Did you know that the first Father’s Day was held in July of 1908, in Fairmont, West Virginia, in the Williams Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church South. (Yes, we visited Wikipedia!)
We asked around the office to see who might share some memories of their father as we head toward Father’s Day. Read on.
From Bill Winger, vice-president, operations of the EFC.
My dad was a businessman who spent most of his waking hours managing his electrical appliance retail and service operation. Those hours not invested in business were invested in serving the church as a Sunday School teacher, church secretary, and board member. When he had time for vacation it was usually a business trip or a trip to visit missionary friends and only mom would go along.
By the time I was 17 my relationship with my parents was waning because of my rebellion against a church intensely hanging on to dogmatic rules built on thin biblical relationships.
That year my dad did something I will never forget. He took a full week out of his busy schedule and he and I went to see Expo 67 (the worlds fair) in Montreal.
It was a week of discussion, site seeing, learning and fun. One of great cost to him, one of great value and meaning to me. My dad did indeed love me! This was shown not so much through the money spent attending that event, but through his gift of time. Thanks Dad.
From Rick Hiemstra, director, research and media relations for the EFC
My father began his life in Nazi occupied Holland. His faith began to flower when as a boy he pulled a Bible out of some trash that people were burning and he took it home to read it. He has always told me “think for yourself” (especially when he thought I wasn’t). I think much of this came out of a context of seeing people in Nazi Germany who seemed to unthinkingly follow Hitler. He has always had a sense that one’s soul, politically and spiritually, shouldn’t be trusted to the direction of the crowd. In faith that is how he began, by pulling a Bible out of the fire and beginning to digest what he found there for himself.
Over the years, we haven’t always agreed on all aspects of faith (not many of us do), but I’ve always followed his advice to “think for myself” probing for what may not seem obvious in both faith and life. I’ve tempered his advice by thinking with other people’s thoughts, but I’ve never trusted my soul to the crowd. I have my father to thank for that.
From Anita Kwan, communications coordinator and Faith Today circulation and distribution
“I recall my father tucking me in bed each night reminding me of God’s faithfulness and never-ending love.”
From Karen Stiller, senior editor, Faith Today
I remember my dad, out on the back step of our home in Dartmouth, briskly polishing his tall boots. My dad was an RCMP officer, and I was very proud of that.
I loved seeing my Dad in his red serge, his breeches and his boots. After my dad did his own boots, he would often do our shoes too. It was a shock to me when I married to discover that my husband had no intention of polishing my shoes for me. I thought that’s what men did.
Over the years, I have seen my father, the tough cop who was always gentle with his girls, soften and grow more and more tender. In his late 70s it is not unusual to see his eyes well up at a very sad or very happy thought. Both move him deeply.
I love this side of him, even though I think he might change it sometimes if he could. I see God’s father-love in my Dad in his willingness to do anything for the ones he loves (he would still polish my shoes for me if I left them around in a dusty state), and in his tender heart.
Maybe you’d like to get your dad a subscription to Faith Today for Father’s Day. Subscribe until the end of June and he receives a copy of Shifting Stats as well, (unless you decide to keep it for yourself of course).