When I Consider Thy Heavens

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? I locked my keys in the car!?

Posted by ShipwreckWriter - Lynn Pettigrew Norris on October 28, 2012 at 8:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Lynn Pettigrew norris

A photo on the online group, “Circle of Moms” of a littlegirl with her mother’s new lipstick all over her face reminded me of my own girls – memories from long ago.

On more than one occasion, we would get that dreaded phone call: “I locked my keys in my car!!”


The call never came at a convenient time. It was always when we had either justreturned from the thirty mile drive to this daughter’s apartment or when wewere in another city about an hour-and-a-half away. The annoyance of the call, thedisruption in our schedule – I would give absolutely anything for that interruptiontoday! That daughter was killed in an auto accident.


Count your life’s interruptions as blessings. We only haveour children in our lives for a season. Then they all grow up and move on togrown-up lives of their own or in our instance, go to heaven before us.


We often smile when remembering the interruptions thisdaughter caused in our lives. How we miss those! Life was such a sense of wonder to her. Although she was 19 (just had her 20th birthday a few days before actually) when she died, she was pleasantly child-like in her enthusiasm toward life and her innocent journey (ok - we sometimes called her blond - sorry) up until the time of her death. An example, another phone call from her:

“Dad, I’m lost.” (Jen)

“What highway are you on?”  (Dad)


“The blue one.”  (And she meant this!)  (Jen)

I miss her very much - the interruptions, her insight, her joy of living!


Today I got fired!

Posted by ShipwreckWriter - Lynn Pettigrew Norris on October 24, 2012 at 11:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Today I got fired! This time around, I’ve decided not to hold it all in. It’s the first time I’ve officially been fired. But I’ve beenshown the door after resigning a couple of times. What is it about employersthat turns them into someone else the moment professional ties are broken? Who was that person – that boss that you respected, trusted, and even liked anyway?


Over my lifetime, I have had two really horrible employment experiences. Both carried the same theme – my questioning the finances where Iworked. I wanted more oversight into the budget – more transparency– more accountability - ethical practices. I dared to question where tax-payer dollars were spent in programs that I oversaw. There is no worse feeling in a job than being “over” a program with no control over the actual budget.


I am at peace. You might think I would be crying in my beer (I don’t drink) or going over the day’s events. But instead, I am nursing a horrible headache and pulling out my writing tools. Putting words onto a page ismy therapy. This action helps me to make some sense – some order to life’soften perplexing happenings.


There are so many unemployed people that I know. I am not more special or important than they are. If this is what life dished out to me,then this is what I will praise the Lord for. Sure, I am concerned that ou rfamily budget will suffer – and it will and greatly! This has cut our family income by more than half. But somehow – for no good reason – I feel at peace.


When you think about it, an ending is really a new beginning! A healthy beginning.


Today I got fired. Today is the first day of the rest of thedays that the Lord will allow me to live out on this earth. I cannot change history or the facts. I am now unemployed and might as well admit that. This time around, I won’t hide out in shame. I did nothing wrong. I will live my life and leave the hiding out to those who have wronged me if they even care what they have done. I won’t let thoughts of them fill up my mind or cloud my good judgment. I won’t allow my heart to harden from their angry blows.


This is an exciting time. What is next on life’s road?Someone e-mailed me today a reminder  that brought me back to reality and I will share here: “Lynn, after losing your daughter,losing your job is a piece of cake!” She is so right. It’s all about perspectiveand choice. I choose trust over hate and faith over fear. “This is the day theLORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24 

Today I got fired. Even so, thank You, Lord for this day!


Extreme Sermon On The Mount

Posted by ShipwreckWriter - Lynn Pettigrew Norris on September 24, 2012 at 10:20 AM Comments comments (0)

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cowley-County-Tourism-Kansas/159399367473319?ref=ts Visit Facebook page for more information.

Submitted by Wilma Angelmeyer - Tisdale Church




The Tisdale United MethodistChurch is sponsoring three days ofspecial services with evangelist Ted Noland of Beggs, Oklahoma.  Besides being an evangelist, Ted is a farrier

practicing natural and holistic hoof care, a horse trainerusing Biblical and natural approaches. He is also a singer/songwriter, father to two sons, and husband.  He was a participant in the 2007 ExtremeMustang Makeover. 


Ted will speak at Tisdale at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, September30.  A covered dish dinner

will be held at 11:30 in the church fellowship hall.  Later that day he will attend a pizza

supper with area youth. All area youth are invited to attend. We need to have reservations so that we know how much food toprepare.  Call the church office at

Tisdale, 221-2607. Office hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon.


After the pizza supper, at approximately 6:30 p.m. therewill be a worship service centered on the youth, but all ages are invited. 


Ted will again speak in the church at 7:00 p.m. on Mondayevening, October 1.  At 6:00 p.m. onTuesday evening, October 2, the service will be outside and Ted will be workingwith a horse that is unbroken and has never been ridden, as he delivers hismessage to the group.  By the end of theevening his goal is a horse that can be handled, a first ride, and anunderstanding of Biblical principles as they apply to any relationship, whetherit be with horses, dogs, children, or others around us.


Tisdale United Methodist Church is located six andone-half miles east of Winfield.  Formore information you may call the church office.  For more information you may check the churchwebsite at www.gbgm-umc.org/tisdale.  You may also check out Ted’s website at www.RockingN.com to learn more about hiswork and ministry.





Posted by ShipwreckWriter - Lynn Pettigrew Norris on August 12, 2012 at 12:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Lynn Pettigrew Norris

As clouds, and wind, when no rain followeth, so is the man thatboasteth, and doth not fulfil his promises. Proverbs 25:14


I knew there was somewhere in theBible that spoke of “clouds without rain”. This summer has been an exercise inseeing clouds that had lightening, wind, and rain that did not fall to theground. Just this morning – a very cloudy Kansas Sunday morning – a few, fastraindrops hit the dry, dusty earth, only to go away as fast as they came.


One lesson from this summer’sdrought to me has been a lesson in perseverance in the face of discomfort. Justlike the rain that eventually and finally does fall, so it is with project thatloom over us – ones that seem to only tease us when we think of completingthem. Yet I do know, one day, when the time is right, we will complete our workand our promises will provide the fruit of opening day. Just like these summerclouds that so far have not produced much if any rain for weeks and now months!


