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Marilyn Heltzer: Change is the name of the game

Editor’s note: Marilyn Heltzer’s column did not appear in last Tuesday’s Prime Time section of the Pioneer.

I sat in church on a recent Sunday and noted how dress has changed.

There wasn’t a man in the place wearing a suit. Most of the women wore pants. Because we’re into winter now, there were lots of sweaters and warm jackets. In my church, there are big screens with the words of the hymns, three pastors, and the senior pastor is a woman. Imagine that.

Okay, my fellow churchgoers can easily identify my place of worship. And older folks, of which I am one, remember bygone days when the men all wore suits and women wore dresses and in the summer, hats and white gloves on the women. Maybe even hats in the winter. I don’t remember. But I do remember lots and lots of paper: the bulletin and the printed announcements. And now there’s the man or woman in the back of the church, working at the projection equipment.

Technology has changed our lives. I almost envy my friend who does none of it. She doesn’t have to respond to email messages each morning. She doesn’t have to hit DELETE to flush away all of the unwanted messages. She actually picks up the phone and talks to her friends. Most of her kids live around here and drop by so she can talk to them face to face.

Everything changes. But some things stay the same, and this is the season to acknowledge and be thankful for these blessings. While the guys collecting the offering aren’t in suits, those folks who conduct the service are arrayed in white, and wear stoles reflecting the liturgical season.

We buy and give gifts and make cookies and bring out decorations and our houses glow, Some women hunt for new cookie recipes each Christmas. Some of us bake from recipes handed down from our mothers. And, if you’re so inclined, you can buy Christmas cookies or make them from dough developed in Mrs. Pillsbury’s kitchen. All you have to do is slice and bake.

We all celebrate this season in our own way. Some mothers preside over Christmas dinners surrounded by their progeny, in-laws, and children. But let those of us who are blessed, remember that some have the money to make a lavish spread. Some don’t. And there are people, men and women, in jail. Okay, they’re there because they have done bad stuff, and bad still exists in this world.

But this is the month of Christmas, and good or bad, rich or poor, we have memories and music. As Tiny Tim said, “God bless us everyone.”