Martha Bostic, founder and hostess, called the meeting to order and asked, “How many of you remembered Memorial Day yesterday?”
She said that it is really a Memorial Day, it’s not just a time of having fun, even though everybody likes to grill and cook out. It’s also a time to remember the war dead and a time to remember the ‘war living,’ those still living who served. “We need to pray and thank those that have been overseas and they lived to get back, because we had a lot of people that just died over there and it’s a memorial of what’s really in memory for them.”
Bostic said Old Glory, the U.S. flag, was born in Philadelphia on June 14, 1777, and symbolizes the patriotic ideals of our nation, conceived in liberty and admired around the world. She said, “From the dawn’s early light and the twilight’s light gleaming, we should be proud to display Old Glory.” She led the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag and Nelson Raburn, guest and next month’s guest speaker, led the opening prayer.
She took the devotion Scripture from Acts 4:31, “And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.” Bostic said one of the qualities of the early church was it’s devotion to prayer. “Throughout the New Testament it’s clear that praying was more than just a group activity, it was the church lifeline; after all, if prayer was our way of connecting community with the Lord, how can we do any otherwise.”
Bostic said the devil has angels that come around to confuse things when we pray in order for us to pray for things that we shouldn’t be praying for. She added, “It’s something we need to constantly be in prayer, we can’t get enough prayer — if it weren’t for all the prayer then probably every one of you might not be here today,”
Martha ended her talk with remembrance of her own experience of serious illness and how prayer and God’s power changed things.
Alexander Delk was the special speaker for the meeting. He began his talk about how “our country came about and why this great country of ours we all love was established.” He went on to say, “One of the basic reasons that people came to this country from England and other European countries was in search for religious freedom, they wanted to be able to worship God (the way) they wished to worship rather than being dictated by church or state.”
He said, “You think of those who came over on the Mayflower, we call them Pilgrims. They came in search for religious freedom, yes they were a bit narrow in some of their own views, but they wanted to be able to worship like they saw fit to worship and not to have to pay not (only) on the worship, but to pay financially, because taxes went to the church in their day and they didn’t want that,” he said.
“Then we had other groups that came — William Penn led the Quakers to Pennsylvania.” “Lord Calvert even led a group of Catholics to Maryland.” He said other colonies were founded — many of them for the purpose of religious freedom.
Delk said, “Then when we come to the Constitution and time of the founding of our own country when we separated from England ... our founding fathers saw fit to incorporated into the Constitution the basic principle of the separation of church and state, not because they wanted to separate this country from God — which is trying to be made as — but rather to ensure that there will no longer nor never be a state church that they would have to worship in.”
Delk related his personal connection. “My father was a young Georgia boy, raised in the pinewoods of south Georgia and before he was to be drafted, he volunteered for the Army (and) went to France. He, along with thousands of other American troops, was gassed in the trenches of France, inhaling that mustard gas and whatever else they used (against the Americans). This time the American forces were moving in and obviously Germany was desperate and they sprayed that ‘great’ gas on American troops; many of them died in the trenches.” He said his dad came away from the war with his health ruined.
Delk said several years ago he was in Belgium and the guide told him this was where many American troops were gassed in the trenches and possibly his father among them.
He read out a poem, “In Flanders Field,” written by John McCrae in May of 1915. Delk said the poem had initiated the use of poppies as symbolic of sacrifice (and are worn as a remembrance of the war dead today).
In conclusion, Delk said he will be 90 years old in July and has seem many changes in this country. “You have seen changes in this country and sometimes some of these things have not been for the good. I have seen Sunday, the Lord’s day, go from a day when basically people worshiped to now a day so commercialized that many people are forced to work and many people ignore it. We see Sunday commercialized, we see all the moral standards in our country that have slowly, slowly gone down.”
But, he said, “We’ve seen some improvements; I personally feel that the integration decision of 1953 or ’54 was a good decision, because it did enable the people, who have been (denied) a lot of opportunities. “But then came 1973 and we legalized the murder of unborn babies in this country. And some 50 million babies have been aborted in the name of rights — where are their (babies) rights?”
Delk wrapped up his talk with one last comment, saying, “I love this country. It bothers me to see where we’ve have (ended up). I won’t be around too many more years to see what the younger generation will (do), where will we be going as time goes.” Then he prayed, thanking God for the opportunity to speak at the meeting.
Door prizes were given to Betty Raburn and Kent Gunerson, guests, and Martha Ledford. The door prize is donated by Steve Robinson of Cleveland Plywood.
Others attending the May meeting were Shawn Markie, Juanita Poteet, Joe Ben Chase, Barbara Tucker, Sonya Kasper, Calvin Davis, Lilian Cunningham and Ruby Ball.
The next meeting will be held at Golden Corral Restaurant at 11:30 a.m. on June 26.For more information on the United Club meetings, contact Bostic at 479-9207; Charles or Joanie Lupo at 478-5766; or club recorder Shawn Markie, at 476-5426.