A Memory Pattern of Past

One Sunday, Sugar and I felt like doing something wild. We wanted to see if we were brave enough to skip our Sunday morning gathering with our Spokane Unitarian friends. It was a test to see if it could be done. In case of an emergency, it’s nice to know. Also, the thoughts of spending a Sunday just with Sugar was sort of exciting. 

While making plans to see if we first could socialize locally by attending the Lion’s pancake feed, my sister called. She somehow sensed that we were staying home. She wanted Sugar to accompany her to Washtucna for an all-day visit with her granddaughter Kim, who is expecting a tiny offspring soon. Since it don’t hurt to tighten up family ties once in a while, Sugar left me flat for the day. 

Nostalgia set in and a memory pattern of past took over. It didn’t take long to realize that the Rocklyn district on Sundays once again appeared to be the most segregated day of the week. About church time, cars begin filling the country roads as they speed on their way to Davenport or Harrington for the handpicked denominations of their choice. In between all this criss-crossing Sunday traffic, a score or so of Rocklyn “stay-puts” find their way to the old historical Methodist Church located in the center of this spider web of pioneer settlers. 

With the thoughts of facing a long day of rejected feelings, I drove myself out to my old stomping grounds, the Rocklyn church on the hill. I soon felt a little like the returning of the prodigal son. Appearing behind the pulpit - and sometimes in front - was a rugged, tall-built, senior pastor with a good crop of hair - the Rev. Claire Harris of Spokane and his wife, Lilly. 

Oozing with tons of stored gospel messages makes it very easy for him to compound a satisfying Biblical sermon. His fundamental scope runs broad enough to where the Baptists and the Pentecostals could digest and feel very comfortable. 

The church is getting up in years. It’s hoping to reach the 100-year mark soon. It’s still a strong and well-built church. In these modern times, it should receive an award of some kind for its dogmatic instinct to survive. 

Most of the fundamental church-going neighbors still own gas-guzzling cars. The Rocklyn church should become an energy-saving oasis for the other spiritual brothers and sisters. The only new face is an occasional stop-in on Sunday mornings for fellowshiping and visiting with this small group of folks that love to keep their Christian heritage going for as long as possible. No reservations are necessary. There are plenty of good, strong pews available. 

"Prodigal Son Returns" Kik-Backs, page 84 (home)     (thread)

Walt Kik
"...the Rocklyn church on the hill."
Images: Bob Juarez, Gerald Hardy, Phil Bork, Jim Choate, Mark Rogers Photography, John Clement Photography