Fifty two people attended the Memorial Day Service at the Cemetery today. It was hot and humid, but the threat of rain did not materialize. After the luncheon, Reverend Jerry Amiri conducted the Memorial Day service which was then followed by a brief Annual Meeting.
With sadness we report the death of Doris Ridder, the wife of Dale. The Ridder family has been a long-time supporter of St. Paul's. Dale's father, Ben, served as its Board President, as did his brother Ray, and Dale has spearheaded the effort to preserve St. Paul's Church. Our condolences to Dale and his family.
The following people appeared for Work Day on April 26th:
- Bill Guelker from Marthasville
- Jay Humason from Hermann
- Harvey Kahle from Owensville
- Mary Kunstmann from Hermann
- Patti Mundwiller from Bay
- Dale Ridder from Bay
- Carol Waldecker from Bay
- Don Waldecker from Bay
Next Saturday is Work Day. We have a culvert to install, restroom doors to replace and a schoolhouse to clean. Hope to see you there Saturday morning.
The Cemetery Association wishes to thank Jeff Polacek for his extensive service as both Custodian and Sexton of St. Paul's Cemetery. Jeff and his family have moved to Hallsville, MO, north of Columbia, and Jeff has resigned from these positions. (The Board expects to fill the vacancies in the immediate future.) We wish you the best, Jeff and Jennifer, and thanks again for doing your best for St. Paul's!
The activities for Memorial Day, May 27th, 2007, started with the luncheon held adjacent to the old schoolhouse. It was a mild day with bright sunshine. The food, as usual, was plentiful and tasty and the dessert choices too numerous to do them all justice. The new pastor of Zion-St.Pauls in Bay, Jerry Amiri, conducted the Memorial Service with Kathy Kurrelmeyer providing the organ accompaniment. There were 40 people in attendance. Following the Call to Worship and the Prayer of Invocation, the congregation sang �God of our Fathers�. The Scripture Lesson came from Psalm 62 (�I will wait silently for the Lord��), Paul�s first letter to the Thessalonians (�we beseech you� that you study and be quiet, and to do your own business�) and John�s Gospel 14:6-7 (�I am the way, the truth, and the life...�). Pastor�s sermon was entitled �Be Still�. In it, he said we are addicted to noise - so much so, that we feel the need to talk just to fill a void. He conceded that it was difficult to learn NOT to talk. As a pastor he feels he needs to fix things, and silence feels like a failure when, in fact, just being present may be enough. Even though silence might make us uncomfortable, we need it. He said our senses are heightened by silence and we are then open to the Lord�s coming, to His presence. He cited Tony Campolo, the Southern Baptist preacher, who starts his day in silence, awaiting �the invasion of the Holy Spirit�. Pastor suggested this is how we obtain true peace. The closing hymn was �Take Thou Our Minds, Dear Lord.�
The following people appeared for Work Day on April 28th:
- Ralph and Jean Benz from Washington
- Linda Guelker from St. Louis
- Bill Guelker from Marthasville
- Jay and Jo Humason from Hermann
- Keith Kamper from Cedar Hill
- Chris Reimer from Columbia
A Work Day notice was sent to all those in the state who have provided the Association with their email address. Besides the fallen tree mentioned in the News item for 02/16/07, we also need to clear any other windfall from the cemetery and its access road, cap the school house chimney, improve the access to the school house area, trim a large cedar along the north fence line, sweep and dust the school house interior, and clean up the rest rooms. Work Day will be held on Saturday, April 28th, to address as many of these items as the turnout permits. Please mark your calendars, pack a lunch, and join us if you can.
Work Day will be held on Saturday, April 28th at 8:30am. If a rainout occurs, the effort will be made on the following Saturday, May 5th at 8:30am. Please join us if you can. In addition to normal maintenance items, a large tree has fallen near the schoolhouse as a result of the recent ice storm. This needs to be cut up, removed, and the root hole filled and seeded.
With great sadness the Association learned of the death of Amber Kottwitz, the daughter of Kenny and Debbie Kottwitz. For many years, Kenny and Debbie maintained the grounds of St. Paul's Cemetery. A frequent helper, Amber would sweep the grass from the stones after her parents had cut the grass and weed-wacked around the stones. The Association extends its appreciation for Amber's life and its regrets at her untimely death to all of the Kottwitz family.
The new set of Officers for the Board of Directors is as follows: Jay Humason - President, Keith Kamper - Vice President, Carol Waldecker - Treasurer, and Bill Guelker - Secretary. The By-Laws have also been updated to reflect the two amendments adopted at the Annual Meeting.
