Community Outreach officer, said she has shoes to deliver for the club’s project.
• Donna Blair, Family Issues officer, presented the forms needed for the “Illinois Great American Family” nominations and award.
• Debbie Segrist suggested that each unit be given a form for nominating a family and the board determine which one to enter; the suggestion was accepted. Blair gave forms to each unit and said the initial form must be submitted by January.
• It was announced that another HCE project, plastic bottle caps for benches, was realized in the form of a bench for Brookstone Estates, which is now in place for their use. Collection is in progress now for a bench for the Fayette County Hospital LTC.
• Shirley Klitzing, International officer, reported on the upcoming International Dinner.
• Klitzing also discussed the “Pennies for Friendship” club project. There will be handouts distributed at the unit’s next meetings, with a different method of recording each one’s collecting activities and results. Klitzing suggested trying the new method for a month.
• Klitzing also suggested to Segrist that the featured program person be contacted soon to confirm the date set for the Get-Acquainted Day club fundraiser.
• Segrist suggested that a project suggested in a previous meeting regarding sending unsigned homemade Christmas cards to the military to send to their families or friends be discarded because amount of time involved and also restrictions involved. The members agreed to discard the project.
• The Christmas Cards for the Military project, which has been done for several years was discussed and rules reviewed.  The cards should be in for the November meeting and the reminder was given that there could be no written notes, shiny materials, stickers, etc., and  irst names only of the sender in the cards.
• Panzi Blackwell, Public Relations officer, displayed two recent newspaper clippings of HCE activities.
• Rachelle Hollingshead showed a slide program of Africa.
Present for the meeting were: Sefton Unit: Flo Allen, Shirley Klitzing, Panzi Blackwell; St. Peter: Dorothy Harpster; St. Elmo: Anna Jean Rhodes; Vandalia day: Anita Smith, Joyce Mueller, Donna Blair, Debbie Segrist; and Wheatland-Karen Hyde.
The meeting adjourned and the following went to lunch at Lorenzo’s Restaurant in Vandalia: Rhodes, Allen, Klitzing, Segrist, Harpster, and Smith.
Brownstown Church News
United Methodist Church
United Methodist Women’s Day was observed Sunday at the local UMC. Pianist Bette Stolte played the prelude as Pam Orr greeted as the congregation. Carol Severns served as liturgist, and Flo Allen and Betty Williams served as ushers. Jeffrey Kelly and Emily Townsend lighted the altar candles.
Pastor Don Thomas gave the welcome, shared the birthdays, anniversaries, prayer list and requests, and led the opening prayer.
The United Methodist Women participated in the service and Thomas delivered the message.
Jenna Townsend led the children’s worship, and Flo Allen led the adult class.
• Sunday at 5 p.m.-Potluck supper; and 6 p.m.-Singing with “Guitars for God.”     
First Baptist Church
Pastor Dr. Olen Evans welcomed the congregation and led the opening prayer.  Jerry Reed shared the announcements, birthdays and anniversaries.
The ushers – Matt Howard, Brady Howard, Tim Donnals and Martin Hasely – presented the offering. The choir – Tammy Barker, Mary Schilling, Maisie Howard, Joylynn Beckett, Deanna Kestner, Pierce Strobel, Es Wiekart, Jerry Reed, Rhonda Howard and Ann Robertson – led the congregation in songs of praise, accompanied by organist Angela Strobel, with Nick Robertson on sound. Evans delivered the morning message.
• Deacon’s meeting-Oct. 6 at 5:15 p.m.   
• Oct. 6-Sunday evening fellowship following the evening service. Take a dish to share.
• Baby shower for Sara Portz on Saturday at 2 p.m. A formal invitation is posted in the foyer.
First Christian Church
The congregation of First Christian Church was greeted by Don and Robin Lovett, and led in songs of praise by Cathy Smith, Judy Pilger and Karen Underwood, accompanied by Walt Kinney on guitar and Matthew Smith on drums.
Matthew Smith led the Communion meditation and prayer.
Pastor Kevin Bonifacius delivered the morning message.
Also serving: Laura Willms-Sunday school nursery; Ron and Tena Gould-toddler worship; Bill Smith and Charlie Watson-Communion to shut-ins.
• Men’s group study at BFCC are Thursdays at 7 p.m.
• Women’s Bible study at BFCC are Thursdays at 7 p.m.
• Sunday following Sunday school-potluck to welcome Zach and Lauren Ray.