No Church

18-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Sunday, November 2, 1913:  Went to Sunday School this afternoon. We didn’t have church, so I went for a walk with one of the girls.

Grandma probably walked down Main Street in McEwensville with the girls a hundred years ago today.

Grandma probably walked down Main Street in McEwensville with a friend a hundred years ago today.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

There’s a rhythm to the diary—and a predictable ebb and flow. But, because of the predictability, occasionally something very minor jumps out at me.

Since I began posting Grandma’s diary entries, 2 years and 10 months ago, I’ve probably posted close to 140 Sunday entries which said that she’d gone to Sunday School.  I’ve often wondered why Grandma almost always went to Sunday School, but seldom mentioned church.

But this entry—with Grandma noting an exception (no church)—also tells me about her usual routine.  She apparently usually went to both Sunday School and church (or I suppose she could be using the words Sunday School interchangeably to mean either Sunday School or church).

12 Responses

  1. Many people only go to worship service (church) and not to Sunday School. I think especially back then it was a given that if you went to Sunday School you stayed for the worship service. Today, many people only show up for the worship service and miss out on class entirely.

  2. At what age did people stop going to Sunday School? I usually associate Sunday School with very little ones up to about college age.

  3. At my hometown church, members NEVER stopped going to Sunday School! And “vanbraman” is correct: if you went for Sunday School, it was a given that you stayed for worship!

  4. ^ If not, folks talked about you! ;)

  5. I enjoyed the very familiar photo of “home”.

  6. That is such a cute little street!

  7. When I worked at a homeless agency I was often a guest speaker at churches. I’ve spoken at churches that regularly have both Sunday school (for kids and adults) and a church service.

  8. I wonder if the church shared a pastor with other churches in the area and, so, sometimes didn’t have the sermon, but just Sunday School. When I was a kid our minister served at least two churches.

  9. Why was there no church?

  10. The combination of Sunday School and church must have been part of her weekly routine and one without the other would have felt strange.

  11. Just precious! Amazing that you have this history to trace and compare.

  12. Variety was probably harder to come by back when and in a smaller community. I might guess that Sunday School and Church could be two separate events on the same day that she had to choose from. I wonder why a walk with a friend was substituted for both on this particular day? Would be fun to know what they were talking about though….chores, boys, friends, thanksgiving…all of the above? Alys and I Skyped yesterday for over 2 hours and I must say we can cover a lot of topics LOL.

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