The First Fifty Years

As Paramus was becoming a suburban sprawl
And homes were spreading like ants on a crawl,
Families were arriving on an hourly basis
With cars and vans and packing cases.
And when they gave the area a search
They met and said “We need a church.”
Meetings were held and Synod sent aid.
People were canvassed and surveys were made.
Two congregations were started, that seemed to be best.
Christ Lutheran in the East and Prince of Peace in the West.
This was done, everyone being of one accord
In order to fulfill the Word of the Lord.

There were gatherings to be held and Sunday School sessions,
And fund raising and services in various locations.
Properties were bought with buildings in place
That served as temporary parsonage space.
A church was built for the group in the East,
While a garage became a chapel over in the West.
All the work focused on the same reward
A place to hear the Word of the Lord.

The congregations grew according to plan
As the area population continued to expand.
And most were young families with lads and lasses
Increasing the size of the Sunday School classes.
So a school was added at the Christ Church location,
While Prince of Peace built a church and ed. wing creation.
Doing all that they could afford
So as to pass on to others the Word of the Lord.

The next part of the story is harder to tell,
For it’s of a time when things did not go so well.
When the congregation sizes stopped their climb
And reversed direction into a decline.
But needs and expenses were still in full bloom
With mortgages whose payments had begun to balloon.
So the leaders met to see what could be done
And decided that the two churches must become one.
Prince of Peace had to close its doors
And all their hopes and plans were no more.
And Christ Lutheran reorganized with what was left
Serving the people, both East and West.
Keeping the focus on the road
Of preaching and teaching the Word of the Lord.

Now as for the church of today
We all see it in our very own way.
We’re active, we’re busy, we’re beginning to grow
We still have a long, long way to go.
We collect food, serve some dinners
And Senior Christians look for “Jeopardy” winners.
We have ESL and Sunday School classes
And Sociables for older lad and lasses.
And Easter breakfasts and Advent fun
Along with a Summer Program for everyone.
There is a lot of cleanup and tons of weeding
And a cabin at Beisler that needed fixing.
There is a Choir, the Library and lots, lots more
It’s hard to maintain an accurate score.
We have good help, quality’s stellar
Need lots more, men in particular.
Whatever the load, it’s always the top straw
To always recall the Word of the Lord.

Now tomorrow is very near at hand
And it’s prudent to have a plan.
To meet its very particular need
And on this the Council has been busy indeed.
But what is the feeling, what is the sense
As to what our church will be fifty years hence.
Will it be a very large cathedral
Or only existing in an electronic ethereal?
With sermons and chat rooms in cyber space
Where people rarely meet face to face?
I pray that whatever the form, or the act
The Word of the Lord remains intact.
So please join us as we send up cheers
During this semi-centennial year.
At the dinners and picnics and other feasts
I’m sure that there will be plenty of seats.
Seek out our leaders, give them a hand
You still may be able to add to the plans.
Above all join us at the services when
We all shall hear the Word of the Lord again.

©2008 J.F. Michael


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