The years have rolled by on ourLighthouse Library project. It has been exhausting, expensive, but mostly ithas been an humbling journey. Somewhere along the way, when other life issuescrept in, we wanted so many times to throw in the towel – to call it quits – togive up! It seems here lately every time we pull up with a truck load of lumberor tools, we are called elsewhere to some family crisis or situation demandingour time an attention. This is all on top of already full workloads at jobswith duties that never cease. Life goes on. It does not stop or slow down so wecan catch up. Instead, it seems it becomes heavier and heavier and the daysroll on. This is when we must stop to observe the empty clouds we’ve been shownall summer.


I look forward to fall this year.Somewhere we will surely receive some really great and soaking rains. Then,after the ground soaks up the moisture and the grass returns, this summer’sdrought will be a distant terrible memory. So it will be with the past fiveyear’s labor to build a library – somewhat a memorial tribute – for a daughter whodied what seems like just yesterday yet also it seems so long ago since we’veseen her or heard her voice. Even so, her sweet spirit is ever-present in ourlives and thoughts, the motivating factor to trudge on with the project.


During this journey, like allfamilies, ours has met some extra challenges. Just recently, some familymembers stayed with us in our home while we fixed up their apartment. Theirhome was destroyed by a past Kansas storm, only to have the insurance companydeclare it flood damage and them not paying one dime to restore things. Thathome, only purchased shortly before, was declared unsafe. We have all beenworking to demolish it. The first man hired to do that took a car we gave tohim in payment, only for him to take the good things from the house and nevercome back. Neighbors became impatient an a County order came in the middle ofour construction on the apartment on the property. We had to pull off of thatto get the other house down. My mother had some severe health issues veryrecently. Her Lifeline alert went off and we found her in a pool of blood.After one hospital’s ER visit, her heart stopped and she was revived. Theytransported her to a larger hospital on total support where they did surgery tofix up her heart and extend her life. A nice young man at the first hospitalsaved her life doing CPR. This is just one of many challenges that have croppedup during the past five years. People often ask, “When will you get the librarydone.” That answer becomes more difficult as the days go by. The expense alonehas been staggering. Our strength wavers, other life issues weigh in - yet ourhope continues with one tiny thread. We do hope to finish sometime soon. Howgreat that will feel!


In closing thoughts, I say to theLord, “Send the rain!” Oh how welcome the rain will be when it does fall. Thethought of it – its sweet smell, its cooling effect on a dry land! Surely thatwill be the same feeling when our work is done on the library project, thedoors open, and we can sit down and soak up the joy of seeing others enjoy it.


Race Hardest Right Before The Finish Line!

Posted by ShipwreckWriter - Lynn Pettigrew Norris on April 30, 2012 at 10:35 AM Comments comments (0)

“The race is the hardest right before the finish line.”

Who was it that said that wonderful statement? I heard it from someone the other day and it is the line that I hold on to as we work to finish Lighthouse Library. It has been a long five years of community service so that our town will have a community library.

It has been difficult to keep my eyes on our project and off from others who have had more luck finding funding or volunteers for their projects. That is not right for me to do. It comes from exhaustion, jealousy,or just plain hurt from any misunderstandings that people may have toward the project.


Let me start from the beginning. In 2003, I wanted to have aplace to show our love for a daughter who was lost to a car accident just before her wedding day. It seemed strange to me that her life would just end and people might never think of her ever again. I wanted to have an outlet to still express the love we felt for her and a place to give so that her life could live on and bless others. When our other children have a birthday, we can buy them a gift or go see them. For this lost daughter, we can donate to this non-profit and know that other lives will be blessed.


We began in 2003 giving out Thanksgiving food boxes. One year, with the help of many volunteers, we gave out 100 food boxes. That was so much work, so much food, and about 15 volunteers to thank for helping make that blessing to others happen. We provided a community food bank in our first ECCRC Resource Center in Burden, Kansas. People would come in and get food items with no questions asked. One day, a woman came in and asked if she could load her food out the back door because everyone knew her and she didn’t want people totalk. We just never know who right around is hurting and in need.


Other things we did for several years was to provide basic computer workshops. My own mother took those classes and she and her classmates learned to use a computer and to use the Internet. I still welcome her e-mails that she sends daily. Others took computer classes for credit in ourpartnership with Cowley College. People earned college credit for attending the computer college classes at ECCRC. Those classes were part of a “Certificate of Technology and Office Communication” that people earned. The first class had twelve graduates.Part of that program included creating a professional resume and doing a job assessment. The main Microsoft programs were studied such as Word and Excel.Several people were able to get a job or a better job using their new resume and their training. These types of programs will be offered once the library doors open (soon).


What is ECCRC and all the things that go along with it such as Lighthouse Library, Grouse ValleyLodge, and the Treasure Chest?

ECCRC is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit resource center. This means that any funds that people donate are tax deductible. Items that are donated (such as to the thrift store) are also tax deductible. Ask for a receipt when needed for your taxes. The mission of ECCRC is to provide literacy skills training (reading and computers) to others. The main project of ECCRC has been building Lighthouse Library, a community library for the town and surrounding area around Dexter, Kansas.

The library will host a computer lab complete with ten newcomputers for the public to use. Computer workshops will be provided there once again (at the Dexter site - which is at 104 S.Main). Anyone can use the computers to do homework, take online college courses, or anything needed. An online GED program will start at the library on May 24, 2012. The GED Prep Program is through Cowley College. They are sending instructors over to do the required Orientation at Lighthouse Library.After that, students may work at the library or at their own homes over theInternet. Cowley College will send an instructor over at least once a month tocheck in on students.To enroll, contact ECCRC.There is no cost for the program!


Literacy programs will be offered at Lighthouse Library.There will be guest speakers and writers who will offer writing workshops.People can work in groups to improve reading skills and just to enjoy reading.Children will have Pre-Reading stations in the children’s section of thelibrary. Those are computers with literacy programs loaded where children canlearn reading skills before they even attend school. Older children will have fun using the computer games that promote literacy. Older youth can use the computer lab to do homework and work on literacy skills. They can even volunteer to enter books into library catalogue system or to help with many other things at the site. Robotics workshops will be offered for children and youth. The Extension Office will be coming over to the library on Fridays to offer activities for kids that include computers andother hands-on projects.


ECCRC owns a Lego Robotics kit that teaches computer skills. Robotics workishops have been offered in the past to youth by ECCRC in partnership through a Boeing and WSU grant. Kidscan build robots and learn how to program them on the computer to do tricks.ECCRC even has a lighthouse lego kit for kids to work on. Lego has a fullprogram that promotes literacy, science, technology, and other skills. ECCRCwill build this program up as time goes by. ECCRC provided Robotics workshopsfor children and youth in the past and had great participation.

