Christmas Carol in the Country

by Lise Meyer Kobussen

Christmas Carols in the Country 2022 cover image
Salem Ragatz Church Christmas in the Country Evening 12-3-2022
Photo by Ellen Abernathy

Recorded video of Christmas Carols in the Country event.

Ron Kindschi wrote this message. I must extend our compliments and appreciation for the event on December 3rd, 2022, a night at the Salem Ragatz Church. Very well done, and a significant positive impression of the SPAHS and appreciation of the Ragatz Church by all in attendance. The setting, the decorations, and the program were all perfect. I am sure all that were there will expound to all their acquaintances the excitement of their experience there. Consequently, I would expect that if this event were continued in the coming years, attendance would increase exponentially. Although, attendance I thought it was great last night for a first-time event.

Christmas Carol Remembrance of the Past

by Ron Kindschi

I might expound a bit on our personal impression of the night. The Kindschis, of course, were involved with this church in its earliest days when Johann Kindschi and his family arrived in 1846 from Switzerland and settled in the Swiss Valley. My father Harry was born in the Swiss Valley in the now Nolden farm, so he attended this church and there learned German. He was born in 1905, so he would have gone to Christmas Eve services in this building in 1912, the first year of this current building when he was 11 years old.

Thinking about this, I could not help thinking back about traveling to the church for this event. My mind drifted back to what it was probably like in 1912 for my father and the Kindschis and others traveling for Christian eve services at the Salem Church. Cold, horses to harness, sleds to hook up, kids to bundle, blankets for the sled, and snow banks to cross on the way. Arriving there, among others from the community parking their sleds, tying up the horses, unloading everyone, and filling into the church. Heating the church was less complete then, so comfort in the service was cold and uncomfortable. However, I expect that the closeness of the community and the love of fellow neighbor attendees created more warmth than the actual temperature within the building. Then after the service, a similar preparation and travel home ensued. The conclusion of a cold, emotionally uplifting, neighbor contacts, tiring, nativity-honoring God-filled experience at the Salem Church. High marks for an important event for a quality life in those days.

So, after the event’s conclusion, we exited the church, out the front, and into a clear cold night illuminated by an almost full moon. The moon shone beautifully across the dark fields in front of us like nothing had changed in the 110 years this building had sat there. The world, of course, had drastically changed. But the fact that what we had just witnessed, coupled with the view we were greeted with as we exited, had not changed. God’s creation and the facility behind us have existed unchanged for many, many years and generations. Same building, same moon, same fields, and still has the magic to glorify God by today’s people.