The activities for Memorial Day, May 28th, 2006, started with the luncheon held adjacent to the old schoolhouse. It was a very warm day with record level temperatures and bright sunshine. This seems to have impacted attendance, since there were 34 people present rather than the usual 50 � 60. Pastor R.A. Baur, the minister for the Zion-St. Paul Church in Bay, conducted the service and Dorothy Berkemeyer provided the musical accompaniment. Following the Call to Worship and the Prayer of Invocation, the Scripture Lesson came from Psalm 1 (�Happy are those who do not take the advice of the wicked��) and John 17:6-19. Pastor�s sermon was entitled �Truth and Lies� based upon verse 17 of the reading from John: �Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.� He began by noting that Jesus washed the feet of the disciples and then began this prayer to the Father on their behalf. He noted that the �world� would have us believe lies: happiness is defined by acquisitions (because the world�s economy is an economy of scarcity), happiness is reflected in a long life, and there is nothing after this life but death. He contrasted this to the truth that Jesus has given us. Happiness is based upon what you give, not what you get. Our contribution, not our length of years is the measure of our value. Jesus triumphs over death and bears witness to the love of God that promises where He is, there we shall be also. Pastor then connected these thoughts to the Memorial Day observance by recounting a story of a boyhood friend, who joined the Army after high school and was killed in World War II. A short life of 20 years but a life full of contribution to school, church, friends, and country. The closing hymn was �O, God, Beneath Thy Guiding Hand.�
The Gasconade County Historical Society has decided that the St. Paul's Church, which they own, is not a current priority in their historical restoration efforts. They are aware that the building is in need of major maintenance. Over the last 20 years, they have spent nearly $50,000 in restoration efforts. After discussion with several former members of St. Paul's and the Zion-St. Paul church council, the Historical Society has voted to transfer ownership of the Church to a not-for-profit group of former members and descendents of those members for $100 (the same amount they paid for it). They request that they have reasonable use of the Church and that a right of refusal clause be in the deed if the group ever decides to sell the Church. Current restrictions also limit use to historical uses only and that no permanent religious or commercial use be allowed. Those restrictions would be included in a new deed as well as a firsf right of refusal and approval of sale for Zion-St. Paul UCC.
The non-profit group is now formed as "St. Paul Historic Preservation Trust" and the Historical Society has voted to transfer ownership to that group. The transfer has also been approved by the Zion-St. Paul congregation. Temporary officers were elected as follows: Dale Ridder, President; Dale Brehe, Vice President; Carol Waldecker, Secretary/Treasurer.
The website now has a new function - "Document Search". This allows the general membership to see past Newsletters. It is our intention to load all the Newsletters from the Association's archives to the website. They may be viewed with the Adobe product Acrobat Reader. This product is available (free of charge) from the website www.adobe.com. This "Document Search" function is enabled by an archiving function that has been added to the "Maintenance" subset. The archiving function will allow the storage of Association documents on a secure website in a consistent format. Some documents are handwritten and these will first be entered into a word processor and then loaded to the site as a "pdf" file type, the same format used for the By-Laws and the Lot Reservation Agreement. Currently, they are in three-ring binders and/or on individual computers in a variety of formats.
The Association has a new Board of Trustees. Mary Kunstmann, the former Treasurer, is now the President. Carol Waldecker, the former Vice-president, is now the Treasurer. Bill Guelker, the former President, is now the Secretary. And Keith Kamper, a new Board member as of the Annual Meeting, is now the Vice-president. There are two non-officers on the Board. Jeff Polacek, who is also the Sexton, and Sheri Hausman, another new Board member as of the Annual Meeting.
St. Paul's Cemetery Association now has a website and you have found it! It's purposes are many. For the membership, it provides a way to make a cemetery "visit" from anywhere there is internet access. We hope this is helpful to our out-of-state or disabled members who may not have an opportunity to physically walk the grounds.
The "Gallery" link provides a brief tour of the Cemetery property by showing recent pictures taken there. The "Cemetery Map" link provides a map-like representation of the Cemetery rows and lots. This function and the "Newsletter", "By-Laws", and "Lot Reservation Agreement" links all use the Adobe product Acrobat Reader. This product is available (free of charge) from the website www.adobe.com.
The "Family Search" function enables a member to enter a family name and the website returns a list of gravesites that have that name associated with them. This means that women who were born with the family name will appear in the list even though they took another name through marriage. The list is returned in Row and Lot sequence in order to ensure that married couples appear together. From the list, the member may display a picture of the the gravesite at that row and lot number by clicking on the "Visit" link on the far right side of the list. (If you are accessing the internet via dial-up connection, this function may require a few moments.)
Of primary importance to the perpetual care of the cemetery, the member may select the "Donate!" link and make a contribution using a credit card of choice to St. Paul's Cemetery Association via the secure "Pay Pal" internet payment function.
For those who want to reserve a lot, the Cemetery Lot Reservation Agreement may be printed from the website. Instructions are on the first page of the printout.
Besides member functions, the website provides certain administrative functions. They are accessed using the "Maintenance" link and are secured by an administrative password. The functions include updating of the Association's mailing list and printing mailing labels, maintaining lot records and repair records for monuments, making announcements via this "Latest News" page, and providing record storage in a common place for things like Board Meeting minutes. The website also provides redundant data storage for the records of the Association.
You are encouraged to use the "contact us" link at the bottom of the page in order to send us your email address. If you do, you will receive the Annual Newsletter via email and the Association will be spared the postage expense. You will also receive any Notice of Work Day when those are scheduled. As we use the website, we fully anticipate finding more uses for it to facilitate communication and improve our Association processes. If you have suggestions, again, please use the "contact us" link below to share your ideas.
In other news, the Association now has a Post Office box. This provides another permanent communication vehicle, so that, when Board members change, the Association address remains the same.
St. Paul's Cemetery Association
PO Box 106
Hermann, MO 65041