Puzzle work stations will be kept in tact - especially over the winter months for anyone to come in and help work on a puzzle. Eventually, a glass room will be built to provide a fun place to read books and have a view of the lighthouse and the landscape in the courtyard.


There are 21,000 books to put out in Lighthouse Library.These were donated from people all over the state of Kansas and even some came in from out of state. There are many current selections and full sets of well-known book series. There is a wide variety of books for families to choose from.  A library card will be issued to anyone who applies for one. The library is free for the public to use.


How is ECCRC funded and how isthe library funded?

ECCRC has always been funded by public donations that provide the funds for any programs or services that are offered. This meansthat people, neighbors, strangers, anyone who is interested sends a check to ECCRC – sometimes $5.00, sometimes more. On a rare occasion, a larger organization will send a donation that is always welcome and needed. There is no “reserve”to pull from. No bank savings account for emergencies. If a board or nails or screws are needed for the building project, those items are put on a Lowes card or American Express. Then the bill comes due in 30 days. It is always an act of faith to hope that somefunds will be donated each month to cover the building costs and the utility bills. All of the utilities are hooked up, so those bills are already rolling in each month. The last heating/cooling bill for the cabin that is currently being used as office space was about $120.00. The gas bill to run the hot water heater was about $25.00. The gas bill will go up in the winter since the main library is heated by a big gas heating system. The water bill runs about $25.00 a month. Trash service needs to be added. The insurance bill to insure the buildings runsabout $150 a month or $1,800 a year. When the hot summer months hit, air conditioners will run for the library and thrift store and those bills willcome due.A second hot water tank sits int he library and will be lit soon. The washer and dryer will add to the water bill and gas bill.

An annual 990 tax statement is always filed. ECCRC is current in its filing and the 990 is available to the public for review. ECCRC remains a 501 (c) (3) in good standing now in its nineth year. It was founed in August of 2003 and received its complete review in January of 2004 as a qualified nonprofit with a mission to promote reading and computer literacy and to provide other community services.


Because Dexter is a small, rural area, there could never be enough public donations to sponsor a community library and pay the utility bills, insurance, and pay for equipment or upkeep. The purpose of The TreasureChest thrift store and the Grouse Valley Lodge is that they serve as thefund-raisers and sustaining projects to keep the library going. All of theproceeds from these entities go to help fund the library. People donate gentlyused items for the thrift store and they will be sold to the public. Some new items will always be sold at the Treasure Chest as well. Items include clothing for children and adults (mainly denim wear), household items such as dishes,lamps, and other miscellaneous items. The Treasure Chest will also have cardsand other gift items for special occasions.


Grouse Valley Lodge is a cabin with a kitchen, bathroom,living room area, and loft for families to stay in. The suggested donation forthe lodge is $50.00. It will have a back deck for families to enjoy a Kansas sunset and a picnic area outside complete with a barbeque grill. The view from the lodge is the library courtyard where the 25 ft. lighthouse stands. A large ommunity deck (The Dock) is also in the courtyard for families to enjoy. The deck is madeas a representation of a boat dock in keeping with the ocean theme that the library project promotes.The Oceanfront Cinema (outdoor movie theater) is out in the courtyard.


Families can also sit on the dock to enjoy outdoor movies.The Oceanfront Cinema is in the library courtyard. Dollar movie nights will beprovided for families. A bag of popcorn and a glass of pop will come with the$1 admission fee. Movies will be shown on the side of the building in thecourtyard. An ocean theme backdrop is being painted around the movie screen by two volunteers.Special screen paint is being used to create the movie screen. A special non-reflective window has been installed in the Treasure Chest where movies will be projected to the courtyard wall. Bleachers that will hold 35 peoplewill be stationed in the courtyard for people to sit to enjoy the movies. TheG-rated family movie nights should provide a fun activity  for local people and visitors alike. A movielicense has been secured that allows ECCRC to show community movies.


Although there is a lot of work to get done before the doorscan open, it is helpful to look back at all the work that has been done on theproject. Photos and videos remind one of all the  many various volunteer groups and individuals who have come out to help make this project a reality for our community. There has been such a tremendous amount of work involved. We had no idea when the project was in its conception what all it did entail. Probably this is a goodthing because now, looking back, had we known then what we know now, perhaps it would not have been tackled. :roll:


The biggest hurdle to overcome is simply getting information out to others. There are some misconceptions about the project. ECCRC is a nonprofit. What does that mean? It means that any donations that people donateare tax deductible. It is not funded by any tax dollars like some public libraries. This was a conscious decision made in order to not further tax thepublic. We wanted ECCRC and the library to be self-sustaining so that otherscould enjoy its services without any tax burden. This decision makes itsoperation more challenging and more of a walk of faith. After some research, itwas discovered that some rural libraries charge a membership fee. This small fee helps defray some of the operating costs such as ink, copy paper,utilities, and such. At this time, no membership fee is planned. We will know more after the first year the library is open what is needed. The hope is thatthe thrift store and the cabin will generate enough funds along with public donations to keep the doors open.We especially need monthly partners - even if your committment is $5.00 a month. This helps us to be able to prepare an annual budget and know what funds we have to work with.


Who Owns The Buildings?

When a nonprofit has a building project and owns buildings,those are not owned by any individual, but rather the title is in the name ofthe nonprofit. The title of the buildings and the lot are in the name of ECCRC(Eastern Cowley County Resource Center). Should the nonprofit ever close, thebuildings and resources would go back to the State. They can never be sold forprofit by any individual. Many times when this is explained, people aresurprised to learn that no one owns the buildings. It could be said that“everyone” has ownership in the project and the buildings.


ECCRC has a board of directors. Recently, one of the board members died afteran illness and that position is open. If you are interested in serving as aboard member, please call (620) 876-7323 or e-mail [email protected]  The board meets quarterly and once the library is open, it will meet monthly to discuss operations, funding, and services that will be offered to the public. There are no paid employees at ECCRC or at any of the projects it sponsors. Volunteers are needed to help run the thrift store, the library, and to keep the cabin going.If you are interested in volunteering to work in any of these areas, please contact ECCRC.

The buildings of ECCRC include the main Lighthouse Library building, a restored historical front wall with all new construction behind it. It has a loft with a split flight of stairs. The ECCRC offices are up in the loft area. The computer lab is in the loft, although there are handicap stations in the downstairs area. The Treasure Chest Thrift Store is directly behind the library. To access it, you go down the walkway to the south of the library building. The Grouse Valley Lodge cabin is behind the library and the courtyard. The lighthosue is in the courtyard in the back.


