Christ's Lutheran Church in 1970

Pastor Steven Middernacht conducted services for most of the year. Recognizing the need for a response to the influx of "hippies" into Woodstock, Pastor Middernacht requested that a Social Ministry Committee be formed to coordinate with others in the community to discuss problems of health and law. The following is an April entry in the church record book for a meeting of the church council. Pastor Middernacht requested(1)

Unless otherwise indicated in a footnote, excerpts from church records or from The Scroll are cited in Anderson, Mark J., For All the Saints: Christ's Lutheran Church, Woodstock, New York, 1806-2006 [Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2006], Chapter 9. (Close)
activation of a Committee on Social Ministry to meet with him and a committee of other concerned "establishment" people with the "long hair" segment of our community to discuss health problems, law problems, etc. The church should be acting to bring closer understanding in these areas. Don Lawson volunteered to go to meetings with pastor.
Here is from the entry for May 12:
Council meeting. Organist David Reinhard [a talented high school student who had been filling in for $540 a year {$2,776 a year in 2006 dollars}] will be away several Sundays in June and July. Barbara Genthner of Saugerties will play for some. A folk service will be held when organists are not available. A new organist will be needed in the fall because David is going away to college.
When David went away to college, the council awarded him $20 [$102.80 in 2006 dollars]. His place was filled by Barbara (Mrs. Melvin) Pickhardt. Here are some reminiscences of music director Doris Blatter(2): Quoted in ibid., p. 155. (Close)
I learned how to select hymns and anthems based on the pericopes [the scripture readings for the day] from Steve [Middernacht]… as well as from attending conferences and workshops. My greatest joys in the [nearly] 40 years as music director for Christ's church has been my close association as a musician and friend with Barbara Pickhardt, my familial sense of closeness with the choir; the opportunity to share the joy of the Lord through music and watching young people grow and move on.
According to church historian Mark Anderson(3): Ibid., pp. 155-56. (Close)
Barbara Pickhardt had joined the congregation shortly after Doris Blatter. She had moved to Woodstock with her husband, Mel, an engineer who had taken a job with IBM.… She had graduated from the University of Minnesota, and while working for the church, she had earned a Master's degree in choral conducting from Westminster Choir College, Mrs. Pickhard and Mrs. Blatter established a high level of musical content and leadership for Christ's Church, which has been maintained for forty years during the tenure of ten pastors.
Doris Blatter and Barbara Pickardt, with assistance from a company that specialized in finding new homes for old pipe organs, continued their search for a suitable organ for the church. Here is from the May 3 entry in the record book:
Special Council Meeting about location and costs of possible pipe organs for the church. No action.
Another portion of the May 12 entry noted: "Organ acquisition tabled to another year." Nonetheless, Pastor Middernacht, who had been a music major and organ student in college, contacted someone to help in the search: Allen (Alan?) Laufman of the Organ Clearing House, a Cornwall-on-Hudson nonprofit organization that would buy and find permanent places for pipe organs that are no longer being used. Within the November 16 entry is the following:
Doris Blatter and Barbara Pickhardt disapproved the idea of a kit-built electronic organ. They would be contacting Mr. Laufman regarding used pipe organs.

The council discussed acquiring a larger parsonage or adding to the existing house.

Here is the July 14 entry in the record book:

Council Meeting. Pastor reported that raw sewage has been running in the ditch behind the church hall and parsonage from the Houst properties. Mr. Harry Edinger of the County Health Department said nothing could be done. There was to be a meeting with the affected neighbors and a letter sent to Bill West of the County Legislature.
This problem would never be truly solved for another decade, when a central sewer system was finally installed.

Pastor Middernacht ended his pastorate in September to take a job with a state social service agency. During the interim of several months, Frank Wilhelm came out of retirement to conduct services as Vice Pastor.

According to historian Anderson(4),

Ibid., p. 134. (Close)
[T]he publicity surrounding the "Woodstock Nation" apparently prompted synod officials in Manhattan to seek a candidate whom they felt would be a good match for the street ministry in Woodstock [Abner T. Cunningham]. While in retrospect we might suppose that this was a reasonable response, it unfortunately overlooked the demographics of the settled congregation. For the most part, the congregation had a rather conservative membership with little tolerance for the "hippies" in their town.
In the November 16 record book entry is the following:
Pastor Cunningham is introduced and introduces himself. Then he and his wife are taken to see the parsonage while the pulpit committee remains and Ed Stevenson, Chairman, recommends to the Council that Pastor Cunningham be accepted as a candidate and a date set for a trial service and congregational meeting.
In December that committee convened a special council meeting (Mike Gritman, council president) to call Rev. Abner T. Cunningham, from St. Paul's in Brooklyn, to be pastor. The vote was 45 yes, 9 no, 2 abstentions.

The December 8 entry in the record book contained the following:

Council meeting. Magda Moseman & Doris Blatter attended a workshop in Ellenville on the new liturgy--new music, new methods for giving communion. [Pastor Cunningham reportedly had attended the same workshop when it was given in New York City.] Perhaps sometime in the spring the music & worship committee would schedule a demonstration of the new liturgy.

A [Christmas] tree was donated by the Girl Scout troop that met at the church.

At the convention of the Lutheran Church in America (LCA) in Minneapolis, the wording of the bylaws were changed: "person" replaced "man" in defining a minister of the church. It was now possible for a woman to become a minister in the Lutheran Church.

The Woodstock Region in 1970

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The United States in 1970

[ Richard M. Nixon ]

Richard M. Nixon (Republican) was President. The 91st Congress was in session. (The midterm elections that year would elect the 92nd Congress.) A dollar in that year would be worth $5.14 in 2006 for most consumable products.

Some 76.9% of Americans 17 years and older were high school graduates; this number was about a tenth again as many as a decade earlier. During this year, about 2,889,000 Americans graduated from high school (about half again as many as a decade earlier), 792,656 from college (twice as many as a decade earlier). The median school years completed by Americans overall was 12.2 years, an increase of a year and 8 months from a decade earlier.

Slightly more than 73% of all Americans lived in cities of 2,500 or more. (This was less than a 4% increase from a decade earlier.)

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The World at Large in 1970

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