The Odessa Record -

Harrington news

Farewell to Barth and Methodist church, hello (again) to Panthers


Allen Barth Memorial

Saturday, July 15, is the date for the Allen Barth Memorial and Pig Roast which Allen had planned more than a month ago as a fundraiser for the PDA. This event will begin at 10 a.m. and continue until 3 p.m. with the BBQ to be held about 11 a.m. With Allen’s sudden death, it was determined to continue with his plans and use it to honor him as the founding father of The Studebaker Garage where he always loved to have large gatherings. It is the hope of his family, friends and the community at large that this will be one of the best events yet held at his garage. Everyone is invited to bring their vintage cars and line the streets of Harrington. There will be a raffle for a seven-day stay at the Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach Resort in Cabo, which will benefit the Allen Barth family.

Finale at Zion; Rebirth as Rocklyn Zion

Cars streamed across the dusty roads Sunday, July 9, before 3 p.m. for the concluding service at the Zion Rocklyn United Methodist church service, called a “Remembrance Ceremony.” Pianist Cheryl Beymer played the prelude and the music for the service, including one number on the old pump organ. Rev. Dr. Michelle Mitchell opened the service with a welcome prayer and a call to worship. Appropriate for the occasion, the first hymn was “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.” A few opening words by Dr. Mitchell were given which included a succinct and accurate historic review of the church, 1883-2017. “Immer Froehlich” (Always Happy) was sung by the newer German Quartet: Julie Baas, Max Mielke, Robert Mielke and Judy Mielke. When the founding pioneers originally held their services, they were in German as was their singing. In later years when the services were in English, the men formed a German quartet to furnish special music and keep part of their heritage alive. Men who participated in the former quartet were Melvin Maurer, Carl, George and Douglas Mielke and another session was Scott Miller, Carl, George and Robert Mielke.

A reading was given by Eva Truscott entitled “Remembering.” The congregation sang “What A Friend We Have In Jesus” which was followed by a slide show with many of the early pastors of the Zion German Methodist Church and many of the former members. A short distance from this Zion Church stood the rural Zion School District #13, which was also shown in the slide show. A number in the audience were delighted to see the photo of the “Birthday Church Bank” in which each person having a birthday would put in coins to total their age. The audience was pleased to be shown that the little church bank continues to have its place in the larger church. Someone commented on the potential amount of money that had been dropped into the church bank over the course of so many years. Photos were shown of new members joining the church as well as photos of members of the flock leaving the Zion district.

The service was opened for the audience to participate in extolling the virtues of the little church and its significance in the lives of former members. Some focused on events that had been held in the church, weddings, funerals, Christmas programs and anniversary celebrations. Some focused on the spiritual power of the church with testimonies of salvation, witnessing the church as the Body of Christ, viewing Jesus in the lives of its people. One mentioned the lofty position of the Zion church on the hill, that farmers can see the church for miles around while farming.

The German Quartet sang “Wenn Der Herr Die Seinen Ruft” (When the Lord Calls His Own). Paulette Meldahl spoke briefly of the new Rocklyn Zion Chapel, a 501(3c) non-profit organization with a board of directors who are willing to entertain potential uses for the edifice and how to keep it functioning. The old-time favorite, “Marching to Zion”, was sung before the benediction was pronounced by Dr. Mitchell.

In 1983, a familiar line was pronounced, “May this church there on the hill, so close to God, in the midst of wheat fields continue to be a blessing to all.” It was repeated in 1994 as “May the Zion Methodist church always continue to be a guiding beacon to the entire community is the prayer of its people.” Since its conception in 1883, with the building of its first house of worship in 1889 and its replacement church in 1905, the small Body of Christ known originally as the Zion German Methodist church grew and multiplied, divided and reunited, always with an eye toward the future and their concern that there always would be the church on the hill with its Cathedral of the Trees in the Mielke grove where they held their annual picnics. So many in the past had expressed their concern for the potential day that there were not enough bodies to keep the church doors open. Rev. Dr. Michelle Mitchell managed to answer the prayers of many of the early members by granting the church an extended life as a “chapel.” It was also announced that this year’s picnic at the Mielke grove would be July 30. In true Methodist fashion, the audience was invited to join in refreshments and fellowship following the service.

Summer Reading Program

The Harrington Public Library has altered its Summer Reading Program ever so slightly in order to work with the school and its experiential learning in a six week summer camp at the school. One day each week, Thursdays, from 2 to 4 p.m. the summer camp will join the local library in its summer reading program. This Thursday, July 6, only four students attended the library program, which meant there was more staff than pupils. In conjunction with the school program, the theme for this week was “Exploring Nature.” The children learned about ecosystems and how to build a better world. The children matched the name of an ecosystem with the animals, plants and non-living conditions that could be found there. In a second activity the children were given recyclable goods and “no instructions” other than to just build. The purpose was to cause the children to think about recycling and practice their engineering skills. They also had pictures on a screen which showed animals that lived in a desert atmosphere while they were learning about diverse ecosystems. The school program anticipates sending 15 for next Thursday. The library for this six week period will open at 2 p.m. and close shortly after 5 p.m.

Panther’s return

From the Principal’s Page by Supt. Justin Bradford, “Another important change that is happening is our movement from a cooperative athletic program with Odessa School District to an independent athletic program. In early June, the OH cooperative board decided to dissolve their agreement. This decision was made for a number of reasons and both school districts feel that for the future, this new arrangement will best serve their students. To that end, the Titan mascot and purple and black OH colors will be retired at the end of this school year. The last time that Harrington School was on their own for athletics was over 30 years ago. At that time, we were the black and red Panthers, and it is to the black and red Panthers that we will return. In the coming few days we will be hiring a new Athletic Director and collecting information from students about which sports they are wanting and willing to play. Harrington will have an athletics program, and we have the rare opportunity of redesigning it from the ground up. Stay tuned for updates as Panther Pride will be on the prowl all summer.”


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