Above Photo: Grouse Valley Lodge - one of 2 sustaining projects to help fund Lighthouse Library.

A stacking washer and dryer has been purchased. This setwill be useful for washing any donated clothing for the thrift store. It willalso be used to clean and sanitize the cabin bedding after a guest stays.Volunteers will be needed to price items for the thrift store and to clean thecabin. Volunteers will be needed to catalogue books for the library and toserve as a library staff person so that families can visit, check out books,and use the computer lab.


The photo above shows the front wall of Lighthouse Library with the porthole windows. The crowd is enjoying the annual Dexter Barbeque.

Shown above is the Treasure Chest Thrift store (its south side) and the cabin behind it.

Volunteers working to put the dome on the lighthouse.

The last big project that ECCRC is working on is setting upa huge saltwater aquarium in the library. This miniature ocean ecosystem will be a teaching tool for kids to learn about ocean life. An ocean club can bestarted and kids can join in with children and youth from all over the UnitedStates as they research and share their findings. It will take a huge amount ofwork and effort to keep the aquarium clean and running and keep the ocean lifehealthy. Kids are encouraged to join the Ocean Club and serve as volunteers tohelp set up the aquarium. The stand for the aquarium is built and theelectrical portion is in place. It will have plumbing that will allow for it tobe drained, cleaned, and to work properly. There is plumbing in place in thelibrary where the washer and dryer are house and where a sink is in place forchildren to use as a clean-up station after art projects. The sink area will beuseful for the aquarium project as well.

The cost for the large aquarium is right at $5,000. Thisproject has not been funding by any donations to date unless specified by thedonor. The aquarium will be used as a literacy tool to promote reading, research, and computers skills. Other libraries have used similar aquariums in their literacy programs. It is good to use a proven tool and the hope is to get an aquarium set up soon at Lighthouse Library. The aquarium will be behind the porthole windows in the front of the library and families can enjoy peering through the portholes at night to see the ocean life.We are working on a grant to fund this project. No public donations have been used to date to fund this project.


Recently, Southwestern College selected ECCRC/LighthouseLibrary for their philanthropy grant. Thanks to their generosity, new computertowers can be purchased for the computer loft and lower area. ECCRC already has keyboards and monitors. The funds from Southwestern will provide new computer towers and programs.


The goal is to finish the library project and open the doorson May 24, 2012. We need volunteer crews to come in and help put up the sheetrock in the large library building and help paint. A carpenter is working for the next three weeks along with other volunteers to finsih everything up. We will be ready for volunteer crews on May 17 to start the sheetrock. Please let us know if you can help for a half day, a full day, or for the whole weekend. There will be other trim painting and things to do. We will need help with the set-up for the library as well.Without volunteers, the library will not get finished. It has taken five yearsto get to where we are now. The long-haul strain of the project is taking its toll. We dare not give up now.


Thanks to everyone for their encouragement, help, donations, and prayers. If you have not come out to help yet, please consider calling to offer a day. Your help is needed to bring this community library to the town of Dexter. It is our hope that the library can offer many years of service to the community as well as the services that ECCRC provides. (620) 876-7323 or [email protected]  ECCRC, PO Box 40, Dexter, KS 67038.








Dexter Died!

Posted by ShipwreckWriter - Lynn Pettigrew Norris on April 3, 2012 at 7:00 PM Comments comments (1)

Our dog, Dexter died yesterday on a very sunny April 1st. He was out in the yard “sleeping” when we left for church. When we got home from church and cooking hamburgers out at the library site, he was still lying in the very same spot “asleep”. I went out to  check on him and he had died in his sleep.


We got him about ten years ago from our daughter in New York. Her family had traveled across country and they decided to leave him on our farm where he could run free. He has enjoyed thepast ten years of his life on our farm. He was a rescue dog, so no one isreally certain how old he was.


Dexter had a couple of sweet tricks. One was he literally could almost say, “Wanna go for a walk?” He repeated us when we said this phrase to him. He got so excited and barked and  literally said the word “Walk” by rolling his bark. You would swear he wasactually saying the word walk. Nothing made him happier than tagging along as we strolled down our gravel road.


Another lovely attribute was that if you were having a bad day, Dexter would nudge your hand and move it until it came to rest up on his head. You had to then pat his head – because after all,that’s where he placed your hand. I remember one day when I was sitting on a bench on our side porch (crying) and he came up to me to check things out. It was for sure he was not going to leave me alone. He stayed right by my side and we cheered each other up by going for a walk.


Dexter was a large dog. He looked so scary. It took me a long time to warm up to him because I was sort of scared of him at first. But we soon found out that he was a big baby. He would meet me at my car door when I got home from work to see what treat I brought to him.Some days he got a couple of French fries. Some days he got a bit of my left-over hamburger. Some days he got a piece of a cookie. It didn’t matter what he got, he just expected you to give him something upon greeting him.


It is sure sad to look out into the empty yard now. I miss his low, scary bark and his energy as he jumped around the yard. I miss seeing him sleeping right outside our doorway. He threw his huge body across our threshold all winter, never even bothering to move when the door opened. Anyone who came to visit would have to step over him because that was his spot.


Dexter was always the link I heldbetween me & my family in New York. Now he is gone and that link is broken.Randy went out and got his old red truck and went up to Dexter and asked him –one more time: “Want to go for a walk?” This time, Dexter did not respond.Randy loaded him carefully onto the truck and took him out to the corner of thepasture – and laid him to rest under the Red Bud trees.


Smallville - About Feeling Small

Posted by ShipwreckWriter - Lynn Pettigrew Norris on February 27, 2012 at 4:55 PM Comments comments (0)



By Lynn Pettigrew Norris

Today I feel small. Some days the feeling just falls uponyou and you don’t see it coming. First things you hoped for just don’t work out– no matter how hard you try. At first, you think you’ve seen s sign or thereis some divine intervention to make something you are working on work out. Thenat the last minute, not only was it not a sign, things don’t work out at all.This is the day that I shall call living in Smallville.


I have been working on the side to try to set up some eventsat Lighthouse Library since once we finally do actually get it finished, itwill need some things for people to attend. I have successfully contactedseveral writers who have agreed to come and do a book signing. Some are localfolks who have written books. Some are semi-famous folks, willing to visit oursmall town. But today takes the cake as I tried my hand at coordinating futureevents.


