Christ's Lutheran Church in 1949

Pastor Olney E. Cook, conducting services.

During this year, Pastor Cook married his housekeeper at West Camp.

Pastor Cook later had these reminiscences of his ministry:(1)

From Moseman, Magda, and Anderson, Mark, eds., Perspectives and Patterns: Christ's Lutheran Church, 1806-1976 [Woodstock, NY: self-published monograph, 1976]. (Close)
During that time a Sunday School was organized starting with one pupil but began to grow until we had forty. A junior choir was also started and our Christmas Pageants were enjoyed by many people. Our missionary society was one of the highlights of my ministry in Woodstock, and I always found the members to be very helpful and to be interested in the church work.
During this year (in April), Paster Cook actually resigned to accept a call to St. Paul's in Bayonne, NJ. At a special meeting, the congregation discussed selling the parsonage (the current Catskill Art and Office Supply building) for $20,000 ($156,200 in 2006 dollars) and building a new, smaller, and more efficient one on the land that had been acquired 45 years earlier adjacent to the church on the east. The idea was to be able to afford to pay a new pastor the same salary the congregation had been paying Pastor Cook: $30 per week ($234.30 per week). In June, Edna Holumzer DeWitt, 33, who had just begun serving as the church clerk (a nonvoting member of the chuch council), wrote the following to Rev. Luther Straley of the Synod of New York, a synod official who assisted congregations in finding and calling pastors:
[A]t our congregational meeting … the opinion of most of the members that we should try to get a new minister at the same salary we had been paying Pastor Cook, $30 per week--$1,560 a year [$234.30 and $12,183.60, respectively]. Then, if, with his help the congregation could earn more money, we would be more than willing to raise his salary accordingly.… We have decided to sell our present large parsonage … and build a smaller, more modern one on the lot right next to the shed. Then at some future time we will probably build a hall where the sheds now stand. So you see, our new minister, who we hope to get real soon will be helping our congregation to build materially as well as spiritually for the future.
At another special meeting, in July, the congregation voted not to call Reverend Ramose. They also considered an offer of $18,000 ($140,580) for the parsonage; they voted to have the trustees bargain for between $18,000 and $19,000 ($140,580 and $148,390, respectively). Three days later, the congregation had another special meeting: Pastor Cook was willing to return in October (he hated the climate in Bayonne). The congregation voted him a salary of $40 per week ($312.40 per week), double his salary of seven years earlier, and they agreed to participate in the pension plan of the United Lutheran Church in America (ULCA).

The official call for Pastor Cook was on July 25, promising an annual salary of $2,080 ($16,245), plus moving expenses, plus a pension, plus a month's paid vacation. There was no mention of the parsonage. Pastor Cook resumed his pastorate in late September.

The congregation finally decided to sell the parsonage for not less than $15,000 ($117,150), but by the time Parson Cook returned, it was still unsold. The pastor was pleased, however, that the chimney had been cleaned in his absence. (The parsonage remained on the market, but without prospective buyers.)

The benevolence payment to the Synod was raised to $100 ($781). The congregation approved the purchase of more hymnals.

At Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg, PA, a woman was an influential teacher of sociology.

The Woodstock Region in 1949

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The United States in 1949

[ Harry S Truman ]

Harry S Truman (Democrat) was President. The newly elected 81st Congress was in session. A dollar in that year would be worth $7.81 in 2006 for most consumable products.

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The World at Large in 1949

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