Old Settlers opened with a community worship service in a new, shady spot on the east side of the Beckemeyer School grounds in Hillsboro.
The site of the community worship service links present day Old Settlers with the first celebration in 1883 on the south side of the school grounds. The services are hosted by the Hillsboro Ministerial Alliance in cooperation with the Old Settlers Association.
Using texts from the Gospel of John and the books of Ephesians and Revelation, Pastor Matt Ferguson of the Presbyterian Church asked the congregation to not only open the door to Jesus as saviour, but to let him into every room.
"While many people have opened the door and invited Jesus in, they have left Jesus in the entry way," the pastor said. "There's so much more to the Christian faith than simply opening the door. He wants to go into every room."
Pastor Ferguson based his message on a 72-year-old sermon by Robert Boyd Munger, and distributed copies of that message during the service. He also described his faith journey, and concluded his message with an alter call invitation to "let Him in."
During the service, 12 people were inducted into the Old Settlers Honor Society, a tradition that dates back to 1984. This year's inductees, along with grand marshal Ferne Burke, were introduced by Mary Dagon while 2018 Old Settlers Queen Kelly Jansen draped a medal around each neck: Midge Baker of the Hillsboro Lions Club, John Barnes of Butler Union Church, Diane Giller of the Hillsboro Free Methodist Church, Barb Johnson of Sew and Show Quilters, Sonny Leetham of Mt. Moriah Masonic Lodge, Charles Peterson of Hillsboro Knights of Columbus, Betty Rhodes of Hillsboro United Methodist Church, Brenda Rompasky of Sew and Show Quilters, Wally and Pam DeLong of Calvary Baptist Church, and Paul and Jeannette Huber of St. Agnes Catholic Church.
Dagon also directed the community choir in "Christians, We Have Met To Worship," "Here I Am, Lord," and "Come On, Children, Let's Sing," as well as led the congregation in the singing of three hymns.
Another community worship service is the Old Settlers Memorial Prayer, recalling those who have passed since last year's service. The prayer is written by Ron Deabenderfer of The Journal-News and is published in this issue. The names were read during the church service by newspaper editor Mary Herschelman.
Pastor Jeff Hemken of Calvary Baptist led the call to worship, Pastor Stefan Munker of St. Paul's Lutheran led the congregational prayer of worship, Pastor Randy Sands of Hillsboro Free Methodist asked for a blessing on the offerings and led the Lord's Prayer, and Shawn Huber of World Harvest Church concluded the service in benediction.
The service opened with a piano prelude by Tami Moler and Irene Graden, who was also accompanist for the hymns and choir anthems. Steven Sturm operated the sound system.