I contacted a rather famous inspirational speaker and writer. Strangely, shee-mailed me back very quickly and said she was interested in our libraryproject and she agreed to come – free of charge provided we have a larger organizationfor her to bump off from that weekend to collect her “usual speaking fees” thatwe knew we couldn’t touch. Finally, after several e-mails (when I thought wehad this wonderful woman scheduled in our tiny town), she informed me that herusual speaking fees were between $2,000 - $5,000 depending on the event. I’msure she is worth this fee. I have heard her speak. But at the same time, Ifelt so small.

As a dabbling speaker and writer, I thought of my own pastevents and speaking engagements. Churches have had me out and in spite of mysaying I did not expect or want anything for speaking, they have donatedbetween $25.00 - $50.00 that I was in turn able to donate to the libraryproject. Doing the math, this makes me feel like small potatoes – and I am!


I know that in the Lord’s kingdom, the “first shall be lastand the last shall be first”. Even so, I can’t help but feel small today.


We go along in life and hope we are making a difference.Then something happens to put us in our place. Maybe this is a good thing. Iwould like to think it is. I found a website about 101 things to do when youare feeling small. It was great. It mentioned finding someone else who you knowis left feeling small today. It mentioned doing something fun. Sometimes we dotake ourselves just too seriously, don’t we? One thing mentioned was laughingat a silly joke. This is something that I know I can do. Sometimes the laughterjust is funnier than the joke anyway, but that’s the whole point!


There is really no hidden or deeper meaning tothis post other than to just admit – I am in “Smallville” today. And that’s OK.I love this quote from a blog spot: “Small is being able to write fearless,without worry about big criticism.” (From: http://thegypsymama.com/2012/01/for-the-days-when-your-blog-or-your-life-feel-small/) Isn’t that a great thought

It's Just A Library!

Posted by ShipwreckWriter - Lynn Pettigrew Norris on January 27, 2012 at 9:45 AM Comments comments (0)

We Really Do Realize – It’s Just A Library!

Lynn Pettigrew Norris

Recently, our project,Lighthouse Library, was featured on Hatteberg’s People on Channel 10 KAKE TV. The story shown was a good highlight of the project. It was done in Larry Hatteberg’s reflective style. He captured the fact that the project is far from done. That is the whole point.


Just this morning,Randy woke up at 3:30 a.m. I woke up at 4:30 finding him already well into his day. He was dressed and ready to leave to start his work day. If you know Randy at all, you know that his laid-back personality rarely gives way to worry. But I currently see worry in his eyes. He admitted to feeling over – overwhelmed with the job tasks, overwhelmed with the different full plates in different areas of life.


For the normal family, there are many things demanding your immediate attention. We all have the broken heaters, the leaking roof, cars with various sputtering parts, and the pile of  dwindling firewood that needs to be replaced in order to get through a Kansas winter. Many people have added loads to carry – things like a sick family member, crushing financial debt, ill health, or a physical challenge. We fully admit to not being a bit special, nor do we expect any special treatment or a fairytale ending. But   we do pause from time to time to examine the workload, ponder the dreams that were set into motion years ago, and  stop for a moment to decide if it can really be done - or if it is really worth all the effort in the first place.


Personally, I hear from a lot of people. The one statement that I hear that really jabs me (and I mean no disrespect if you have said this), “You just need to get a grant.” I know that those who say this mean no harm - they just don't understand what I already know - that is never going to happen. We are a verynon-traditional community library. The building costs were cut by using mostly volunteer labor. No grant officer was willing to even consider incorporating an old historical wall into a building project. They all wanted it torn down andthey wanted us to get a hundred thousand dollar government-backed loan. No one listened when I tried to explain that there was no sense in securing such a huge loan when there was absolutely no chance in paying back even the first payment.We have struggled to pay back the $10,000 loan that was secured to keep the builing project on track. It was obtained to make good on a promise we made to the public - that we would make sure to see the project through.

Still others who oversaw grants wouldn’t touch our project because it was already underway. We had worked on it for a couple of years. They all said the same thing: “It’s sure too bad you are alreadystarted because we don’t have any grants for partially done projects.” Most of the grant programs wrote back the same, simple reject letter that went something like this: “Although your project is worthy, unfortunately, your town is just too small to receive funding.”


I spent a lot of time and effort jumping through hoops with one unnamed large building corporation.It seemed like we might have been getting somewhere with the grant process. In the end, while dealing with the local company office around the Wichita area,(nice people - it was really out of their hands) we were simply told "no - sorry". And off the record, we were told that they thought our project was so wonderful. But they explained how they provide building material and grants in exchange for the advertising exposure on a national level. I understand that fully. Everyone knows that although businesses do things from the goodness of their hearts, they still have to turn a profit. They wouldn’t touch us with a ten foot pole because as usual, our town was just too small.I did appreciate the frankness of the manager. The advertising dollars in exchange for donating make perfect sense on a business level. But perhaps we all hope that there are still agencies or corporations that donate regardless of the benefit to them.


Our town is small and our project is large. It is not just for our town. Anyone, no matter where they live, will be welcome to stop in someday and see the huge saltwater aquarium,the lighthouse, and shop in the Treasure Chest (thrift store). People already drive from miles around to tour Henry’s Candy factory in Dexter. They enjoy the fall events at the Stone Barn estate near Dexter. Everyone knows the hunt club that comes to our area twice a year (Field Trial) and the other hunting events in the area - the turkey shoots, the Powder Valley events and such. Dexter is rich in history with the Helium Park with the remains of a helium well. The old bank still stands, now the Dexter Museum with the ghosts of the past when the Dalton Gang robbed the bank.Here's a web page with Dexter history: http://www.skyways.org/towns/Dexter/history.html

There is not much better fishing than the Grouse Creek area and the Grouse Valley area is beautiful year round. People might as well have something else to do while in our town. The Gathering Place has reopened next door to the library under new management. People drive in from many miles away for the rural setting there and the wonderful food.


Our town is not dead. It refuses to die. But our town is small – tiny actually.But being a village is no reason to stop dreaming or to stop wishing, hoping,and praying that the children and youth in town will have a heritage to admire and to share with their own kids someday. Larry Hatteberg called Randy and I dreamers. Can't say anyone has ever called me that - not to my face at least. There are worse things to be called. But this dream for our hometown is weighing me down this morning as I slowly begin my day.

