Brownstown-Sefton News

… is this Saturday, beginning at 8 a.m.
Brownstown VFW 9770 members will be at various locations in Brownstown to give us the opportunity to honor those who gave so much of their lives, or gave their lives, for us.
Read the poem, “In Flanders Fields,” which was written on May 3, 1915, by a soldier, Lt. Col. John McCrae, at the battlefront in Belgium, where he lost a close friend to an enemy shell the day before. His friend’s burial was performed at night, in complete darkness, for security reasons. McCrae was observed writing this poem the next day, accurately describing the scene before him, and looking, from time to time, over to his friend’s grave.
The poem will touch your heart, probably bring tears to your eyes,  and explain why Poppy Day is so named. A fellow soldier who was present as the poem was being composed, said “ the word “blow” was used because the poppies in the field were actually being blown that morning by a gentle east wind….it seemed to me just an exact description of the scent.”
Please, find a member of the Brownstown VFW Post 9770 on Saturday and buy a poppy – it is a small thing to do for the price our veterans paid for the freedoms we have today.
On May 25 is the Memorial Day observance at the Veterans Memorial Wall at the village park, with a program by the Brownstown VFW Post 9770.
An Almost-Forgotten Memory Revived
Early Monday morning, I had a just few minutes to pass until I went on to an appointment in downtown Vandalia. Needing some nourishment, and as I was already on Gallatin Street, I decided to drop in at Carrie Tomlinson’s Red Door Restaurant for a cup of hot tea and some toast made from her homemade bread.
As I drank my Lipton tea and ate my homemade bread toast with strawberry jelly, it brought back a memory I had almost forgotten.
One summer, when I had just finished the seventh grade (in the old McKinley School), we had moved to the country … and new life experiences, such as the following.
There was a strawberry patch there and my mother made strawberry jam, the likes of which I had never tasted! She also made homemade bread (we always just had store-bought bread before), and the combination of the two, along with our jersey cow’s home-churned butter, provided delicious snacks and meals.
My mother and I would often have a cup of Arthur Godfrey’s hot Lipton tea with the feast. Some of old Jerseys’ thick, rich cream would be added to the tea, and those were, indeed, happy and close, loving times with my mother.
On warm summer days, my mother would have the windows open and a breeze would gently move the sheer curtains toward us as we ate.
Then, I happened to look up to see the restaurant curtains softly moving in the high windows. I was amazed for a moment, then realized that it was air from the registers were moving the curtains, but it completed the picture remembered.
So, what if the movement of the curtains was not from a summer breeze, and it was packaged strawberry jelly instead of homemade jam – it still tasted really good and evoked precious, pleasant memories of my childhood and of my dear mother, who has been gone for many years now.
I think God gives us little unexpected gifts from time to time, and I really believe this was one of the most special – a pleasant, almost-forgotten memory revived and the feeling of being relived for a few precious moments, and the feeling that perhaps, my mother was enjoying them with me … and just in time for Mother’s Day.
Village Cleanup Day & Garage Sales
The Village of Brownstown has scheduled Clean-Up Day for Friday, May 15. This is for those who pay for weekly trash pickup. Items should be placed in the same place as for the weekly trash pick-up.
The following items will not be picked up: tires, batteries, shingles, building materials, leaves, sticks, shrubs and trees, grass, garden clippings and any electronics. Anyone having questions should contact the village hall during regular business hours, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. or call 427-3345.
Reminder to Sefton HCE Members
The next meeting, May 14 will be the Mother’s Day potluck at 11 a.m. Also, dues will be due. Elizabeth Kasten will present the lessons, “Lou Who” and “Eat Well As You Age.”
Lighthouse Pregnancy Center’s Baby Bottle Campaign fundraiser runs from Mother’s Day to Father’s Day. Fill baby bottle with change and return them to your churches on Father’s Day for delivery to the center.
May 17, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.-Golden Circle fundraiser for Meals on Wheels at Golden Circle Center, 616 W. Jackson St., Vandalia. Carry-outs will be available. Call 283-1040 by 1 p.m. on Friday, May 15, if you can attend.                       
Elementary End of Year Awards Ceremony …
… will be held on Thursday, May 21, at 9 a.m. in the high school gym. All parents, families and friends are invited to attend.
First Christian Church VBS …
… will be June 7-12, from 6-8:15 each night. The theme will be “Blast From The Past.”
