Summer begins on Grindstone Island with the first church service. On June 23, by 10:15 a.m. about 50 parishioners had gathered in groups under the great poplar tree in the front yard to greet each other and find out the news of old friends after a long winter. A great and joyful and friendly chatter it was. And at 10:30 a.m., the minister, the Rev. William Gipson called them to come in, grand-parents, little children, fathers and mothers, teenagers - everyone. So began the service, and so began summer on Grindstone Island, the sound of singing filling the air at the crossroads where the little church stands freshly-sided and welcoming for its 101st year of worship.
John Marks introduced the new minister who spoke the call to worship. After his sermon over the lectionary reading about Jesus stilling the storm on the Sea of Gallilee, Mr. Gipson recognized those who would celebrate "commencement" that afternoon.
This year two Grindstone Islanders graduated from the Thousand Islands Central High School: Laura Cuppemall and Bree Frick. Their names were announced to the congregation who, applauding them, sent them both congratulations and heartfelt good wishes for their future ventures, their new beginnings.
Elizabeth Bacci, Joanna Cupemall, and John Cuppemall, three former students of the Grindstone Island school, graduated from the Guardino Elementary School this year and will enter the Thousand Islands Central High School in September. Their names were also announced in the service and the congregation also sent them both congratulations and encouragement for their next four years in school.
Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Cuppemall of Grindstone Island have announced the engagement of their daughter, Charlene, to Stephen Boss of Cape Vincent. He is the son of Sarah Boss of Cape Vincent and of Daniel Boss of Rochester. His maternal grandparents are Sterling and Ruth Kendall George of Clayton.
Charlene is now caretaker at Rum Point on Grindstone Island, and Stephen does construction work. Stephen, who graduated in 1986 from the Thousand Islands Central High School, and Charlene, who graduated in 1988, plan to be married in the summer of 1992. All the island shares in their joy, wishing them many years growing together and cherishing each other.
Many in the church congregation anticipated one more joyful event;
Robbie Lashomb is expected home any day now from Saudi Arabia. The planes are ready, the camp is folded for good-bye, all is waiting for the final word of departure. Jackie, Robbie's wife, is radiant, the children are full of excitement, His mother and father, Audrey and Bob, are trying to be calm in the stand-still. Welcome Robbie!
From Aunt Jane's Bay we have news that summer has also begun there: the Shirley's have arrived at Shirley's Cove and Granddaughter Lori entertained a friend from Sweden, Eric Oswald, over the weekend. Marie Moore also has guests, Mr. and Mrs. Jack Pearson of Houston, Tex.
At the short church board meeting after the morning service, led by Frederic "Doc" Schwartz, newly retired from the Norstar Bank in Syracuse, the schedule for the summer was formally set.
Ten women volunteered to teach Sunday school for one Sunday each, under Debbie Donaldson's administration. "Doc" announced that Judy Bacci's lithographs of the church had added $2,000 to the church funds, making financing the summer services easier this year. Good Home Cookin', the cook book edited by Karen Lashomb, Debra Donaldson, Brenda Slate, and Karen Frick, is still selling well. So It Is, the book of poetry celebrating the 100th anniversary of the church is still in print. Special thanks were made to Brenda Slate and Kathie Cuppemall for the clean church, the fresh and tidy parsonage, and the mown lawn. The flower fund, which has been so well administered by Brenda Slate for several years, was adopted as a formal institution by the church board to make sure it remains funded and on-going, so flowers will always cheer those who are sick or bereaved.
It promises to be a summer full of life and friendliness, and of strength in stormy weather.