We need a miracle and I feel ashamed to hope for such. There are so many other worthy persons and projects and causes that deserve a miracle ahead of us. Children who are hungry and need food – now there is a cause worth pondering. People need jobs and housing and hope. So you see why hoping or even praying for a miracle to help us wind up our building project seems a little selfish to us. But it was this morning that I understood that it’s alright to be a little selfish in my prayers. For as long as this project is hovering over our lives, we are of little use to help other worthy causes.


We get all those requests in the mail for support – the Disabled American Vets, the Salvation Army, the American Heart Association, and many others. They are all special and good causes. We fully understand that not everyone who hears our plight is able to give even one dime. The reason we hope for funding is two-fold. We need to purchase the remaining building supplies. The list is not huge, but it is expensive.

We need to purchase enough sheetrock to finish out the huge front library building. We have about half enough on hand. We need to buy the floor sealant to seal the concrete. We need to purchase a thick carpet pad to soften the blow for children on the floor before the carpeting is put down. Thankfully, we do have the carpet rolls purchased. We need some pipe for the sewer and waterlines. We need more electrical wiring to finish out the front building. We need a stacking washer and dryer to sanitize the bedding in the cabin when families stay there and donate to the library.

We need nearly $5,000 to get the huge saltwater aquarium set into place. A used glass tank was found in an aquarium shop. The same tank new would cost three times that amount. The company agreed to bring it to the library, set it up – complete with ocean life– and get it all going. Some may think this cost is optional. I can only imagine being a child and studying ocean life by looking at the huge aquarium.Who knows what future life interest this interesting display might spark. To us, this is a huge amount of money. Hopefully to someone, it is not. Or perhaps a group will take up the cause to help raise the funds for this aquarium for the kids and for other visitors to enjoy. The wonders that the ocean offers opens one's mind to endless possibilities. Our local kids deserve this fantastic display. Yes, it is perhaps optional. But we hope it becomes a reality one day.


Someone told me recently that there comes a time in life when a person has to stop dreaming.  I was shocked by that statement. Those words stopped me in my tracks and made me ponder their meaning. I felt guilty for a moment for daring to have such a silly and elaborate dream for my town and for the kids there. I went to bed that night carrying the weight of this person’s words and their impact on my spirit. The next morning I woke up wondering if perhaps their words were not right. How silly I felt to actually think we could ever finish this project. Maybe we just needed to lock the doors and walk away. I felt humiliated and ashamed.


Recently, Randy was at the library site on a Sunday afternoon working way up high on scaffolding.He was working to figure out how to get the ceiling boards into place. He looked down into the doorway where a tiny voice spoke up to him. The little girl said something like this: “Is this really going to be a library? Wow! I have never been inside. I can’t wait until it’s finished. Wow!”


I hope this does not seem harsh, but that person who gave me the solid advice to burry our dream – well I feel sorry for them an wonder why their heart is so stern. It may not be their fault. Maybe life has beat them down an they need our prayers. Surely they have not been around young children who fully understand and believe in big dreams. No one is more appreciative than a child for almost anything in life.


On another day, we pulled up to work on the back deck at the site. There, in the courtyard, just looking up at the lighthouse was a little boy. He was not startled at our presence and he just kept looking up until finally he said he was just there to see the lighthouse and hang out. He said he can’t wait until the library is done.


One day, a teenager stopped in at the site. He is about grown now. He was just checking in to see if there was something he and his buddies could do to help out. He said that for the past several years, they all waited and talked about the library and all the fun things that were planned there. Then he said the words that really made me sad: “It’s too bad you didn’t get the library done while I was a kid. It all sounded so fun. The outdoor movies, the aquarium and all. Boy, I wish it would have gotten done while I was a kid.”


How sad is that? It makes me feel awful to know that we let that generation down. They were so hopeful and nothing materialized. Who knew that the project would take so long? We certainly did not. Hopefully it will get wrapped up soon and the youngsters who are in town now can start enjoying the site.


The current outcome ofthe Hatteberg report has resulted in a group of men to call and show interestin helping build. They are called the “Baptist Builders” and they have gone all over helping with building projects. How wonderful that they cared enough to call. If they take on our project, we will need help feeding their crew. We don’t know yet if they will come and spend one day or come on several occasions. But what we do know is that their help is greatly appreciated!


The local Dexter Masons recently sold their building. Those men will now meet in Winfield with that group. They called this week to donate $500 to the library project. That will almost buy the floor sealant for the library. Their donation is appreciated.They will be helping many groups around the area with the sale of their building. We appreciate them putting the Lighthouse Library on their list.


Recently, I took a container of change into the bank at Burden. The ECCRC/Lighthouse Library account has been there since 2003 when ECCRC became a 501 (c) (3) non-profit.The change amounted to nearly $30.00. That was just change for the past several months from my purse, my car, and from my pockets. We invite everyone to save their lose change and take it to the Emerald Bank in Burden. It is a lot of work for them to count the money. They do not have an automated system. But they are willing to deal with us on this issue.

We look for partners with ideas like the change idea. If you know someone who owns a store who will allow achange can to sit on their counter to collect funds for the library, that is appreciated. If you know of a business that will donate even one percent of profits for a given period of time, this would really help. Or if you know of a business that will do a “round up” campaign where customers allow them to round their bill up to the next dollar and donate the change to the library project – if you know a business owner and can set this up, please do it. These types of very small fundraisers add up eventually.


Of course my one public book signing is set for February 3, 2012 – a come and go venture between 3:00 and 6:00 PM at College Hill Coffee in Winfield. The Coffee House is at 203 Soward Street in Winfield. You can go down College Street  by turning north off from 9thStreet in Winfield. It is near Southwestern College and near Grace Methodist Church. You can actually turn on James Street from College Street (turn east)and go about a block to Soward Street. The Coffee Shop is on the corner of Soward and James. You can also turn off from College Street on Ames Street and head east to Soward. Then turn north about a block on Soward.


The Coffee House has good sandwiches that are very unusual – fancy actually. They have great drinks of all kinds. The coffee is wonderful, the cocoa, and the ice tea or other drinks are good. They usually have a full selection of cupcakes, cakes, and muffins. We will try to have something to share with the public in the way of snacks.


There will be fun items for the kids. We will have book markers, balloons, and candy to encourage children to read. This is our one and only public event before the library is open. Everyone has been supportive in the past to attend our little events along theway. We hope you will come out for a short time. Don’t think you have to purchase a book or donate to that extent. Bring your change and stop by for a visit. In this economy, we fully understand how hard it is to meet our own family needs. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for everything you have all already done. Some of you have gone unnoticed and have prayed for help, for funding, or for success. Your prayers are appreciated so very much!