Local Celebrations
Birthdays: Elaine Voelker, Katie Herbord, Jennaand Townsend; Anniversaries: Marty and Rebecca Evans, and Darrel and Zandra Sidwell.
BES School News
Students attend classes on May 26 and will be dismissed at 1:50 p,m. That is the last day of regular attendance.
Teacher institute day is Wednesday, May 27. Report cards may be picked up  Thursday, May 28-Friday, June 5. Report cards will not be mailed out.
Negative lunch balances should be paid up, and all library books and textbooks should be returned to clear accounts before the end of the year. Lunch positive accounts will be carried over to the next year.
There is no summer school program this year.
At the end of the year awards ceremony, students in grades K-6 will be honored for perfect attendance, honor roll and A.R./Reading achievements. Sixth-graders will be awarded with a promotion certificate to celebrate entering junior high next year. And students who qualify for the President’s Award will be presented with a certificate and pin. An end-of-the-year video will be shown to remember all of the greatest times had at BES this year.
Next Year
Registration day is Aug. 14. The first day of student attendance is Aug. 14.
More information on who needs exams, updated immunizations. etc.,  will come later.
Celebration of Life Held for Kay Orr Koberlein
Mannie and Pam Orr hosted a dinner for a Celebration of Life for Mannie’s sister, Kay Orr Koberlien, who was called home on July 1, 2014.
Attending were: Brian and Shelly Koberlien and their children Brylee and Conner of Geneseo; Phillip Koberlien of Naperville; from Lincoln: Cathy and Jeff Hurd and Austin, and Alex and Nathan Hoefs and children Skyler and McKinna; from Decatur: Tom and Clara Orr; from Brownstown: Ivan Pruett, Rebecca Orr and Jarin; Logan Orr, Dana Reed and Chase, Rita, Drew, Nathan and Nicholas Grull, Raychael Orr, Mannie Grames, Wade Voelker, Lanie Voelker, Roger and Lisa Smith, Baylee and Charlie Ring, Rhonda Gehle, Baya Thompkins and Kanden Thompkins; from Altamont: Robin, Tony, Dillan, Brayden, Eli and Evan; from Vandalia: Lori Cearlock; Dwight and Vicki Seaton from Sparta; Dawn and Luke Hartman of Percy; Dwight Seaton II and Willard of Nashville, Ill.; Kendra Laow and Emma of Matoon; Tim Russell of Jerseyville; and Pastor Don Thomas and wife Marklys of Cowden.
Opening prayers were given by Nathan and Nicholas Grull. Following lunch and a social hour, a graveside service was held at Maplewood Cemetery in St. Elmo.
Thomas opened with prayer, read the obituary and gave a brief message. Memories were shared by family.
Several returned to the home of Mannie and Pam for fellowship. The family enjoyed a wonderful day. It was truly a celebration of life for a loving mother, sister, aunt, great aunt, cousin and friend.
United Methodist Church
Junior Williams and Jeff Kelly served as ushers as the congregation of the United Methodist gathered for Sunday morning worship/ Jarin Evans lighted the altar candles.
Pastor Don Thomas greeted all, recognized the birthdays and anniversaries, shared  announcements and the prayer list, and led in prayer.
Pastor Thomas delivered the morning message, followed by Communion, assisted by wife Marlys.
Pam Orr served refreshments and led the children’s worship. Flo Allen led the adult class.
• May 21, 9:30 a.m. – United Methodist Women’s May breakfast. The speaker will be Jo Sanders, Cunningham Children’s representative.
First Christian Church
The congregation of First Christian Church was greeted by Larry and Judy Pilger, and led in songs of praise by Susan Smith, Deanna Miller and Jack Shelton, accompanied by pianist Robin Lovett and guitarists Chuck Enlow and Walt Kinney. Brent Keyes led the Communion meditation. Kevin Bonifacius delivered the morning message.
Also serving: Sunday school nursery-Laura Willms; a.m. nursery-Tena Gould; toddler worship-Cathy Smith and Ashton Smith; and shut-ins-Terry Smith and Don Willms.
• Extreme Zone last meeting will be Tuesday.
• Bicycle rodeo-Saturday, May 23, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
• VBS will be June 7-12, 6-8 p.m. The theme is “Blast to the Past.”

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