Random Thoughts

Random Thoughts

Note, this post and all previous ones are from Doug Meister, Senior Minister from July 1992 through June 2019.

April17th was National Ellis Island Family History Day. Families from across the world traveled to this country to make a new life in America. On this day in 1907, just under 12,000 names were recorded as passing through Ellis Island. During all of 1907, over one million immigrants were processed through Ellis Island. It was by official proclamation of our nation's governors that April 17 be designated as Ellis Island Family History Day. Ellis Island, in Upper New York Bay, was the gateway for millions of immigrants to the U.S. as the nation's busiest immigrant inspection station from 1892 until 1924.

This is an important day to remember and to celebrate in the history of our nation. Millions of us have descended from people who made their way to the shores of America through the doors of Ellis Island. Some came to escape extreme poverty while others came to escape war-torn areas of the world and some came to escape persecution. This carries personal meaning for me and probably for many of you, even if you are not aware of it. My grandmother Meister came through those doors to this country in 1906. She was born in a place called Franzjosefsfeld in what is known today as Bosnia. She was a descendent of Germanic people who were sent to this area by the Austrian-Hungarian Empire in order to Germanize it. Many decades later, the locals apparently decided it was time for the Germans to leave. So, my grandmother, Catherine Elizabeth Schad, made her way to Harper, Kansas where she and my grandfather began a family. John Meister’s family entered the country in the mid-1800’s from Merishausen, Switzerland, probably via the St. Lawrence Seaway and Lake Michigan.

"Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love." - Lao Tzu

"Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness." - George Sand

I would rather live with hope and every once in a while be wrong than to live without hope and always be right. (From Rabbi Brian’s friend, Larry Keene.)

Just because Easter is over, don’t think that life is on pause until next December. The family of faith continues to meet each Sunday and your presence is required for the family to be whole. (From DJM.)