I will have both of my books on hand and for what it’s worth, will sign them for you. You may obtain a book for any donation for the Lighthouse Library project. I am very happy with my second book – Safe Harbor: Shipwrecked, Finding My Way Home. It was so much fun to write about my family’s military travel and mostly about our coming back home to Kansas. The book is upbeat and full of humor and hopefully inspirational stories - unlike my first book, Whippoorwill: A Journey Through Loss that tells the story of our losing a daughter and that journey through grief. The first book is good to give to others who you know are unfortunately beginning their own journey through loss. Many have read that book an told me the stories in it helped them. It was written since I noticed during our loss, there were not many books with personal stories of loss in them. Many were written by psychologistswho were using text book answers.


If I ever write anotherbook (which at this point I have no intention of doing), it will be a humorous one. I do have some thoughts of a book on “Londonisms”. London is ourgranddaughter – a tiny guru in her own right. She recently came inside afterstanding on the mountain (a sand pile) and hearing from the Lord after whichshe wrote the 10 Commandments on a stone. She came inside with her stone and with a stick that she said was her rod.  Earlier that afternoon, we had asked her outside what she was doing. She replied thatshe was just talking to God. We asked her what He had told her and she said, “Nothing yet.” Can you imagine having that much faith? The tiny word “yet” sums up the faith of a child.


We are not done withthe library YET. But with the inspiration of a child who often leads us adults in life, we know it will be finished soon. Thanks to everyone for allowing usto expose our vulnerability, our doubts, and our fears. The project has consumed nearly a decade of our life. But the good thing about that is that after we are gone off the face of this earth, hopefully generations of children for a longtime to come will enjoy the library.


I am equally excited aboutthe thrift store (the Treasure Chest). So many people have told us that they have saved items for the store. It will be so fun to shop there and to look for treasures. There is a huge supply of denim clothing in all sizes for the shop.There are heart trinkets and lighthouse trinkets an household items such as lamps, rugs, and shelves. There are new gift items and cards and candy. Many have volunteered to help run the store and many more volunteers will be needed to keep it open for the public. 100% of the proceeds from the store go to fund Lighthouse Library. Donations of clothing, household items, and trinkets will be needed on an ongoing basis.


The cabin (GrouseValley Lodge) is about finished. Crews are coming on January 27, 2012 to finish up the inside and then on February 4, 2012 to dig out the sewer and water lines and hook it all up. The cabin will serve as the ECCRC offices for a short time – just until the front library building is finished. Then the cabin can be rented out to help raise funds for the library.The utilities will be high and a continuing need for funds will exist.


We need volunteers to sign up to help keep the library open. If you are interested in logging booksinto the library catalogue program, please let us know. If you are interested and available to help finish the building project, please e-mail or call. If you have the funds to donate – rather that is $5.00 or more, please send that in and know that no amount is too small. If you are interested in the cabin, in keeping it clean after families stay there or in doing up the bedding and such,please sign up for that.


Something that was not talked about here is the outdoor movie theater. There are already big ideas that are not completed, one being the huge saltwater aquarium. Even so, it is our hope that this can be the summer that the Oceanfront Cinema can open for free family movie nights. We have volunteers who have artistic talents who have agreed to paint the theatre screen. The screen will be made with screen paint and will have an ocean-themed border around it. The Dexter light construction class has offered to build the huge deck off the back of the Treasure Chest Thrift Store. Families can sit on the deck to watch the outdoor movies and enjoydrinking ice tea or lemonade and eating popcorn or other snacks.


A fold-out bleachers are planned for the side of the store to provide seating for about 35 more people.Families can also sit on blankets on the lawn in front of the cabin or bring a lawn chair. These free family movie nights should provide fun and fellowship for anyone who is interested. The library has the application for a sitelicense to show the movies. This is one activity that many local kids have expressed their gratitude for and their hope that it happens! A special window that is conducive to the projector has been installed in the store. This is where the projector will project the movies onto the outside wall.


To view the Hatteberg’sPeople video, go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Irqgxp62_wY    


You may also “like” theLighthouse Library page on facebook and get updates from the project there: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lighthouse-LibraryECCRC/132896200079546   ECCRC/Lighthouse Library, PO Box 40, Dexter,KS 67038. (620) 876-READ (7323) .  [email protected]


Thank you for yourinterest in our town and the Lighthouse Library project. The front wall of thelibrary is the historical Shadid Store. The store was the town’s grocery store and was the original site of the town’s silent movie theatre. Behind the old wall is all new construction and a whole lot of steel. The project has been built with about $40,000 worth of new lumber and a whole lot of volunteer labor. Licensed contractors, electricians, and plumbers have helped with the project. Many small fundraisers have raised the funds – benefit breakfasts,auctions, and public presentations as well as the funds donated from my two books. Although there have been a few very impressive and generous donations,there have also been a whole lot of small donations that arrived with letters of encouragement. Thank you all for all you have done.


Your continued prayers are appreciated! And please know that we do realize – it’s just a library. Life is precious and none of us dare let anything, no project, no person, no activity steal the enjoyment that life provides. Life is a gift. Thank God for each and every day of life! Nothing fits more than: “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24






Posted by ShipwreckWriter - Lynn Pettigrew Norris on August 1, 2011 at 12:15 PM Comments comments (0)


By Lynn Pettigrew Norris

August 2, 2011


You know how you label someone based on the few things you know about them? While using the online service, facebook, it occurred to me that it is easy to place a label on someone based on the few short snippets of information that they post from day to day. Some people post every day. Some “update their status” every hour on the hour. Some (including the Baby Boomer generation) use facebook as an open chat box – for all the world to both see and endure:) And yes, that was an intentional smiley face, but I resisted inserting a heart – and most certainly will do that a little later on.


Anyway, on to the subject of this entry which is my sweet middle daughter, Jennifer. Now I know the subject of my daughter (deceased) both enamors some while annoying others. I am sure it is more of a nuisance to be tolerated rather than a genuine anger or disdain towards my postings. But I can’t help it and do appreciate those who don't mind. And I thank those who through the years have remembered a life that mattered to my family. For these gestures of encouragement and comfort are the balm that is needed to get through the special times in life that trigger strong an fresh emotions of loss. It would be easy to be labeled morbid if all there were to a person was their reflections. But fortunately, in a lifetime, there are many occasions to be happy and to be blessed beyond measure. But for this span of time, I want to reflect on our middle daughter’s life – at the risk of being labeled.


