In And Around Hannibal: June 16, 2012

Rita Hooper

I can’t believe it’s graduation already – YUP – it’s this Friday night.

Congrats to all the grads — you are sure entering an interesting world.

Hannibal schools have given you a good basis on which to build, but your education has only just begun. Some of you will go on to college, others to trade or vocational schools, others to military service and some of you to the school of hard knocks.

Maybe you can take a vacation for a week or so and then it’s up and at ’em! Don’t let the grass grow under your feet. You have things to do, get a library card, reading should become a life long habit. If you are not registered to vote and are 18, march yourself to the Board of Elections in Oswego and get that done.

Begin to pay attention to the news – it has an impact on your life. Will you be on your parent’s insurance or not? What will the interest rate be on your student loan? Will there be a war (declared or not) for you to fight in?

Look at your wardrobe and see what it says about you – contrary to common opinion, clothes do make a difference as does your appearance – put your best foot forward.

If faith does not have a part in your life, you might want to explore that…many have found it helpful.

If you would like to be something other than you are, only you can make it happen!

You can do it!

Know that the thoughts of this community go with you whatever you decide to do.

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A couple of weeks ago I happened to notice one of the stain glass windows in the Methodist Church that I had never noticed before.  I asked a long-time member of the church what it was about and she didn’t know either.

Time to consult another of Gordon Sturge’s booklets, “A Living Tradition.” The window has an “E” on one side and a “L” on the other and in small print it says “Look up Lift up.” Come to find out it is the Epworth League Window.

Having been raised in the Methodist tradition, I knew that the Epworth League was a group in the church before my time and I think I had a vague recollection that it had to do with young folks. Now to the internet I must go.

The Epworth League began in 1889 in Cleveland, Ohio and was named Epworth in honor of John Wesley (founder of Methodism) and his hometown of Epworth England.  Look Up Lift Up was the motto of the group.

The purpose of the “Epworth League was to get young Methodists involved in good works, and to train Christian soldiers for the ministry; to promote intelligent and vital piety in the young members of the church.”

The Epworth League was for young folks between the ages of 18 and 34; there was a Junior Division for those 12-18. They met Sunday evenings in co-ed classes unlike Sunday school where the gals and guys met separately.

Epworth League chapters were known for their zealous fund-raising and serious involvement in mission work. The 1924 Epworth League Handbook notes that between 1919 and 1924, the Epworth League raised $380,000 for mission work in Africa, a sum that would be worth millions today.

Local mission work was also important, and often a young Epworth League member would accompany a Deaconness in her rounds to the hospital, orphanage or retirement home.

In the early 20th century, Epworth League chapter meetings explored such issues as women’s right to vote, racial violence (taking a stand as early as the 1920s against the Ku Klux Klan and its practice of lynching), and public assistance to the disadvantaged.

The Epworth League’s efforts helped establish Clark College (today part of the Atlanta University Center); they supported literacy efforts in Appalachia and helped connect college students through religious and social engagements on campus.

The 1939 unification of the northern and southern branches of the Methodist Episcopal churches with the Methodist Protestant church meant that the Epworth League was renamed the Methodist Youth Fellowship (MYF) and membership was for youth aged 12-24.

Mission work continued to be emphasized, and in the 1940s and 1950s, Methodist students of all races met and worshipped together—this at a time when interracial gatherings of this kind were rare, especially in the south.

When the Evangelical United Brethren Church united with the Methodist Church in 1968 to form the United Methodist Church, the Methodist Youth Fellowship became the United Methodist Youth Fellowship, which continues to emphasize outreach work with young people today.

In 2010, the Epworth League was reborn as a new United Methodist association for young adults aged 18 to 35.

The mission of the new Epworth League is to encourage and support social environments for young adults around the world where they can find purpose and develop to the highest level of Christian character.

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Speaking of Methodism, Pastor Jill Magnuson will be leaving her post in Hannibal and Bowens Corners at the end of the month.

A covered dish dinner in her honor is in the offing for Wednesday, June 20 at 6 p.m. in the Whitney Fellowship Room at the Hannibal Church.

The meat, desert and coffee will be provided. You are asked to bring a dish to pass and your own table service.

It is hoped that you will plan to be a part of this evening. If you have an experience with Pastor Jill that you’d like to share that evening, please contact Judy at 564-6504 so they can add your name to the program.

I have been asked to mention that there will be a Vietnam get-together in Boonville around 11 a.m. this Saturday. Don’t know if it’s at the Legion or VFW but I was told you would find it!

The American Legion will be hosting its annual Vet Fest today. There will be a bike ride early in the day (there is a charge for the ride,) a ceremony to honor special vets at 7 p.m. followed by a Watch Fire. You are invited to bring your worn flags for proper retirement.

Senior Meal Program will be hosting lunch Monday, Wednesday and Friday at noon. Come early for coffee, conversation and games. They meet at the Senior Center (Library Building) on Oswego Street. Monday’s fare is homemade mac and cheese, Wednesday meatball subs and Friday, chicken chow mein. Call Rosemary at  564-5471, to make your reservation.

The Jammers will meet from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Legion on Rochester Street for their Monday night jam.

TOPS will meets at Our Lady of the Rosary Church at 5:45 p.m. on Wednesday.

The Hannibal Town Board will also meet Wednesday but at 7 p.m.

Thursday at 11:30 a.m., the Methodist Church holds a chilli-soup lunch.

Please contact me and let me know what’s happening in your group or club.

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