Elmwood MB


It used to be that North End jewel

Got up quick for Sunday School

Winter walk across the Red

Never got to stay in bed

Learned my verses, sang some songs

All in German, some too long

Preachers there said heaven’s neat

Way back there on College Street


Then, in time, they launched a search

Sought some land, a brand new church

Elmwood MB – built to last

Peter, Paul and Mister Fast

All those Bible verses learned

Camp tuition thus I earned


Now I come a welcome guest

Same old pew, Sunday best


Who can know what future things

May yet be wrought by the King of Kings

Who can know what lies ahead

Sunday morning – stay in bed?

No, they say, you can’t do that

Put on your coat, go find your hat

Make your way to Elmwood MB

God surprises us, you see!


Way back then, when I left the fold

I never dreamed I’d get this old

…and pine for church where lies my heart

Where Deity and Destiny live not apart

I made my peace with all that was

…and is to come – because

I took the bread and drank the cup

With friends in church where I grew up!


Written in January of 2011 after going to Elmwood MB Church with my cousins Lloyd and Kathie Penner. Elmwood is the church I attended from the time I was a child until my teen years. As a teenager, I rebelled against God and church.


The idea for this poem came now, years later, while I sat in the pew, listening to the sermon, imagining us to be taking communion. Had it really happened that Sunday morning, I would have participated.


I read the poem at an annual Elmwood music and speech arts festival February 6, 2011. It was sandwiched between verses of “Faith of Our Fathers” which I played on the tenor sax, accompanied by Bertha Klassen on the piano.

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