Yesterday I found myself at a family reunion of a family to which I have no relationship. The descendants of Abraham Church gathered at he Shady Grove Community Center. There was food; a pot luck arrangement with more pickled beets, deviled eggs and fried chicken than you can shake a stick at. I stayed away from the dessert table.
Abraham Church was the patriarch of a large family that settled in this part of Tennessee in the 1830's. Several of his children joined the LDS Church, the earliest verifiable one in 1841, but there are family stories of encounters with David Patten in 1835.
We shared stories, pulled out photographs, compared genealogy, and the like. Only a few of the Tennessee side of the family stayed with the LDS Church. But a large branch lives in southern Utah. They call them the Utah Churches. A couple of them have showed up at these reunions in the past. There was one there yesterday.
Yesterday was significant in that it was probably the first time a large number of the LDS members of the Tennessee Churches attended. In total I counted about a hundred people, most of them older, but the kids were there too, including a baby so young he looked like he could have been born yesterday.
In the next few weeks I will post some of the photographs I took. Most of them were of other photos that people thoughtfully brought along. And I will describe some of the ideas floated around for next year. But before I do, let me ask you. Have you ever found yourself ant a reunion of someone else's family?
3 weeks ago