By Christi Baron
Forks Forum Editor
The Forks Congregational Church is the longest serving house of worship in our community. Organized in 1902 by a group of ladies that felt the pioneer town needed a little civilization, it has been the first in many other things, too.
It’s building on Division Street served as the community’s first library. For 85 years it hosted the Harvest Dinner, and 24 years ago it was the first to offer a way to honor those the community has lost or remember a loved one or an event with an ornament on the Memory Tree.
Each year, a tree is set up in the church sanctuary near the altar. All ornaments placed on the tree in previous years are arranged on the tree, and at the Longest Night Service anyone in the community can come and place a new ornament. Cathy Johnson, Pastor Warren Johnson’s wife, says that those adding an ornament can speak if they like before placing an ornament, but it is not required. People placing ornaments do not have to be a member of the church, and all are welcome.
Cathy shared some of the ornaments from past years that honor Forks residents: Linc and Joyce Mueller, Bob Swerin, Linda Thomas, and a little Whoville post office honors her mother-in-law Mary Johnson, who was the postmaster at Beaver for many years.
Other ornaments remember June Cassell, Betty Prine, Jimmy Crippen, and this year Cathy will be adding a barn ornament to remember Ted Spoelstra and a church ornament to remember Lucille Duncan.
The Longest Night Service takes place on Thursday, Dec. 21, at 6:30 p.m. If you bring an ornament, please put a name on the back of who or what is being remembered.
Little Boy Lost and Found
I recently received a call from a single mother about what could have been a terrible tragedy. On an October evening, she put her 3-year-old son to bed and she soon fell asleep. What she did not know was that her son had a “hunting trip” planned. He had recently received a little lantern from his grandmother and he was going to try it out.
So with his dog and lantern, he let himself out the door and into the darkness as his mother slept. He was going to look for bears, and there has just recently been a bear sighting near their home!
The area behind their home is an expanse of timberland, but luckily he and Fozzy the dog had made it about a block when a neighbor thought they had a burglar!
The neighbor saw the dog and told it to go home, but then much to his surprise there was a little boy with the dog!
The little boy was scooped up, the dog led them back close to the little boy’s home, and the police were called.
“I didn’t realize the police were there; I was in shock!” said his mother. Family services were called just to make sure everything was okay.
“I just want to thank Officer Ponton. I am so glad it was him that was there, I could tell he was kind and caring and a family guy. It meant a lot that he had my son’s best interest in mind,” she said. “Being a single parent is difficult and I am so grateful my son was not hurt or lost.”
CPS worked with the mother and they now have an alarm, so no more late night hunting trips.
“I am so glad everything lined up perfect,” she added. “Thank you, God.”