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Christmas 1943

There isn’t a whole lot mentioned in the materials that we have about Christmas. As usual, we rely mostly on the “Community Current Events” column which was published monthly in the “Flaming Sword”. Even though the Koreshans looked to Cyrus Teed as some sort of new messiah, they still claimed to be Christians. As I mentioned in a previous post, as time passed after Teed’s death in 1908 I believe that the Koreshans became more of a simple commune relying less and less on the teachings of Koresh.

So what was it like here in Estero at Christmastime? Here is the Community Current Events column from January 1944, which described the Unity in December of 1943.

Community Current Events
January 1944:

WELL THE WEATHERMAN must have been reading my page or listening to us singing and dreaming about a “White Christmas” for we came very near having one this year. Just about a week before Christmas it suddenly turned cold. Several mornings in succession there was a heavy frost and ice. The faucet in chicken yard was frozen up. I turned it on,— nothing happened but a gurgle. I turned it on and off and vice versa so many times till I finally did not know which way it was, so I gave it up and went about the other chores—which are many and varied. After a while the sun came up from behind the horizon and just before leaving the yard I looked about to see that all was well, and there to my consternation were the chickens happily splashing about in a pool of water several inches deep. Immediately I had visions of a flock of chickens down with roup, pneumonia, bronchitis, etc., and me in the role of a Red Cross nurse, but after a moment of petrified immobility I made a dash at them only to find that the water was quite warm as compared to the surrounding atmosphere, having just come from the bowels of a warm earth, and I came away, leaving them to enjoy their warm foot bath with the assurance that after all most of our fears are groundless, but I surely did nearly have heart failure.

Sister Etta Silverfriend left on the 16th for Savannah, Missouri, where she expects to remain for several week’s treatment.

Mr. and Mrs. F. S. Lewis came from Everglades on the 19th and will live permanently at their home here in Estero. Both Mr. and Mrs. Lewis have resigned from active business,—she as postmaster in which capacity she has served the public very creditably for many years. Mr. Lewis7 activities were many and varied he being interested and engaged with the Collier Interests, whose operations cover a wide field. We welcome these two as an asset to our community.

December 24—all day there had been a feeling of expectancy hanging over me, but nothing seemed to come of it until at the end of a long day of the usual round of chores and duties, well and faithfully performed, I hope;—the chickies tucked in and locked up for the night and so, feeling that I had earned a little relaxation I dimmed the light and turned on the radio. What a miracle it is,—and then it happened. I had tuned in on the Kate Smith program and from the radio came the vibrant but now suitably modulated voice of Miss Smith recounting the story of the patient little donkey, who, while on his way to the tanners after a long and faithful life of service, suddenly found himself the property of Joseph, purchased to carry his wife Mary, to the end of their journey,— Bethlehem. And while I listened to this Christmas story and heard again the story of the Shepherds, and the Wise men from the East, I lived again in memory or was it just imagination, that scene in the stable at Bethlehem. Almost I could hear the lowing of the cattle—the quiet munching of the beasts of burden; the patient Joseph ministering to Mary in her hour of travail and then the joyful, triumphant singing of the Angels,—”Glory to God in the Highest, on Earth Peace, Goodwill toward Men.”

And so, Jesus the Christ, child of immaculate conception, was born,—carried by the Virgin Mother to His predestined birth place not in pomp and splendor, but on the back of a docile and patient, tired little old donkey who had ‘served his worldly master faithfully and well, and to whom now was given this very great honor of partaking, ever so humbly, in the greatest of all miracles,—the birth of the Son of God, sent to the sinning world as a human link to retie it back to God the creator of all things good. And now at the end of nearly two thousand years of sinning and forgetting Him, the greatest of all woes has come upon us and it is now up to each and every one of us to set our own spiritual house in order or all the shot and shell; the bombs and all the other atrocities invented to wage this “Devil’s War” will have been in vain.

On the day before Christmas there was a general exodus of a number of the folks going off to visit relatives and friends over the weekend;—Sister Adah Price went to Fort Myers Beach to visit with Mr. and Mrs. Pulcifer; Sister Emily Bessemer went to Miami by bus to spend the holidays with her son Alton and family; Sisters Ella and Florence Graham accompanied Sister Hedwig Michel and Brother Laurie Bubbett to Miami to visit the Graham boys Robert and Lloyd. Sister Ella’s daughter, Mrs. Phillips, Mr. Phillips and their daughter Mrs. L. J. Norbury and granddaughter also came from Stuart, constituting a family reunion with four generations represented.

Mrs. Marguerite Head of Concord, N. H., has made several short visits to the Unity, recently. Marguerite came to the Unity, when a young girl, with her mother, Mrs. Page Borden, who contributed to THE FLAMING SWORD in the early days. She is stopping at Fort Myers.

Mrs. Lillian Rugg took dinner with us on Christmas Day.

And now at the end of a very eventful year we look forward to 1944 in the hope that before it ends peace will have been established throughout the world.

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