When I heard my minister Scott Field talk about a 70th anniversary, I immediately thought of the one our family just celebrated of my in-laws wedding.
My father-in-law, Vince Giangrasso, has since died, so the mention of a 70th anniversary at first brought on sad memories.
But Pastor Field explained the 70th Anniversary was that of the Alcohol Anonymous chapter that has been meeting at our church for seventy years.
One weeknight I was at church and saw a public official I knew.
Asking him why he was at First Church, he said that he was there for an AA meeting.
So, I knew AA met there.
But 70 years?
I had no idea.
That’s older than our current building at Dole and Crystal Lake Avenues.
The chapter started meeting Downtown, where Brink Street Market is now located.
At the celebration, to which non-members were allowed to attend, members gave testimonies.
Pastor Field said he could see family members in back shedding tears as some told of how they held their addiction at bay.
There was a bit of humor, too.
Field described references to past leaders with “goofy names,” but he didn’t whet my curiosity by sharing them.
He said the meeting ended with all saying the Lord’s Prayer.
Unfortunately, this part of his sermon about transformation was stimulated too late to include in the written text.
It was an example used in his comparison of conforming with transforming.
“AA is a transformational community.” he said of the 12-Step Program.