Pastor Walter Kortrey, pictured here, conducting services. According to church historian Mark Anderson(1),
From Anderson, Mark J., For All the Saints: Christ's Lutheran Church, Woodstock, New York, 1806-2006 [Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2006], p. 135. (Close)
was very aware of the great difficulties that had ensued at Christ's Lutheran Church in Woodstock. He set about healing the congregation with great attention to the wide variety of opinions held not only within the congregation, but also among the townspeople in general. The story of his pastorate is the story of a slow but certain involvement of the congregation with the pressing social needs of the town.
The following is an excerpt from the January issue of The Scroll(2):
Unless otherwise indicated in a footnote, excerpts from church records or from The Scroll are cited in ibid., Chapter 9. (Close)
The anniversary recording [of the previous year] featuring Christ's Church Adult, Youth and Children's Choirs is now available.… Cost of the record is $5.50 ($18.21 in 2006 dollars).
The following is from the annual meeting report of January 21:
The congregation authorized the Church Council to spend up to $3,500 for the re-leading of the stained glass windows and provision for storm sash.
The congregation did the releading (they decided to leave the alpha upside-down rather than correcting it), and they installed storm windows on them. (Click any one of the stained-glass-window pictures--east, west, or north, in that order--to enlarge it and to see details at the top.)
The January report continued:
Barbara Pickhardt reported that the Christian Day Nursery School, in operation for seven years, "offers a rich variety of experiences to aid physical, emotional and mental growth of the children involved."
Mark Anderson reported that the church heating unit had been relocated above the high water line and that a new electrical panel had been installed in place of the old  fuse box. [At the end of the previous year, the congregation had repaired damage to the church that had been caused by the furnace: An unusual flood in the church basement had caused the forced-air heating system to circulate very heavily humidified air through the chapel, which caused the old varnish coat on the original "beadboard" wooden paneling to turn white. Congregation members had restored the finish by wiping down all the walls, ceilings, and pews with denatured alcohol--a horrendous and potentially dangerous job. They had then treated the paneling with a coat of fire-retardant varnish. After that, they raised the blower unit in the basement to prevent the same kind of event from recurring.]
[Anderson reported that items] not yet completed included a porch roof for the Fellowship Hall and an additional exit door for the church.
During the year, the congregation repaired the Fellowship Hall steps. Peter Bengston constructed a roofed shelter in memory of his father, Hugo Bengston.
The January report continued:
Marty Petterson became the unofficial church "fire marshal." Merritt Rose and Jim Egolf were new property committee members while Pete Bengston and Garry Ives relinquished their membership.
Carol Petterson reported that the Lutheran Church Women had produced a cookbook under the direction of Evelyn Carter. The members also worked for many months on crafts projects for the church fair as well as preparing an old-fashioned church supper with homemade dishes.
The proposed church budget for 1977 was $34,640.00 ($114,660 in 2006 dollars).
The following is an excerpt from the March issue of The Scroll:
Bad winter weather, including a mini-blizzard reduced church attendance in February to an average of 92 per Sunday versus 115 in February of 1976.
The parsonage continued to be vacant, because Pastor Kortrey and his wife had their own home on Ohayo Mountain Road. The congregation authorized the Seedling Play Group, which had been organized a few years earlier by Family of Woodstock, to conduct their licensed all-day child-care program in the parsonage. Here is more from the March Scroll:
The parsonage has been transformed into a day care center called The Seedling Play Group. "It is gratifying to see the… selfless action… taken to help relieve the difficulties some members of the community face.… Pastor Kortrey and his congregation… can serve as an example to the rest of us. Megan Daly and Debby Ginsburg, Co-Directors, Seedling Playgroup"
The Lenten Forums--The Cross in the Midst of Life. Each Tuesday at 7:30PM.
March 8 The Cross and the Welfare Mess.
Speaker: Mrs. Valerie Cadden, Woodstock Town Supervisor and Miss Jane Valand new Woodstock Welfare Officer.
March 15 The Cross and the Dying. March 22 The Cross and the Sexual Revolution.
Speaker: Dr. Elizabeth Bettenhausen, Secretary for Social Concerns, Lutheran Church in America.
March 29 The Cross and the Divorce Rate.
Speaker: Dr. Robert Bauers, Director, Self-work Inst. Minister of Counselling, Redeemer Lutheran Church, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Conference for Women--by Karin Church. A one-day conference for 15 women will be held at Mt. Tremper Lutheran Camp on Saturday. It will deal with identity and the choices, reasons and strengths for and of personal goals.
The following is an excerpt from the May issue of The Scroll:
President James Graefe of the Metropolitan New York Synod will pay a pastoral call on Christ's Church on May 10. Dr. Graefe will visit Family of Woodstock while he is here and review with Pastor Kortrey the Synod's continued grant in support of this community service.
The following was by Frank Turmo in the July issue of The Scroll, under the title "Impressions--A Synod Convention":
The Metropolitan New York Synod held its annual convention at Wagner College, Staten Island, on May 19, 20 and 21. The Rev. James Graefe was reelected as President of the Synod.… Church membership remained about the same in 1976 as in 1975. This is seen as a good sign, for, in past years, membership has been decreasing.… This was my first visit to Staten Island, Wagner College and an LCA Convention. I enjoyed the stay at Wagner and am grateful for the privilege of attending the convention. I feel that I learned a great deal about what our church is doing outside our own congregation. We often become preoccupied with our own local situations. There is a wider area of responsibility, as well as opportunity, which is presented at the convention.…
The annual church fair raised $2,354.97 ($7,794.95 in 2006 dollars).
There was a large and active Sunday School and a children's choir.
The 2-year-old Friendly Visitation Group, led by Erwin and Elsa Holumzer, continued their regular ministry of visits to two area homes for senior citizens located in Lake Hill.
The following is an excerpt from the August issue of The Scroll:
A bequest of $1,500 ($4,965 in 2006 dollars) has been received from the estate of Victor Lasher, a lifetime member of Christ's Church.… Have you remembered your church in your will?
The mortgage for the Fellowship Hall was paid off.
Meanwhile, the congregation was adjusting itself to the pipe organ it had obtained 6 years before (click the picture to enlarge it), originally built in 1885 by Hook & Hastings for the Baptist Church of Hopkinton, NH. According to historian Anderson(3):
Ibid., p. 156. (Close)
The Hook and Hastings organ is almost perfectly matched to the acoustic and architectural space of the church building. It is a small, single manual (keyboard), and pedalboard instrument, with a tracker action (direct mechanical linkage), and with a limited number of stops. It was built in Boston in 1885, just ten years prior to the dedication of Christ's Church.Our Hook and Hastings organ has been placed on the register of historic American pipe organs. Unfortunately, however, there was a problem:
Over the years and even in the beginning, we were a little disappointed in that we felt the organ was capable of producing better results than we were getting. We had great difficulty in finding competent tuners.(4)According to Anderson:
Quoted in The Scroll, November 1979. (Close)
What was not known when the organ was purchased… was that the instrument is pitched nearly a half tone higher than standard tuning. It is not possible to add lengths to pipes and so it will always remain at that high pitch. This can be a challenge for tenors trying to sing high parts! It was also quickly learned that wind instruments (clarinets, trumpet, oboes, etc.) could not tune high enough to play with the organ.(5)It would be more than 2 more years before the organ would be brought up to its full potential.
Quoted in Anderson, For All the Saints, op. cit., p. 156. (Close)
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Gerald Ford (Republican) was President, succeeded during this year by Jimmy Carter. The newly elected 95th Congress was in session. A dollar in that year would be worth $3.31 in 2006 for most consumable products.
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