If I were asked to label my daughter with one word, I would pick the word"butterfly". For they remind me of something that you enjoy so much and they bring so much beauty to the world for the sort span of time that the lovely butterfly is in your presence. But it seems before you know it, your butterfly has gone - flown on to other adventures.  


Rather one’s loss is as fresh as a week, a month, or a year or on into the decades, each time a crossroad is crossed on into the future without that loved one, the special, soft memories surface once again. These are things such as that loved one’s birthday, the anniversary date of their death, the date of a planned wedding lost to death’s grip, and all the holidays with their melancholy stance. No matter how you try to reshape your life, your life remains molded into the form of the time known before and the time lived after that loved one’s death. There really is no way out of that one - no cure, no enlightment, no rescue. It is just a fact. Life is different now and always will be. But life is still good.


Life remains enjoyable in the hope of each new tomorrow. Each day allows twenty-four hours to live out one’s dreams, a chance to help others, and hopefully make some tiny lasting impact on the world. I like what I heard at a neighbor’s funeral the other day. His life’s motto was to leave the world a better place than you found it. Or perhaps if I remember correctly, to leave each place you touch a little better than you found it. That is such great advice. We have lived a lot of places through my husband’s military career. We have moved a lot of times and passed a lot of white-glove inspections as we moved in and out of base housing. But I remember even when we rented a house out in the community or an apartment, we tried to leave it a little better than we found it when we arrived. We always did this in the summer while camping with our family. We tried to clean the campsite an leave it just a little better than when we got there. It is a sort of definite way of paying it forward for the next person or family who comes along.


It is 2011, the twelfth anniversary date of our daughter’s birthday without her. For some reason, this year is hitting me harder than all the others combined. I have no idea why. I do know that my sadness may lie in the fear that others will forget or already have forgotten how important her life was. Her life was a song that lives on from her grave. I hear my daughter’s voice in the wind on a cool spring night, in a song-bird's evening call at the end of a long day, and in the lives of her sibblings and classmates as they converse on facebook about life issues – raising children, grilling hamburgers, and swimming at the beach.


Although my remaining children do not like to dwell on their losses in life, I do see a lasting sorrow in their eyes. This common bond between us (although unspoken) is part of the thread that binds our hearts together for a lifetime. But even more important are all the fun memories that do not involve sorrow. The TDY cakes baked for four children to sooth their emptiness from a missing dad who was overseas. The home-made ice cream on a hot summer’s night, trips back and forth to Kansas from one coast or another in an old blue Chevy van. And recently Sponge Bob and popcorn with a grandchild who claims without apology, “It doesn’t get much better than this!”


Randy (my husband) has an art image sketched out that he has titled, “The Spirit of Jen” which he hopes to have embossed onto his plane someday. Now I have wondered long and hard why he picked that image to place on his plane. I think it may be because his plane is his freedom from life’s drudgery. If you have never flown in a plane, you might not know the sense of literal flying just like a bird that it involves. Although I must admit that almost all of my attempts except for two that I can remember were more like thoughts of a swooping crane going along or even a night hawk with its darting and rocking up and down, first skyward and then down along the ground until it darted quickly back up. Oh to feel like a confident yet softly soaring eagle while going along in a plane. But all of those lovely thoughts belong to my husband and to other fellow pilots and not to me. I remain on the ground where I belong and leave the flying to the birds and pilot types.


My “Spirit of Jen” is Lighthouse Library I guess. Don’t ask me why such a perhaps eccentric building project came to honor such a simple life. Perhaps it represents the care-free happy spirit of a life lived in a simple way among the Kansas Flint Hills and stream-lined valleys. Who knows? Certainly not me. But what I do know is that I still want to shout from the mountaintops that there once was a life – a beautiful life – of a sweet young woman who had left her teen years behind by one month when God took her home to Heaven. The Lord took my breath away when he placed a tiny baby girl named Jennifer into my arms when she was born and He took my breath away when He carried her home on angel wings. I trust Him and know that she is fine and that she really is home – safe, secure, and free from any pain or sorrow. Her life touched me in the best ways after she was gone. It has taken me all these passing years to understand her better and to love her even more. I only wish she knew the impact she has had on my life and continues to have each and every day.

This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

Jennifer  Nicole Norris, August 2, 1979 – September 27, 1999 <3

Dexter Baptist Church - 100 Years

Posted by ShipwreckWriter - Lynn Pettigrew Norris on July 25, 2011 at 12:39 PM Comments comments (0)

Dexter Baptist Church Dedication –

Still Serving After 100 Years

By Lynn Pettigrew Norris

Sunday, July 31, 2011 marks the 100th year for the First Baptist Church building in Dexter. The church congregation actually began a few years prior to the building of the church, but the church itself has reached 100 years. The original congregation began in 1888 as the Fairview Baptist Church and held meetings about two-and-a-half miles south of town. The current church building was built several decades later and is still standing after over 100 years of services. Historical information from Blue Skyways Dexter Page: http://www.skyways.org/towns/Dexter/history.html


The church body invites the public to its building re-dedication service. Sunday School services start at 9:00 a.m.The regular morning worship service is set for 10:00 a.m. followed by a special dedication service at 11:00 a.m. There will be a dinner on the grounds at noon and the public invite to attend. Anyone planning to come is asked to bring a covered dish to share.


Reverend Jim Playford has served as the church’s pastor for the past three years. He resides in Wichita and conducts Wednesday and Sunday services for the church. An ordained Baptist preacher, he comes after a military career and a career in Civil Service. His wife, Bette is a retired Wichita school teacher. They are both active in working with other churches in the Dexter area where they recently organized a community-wide Bible School. The Bible School had twenty-six children in attendance and as many helpers. Every time a month has a fifth Sunday, the Dexter Baptist Church joins with other churches in the area for a joint evening worship service. The Baptist Church sponsored the last Fifth Sunday Service where the attendees enjoyed a meal complete with smoked meats. The next Fifth Sunday Service will be held at the Dexter Outreach Church. Each church in the area provides special music for the service that is followed by snacks or a meal. Other joint activities for the area churches are providing Sunday evening services at the Grouse Valley Manor in Dexter.


Everyone is invited to the Dexter First Baptist Church building re-dedication service and to the noon meal that day. For more information, you may contact Bette Playford at: (316) 721-8765. RSVP’s are appreciated, but not required.