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I’VE BEEN THINKING...ABOUT FATHER'S DAY – June 17, 2012

Where Did Father's Day Originate? While there are many stories relating to the origin of Father's Day, this is the most widely held version:

Sonora Louise Smart is known as the “Mother of Father’s Day.” At 16, Sonora’s mother died during childbirth. Her father, a civil war vet, was grateful for Sonora’s help in raising her five brothers in their hometown of Spokane, Washington.

Sonora Smart married John Dodd in 1899. Ten years later, they joyfully welcomed their first child. That same year, after hearing a Mother’s Day sermon, Sonora determined that there should also be a Father’s Day celebration that would give due respect to fathers everywhere.

On June 6, 1910, Sonora Smart Dodd suggested establishing this new commemorated day to the local Ministerial Association and the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA). Although she wanted the new occasion to fall on June 5th, her own father’s birthday, there was not enough time to arrange details. Therefore, the first Father’s Day was celebrated in Spokane on June 19, 1910, fourteen days after William Smart’s birthday.

By 1916, President Woodrow Wilson had noticed the popularity of the new “Father’s Day”, and he acknowledged his approval to the public. Later, in 1924, President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed Father's Day as a national celebration!

Finally, after four decades of struggle by Sonora and her supporters, President Lyndon Johnson signed a proclamation in 1966. He officially declared that Father’s Day would be celebrated each year on the third Sunday in June.

During her lifetime, Sonora became an artist, and she also wrote a children’s book about the Native Americans of Spokane. In 1974, Sonora Smart Dodd was honored at the World's Fair in Spokane for her contribution in making Father's Day a national day of recognition.

Sonora Louise Smart Dodd was 96 when she died in 1978. To acknowledge her remarkable contribution to the recognition of fathers, a statue was erected at the YMCA in Spokane. There is much that we can learn from Sonora’s determination and collaboration. We never want to underestimate what people can accomplish, especially when they are lead by faith and strong conviction!

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What Is A Father? -  Author unknown

A father is a person who is forced to endure childbirth without an anesthetic. He growls when he feels good and laughs very loud when he is scared half-to-death.

A father never feels entirely worthy of the worship in a child’s eyes. He is never quite the hero his daughter thinks. Never quite the man his son believes him to be. And this worries him sometimes.

A father is a person who goes to war sometimes … and would run the other way except that war is part of his only important job in his life, (which is making the world better for his child than it has been for him).

Fathers grow older faster than people, because they, in other wars, have to stand at the train station and wave goodbye to the uniform that climbs on board. And, while mothers cry where it shows, fathers stand and beam — outside — and die inside.

Fathers are men who give daughters away to other men, who aren’t nearly good enough, so that they can have children that are smarter than anybody’s.

Fathers fight dragons almost daily. They hurry away from the breakfast table, off to the arena which is sometimes called an office or a workshop. There, with callused hands, they tackle the dragon with three heads; Weariness, Work, and Monotony. And they never quite win the fight, but they never give up.

Knights in shining armor; fathers in shiny trousers. There’s little difference as they march away each workday.

I don’t know where father goes when he dies, but I’ve an idea that, after a good rest, wherever it is, he won’t just sit on a cloud and wait for the girl he’s loved and the children she bore. He’ll be busy there too — repairing the stars, oiling the gates, improving the streets, smoothing the way.

~Pastor J

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