As many of you know, the Church has a fairly large collection of books which had been part of the Church library. Most of them haven’t circulated in years and they are being retired. But before anything is done with the books, as Church Librarian, I decided that I needed to go through them to figure out if they had value to our congregation. Well, many of them do have value – not necessarily for their printed content but because of the artifacts of lives left behind in them. As we approach our centennial I wanted to share some of what I have found in our collection. Many of the books were donated by members and have book plates identifying them.
One of the most donated books was Christ in the New Testament by Charles M. Laymon published in 1958. This must have been a whirlwind best seller. I even remember multiple copies of it in the church library in Warren, Ohio, when I was a kid. Several of this church’s copies have book plates identifying the donors but one in particular had signs that the
original owner, Mrs. Ernest Foster, had loved and used this book well. She left behind not only her name but also some glimpses into her life. First, I found a sweet Christmas bookmark. Maybe it was a gift from a grandchild or maybe from one of the children in Sunday School. We will never know, but judging from the way the book forms around it, the bookmark has been marking that spot for decades. Also tucked inside was a letter from Dolly in Columbus, Ohio, dated May 21 and postmarked 1966. It is filled with simple insights into Dolly’s life. I can only imagine that they must have been close friends. Also tucked into the back of the book was this beautiful prayer. It sounds a lot like a Psalm but isn’t one that I can identify. Maybe one of you recognizes it? Regardless, clearly, this beautiful prayer was very meaningful to Mrs. Foster. As you read it, maybe you can think of her and Dolly and all of our congregation to whom this book was special.