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Church Memories…from Glenn Brunkow

Church memories: let me assure you, I have many. I grew up in this church, and many of my most meaningful memories relate to the First Presbyterian Church in Wamego.

Many of those relate to Sunday School. I was lucky enough to have been born into one of our “baby booms” along with Chris Hupe, Kevin Hupe, Regina Hoener and Gus Hildebrand.

We had, for the most part, two teachers during our grade school years, Shirly Carnahan and Ione Balderson. They were a contrast in teaching styles but equally effective. Shirley was the mother hen type, making sure her brood stayed together, paid attention and didn’t do anything stupid (a daunting task on all three fronts). I remember her warm, caring Sunday School lessons and they serve as the bedrock for my Christian beliefs.

Ione was a bit more old-school. She was stern and a bit more demanding. We all knew she cared, but we also knew there was a line you did not cross. Not that any of us crossed it — we were afraid of what was on the other side. Ione was nearly blind, and I remember her reading with her magnifying glass, but mostly she quoted the Bible from memory. One thing I remember her telling me was how she saw our time together. She said instead of the devil leading the blind, our Sunday School class was the blind leading the devils.

I remember my time in Sunday School with much fondness and see it as a blessing. The lessons I learned in those classrooms have become the foundation for my life and my involvement as an adult in our church. Without a doubt, we are a family, and I consider myself blessed to have been a part of this family my entire life.

–Glenn Brunkow

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