May the Peace of Christ be always with you.

Recollections of

...I remember when St. David’s was so small that everyone in the parish knew everyone else; there was a lot of visiting between the members of the church family. You would put a pot of coffee on the stove and someone would be at your front door before it perked...When you were late for a meeting at the church, the vicar would call and tell you to hurry up...We must have “visited” St. David’s within a few weeks of its opening. The five of us made quite a dent in the seating capacity, since the main body of the church was essentially what is now the secretary’s office.

...I remember during the construction of the nave, there were a few days when there was no secretary’s office. The offices were being relocated and that area was a mass of fallen concrete and chaos. Some phone calls went unanswered - we couldn’t find the phone!...The construction of the bell tower on the parking lot was interesting, but to see the giant crane hoist it to its proper place atop the building was an unforgettable sight. The climax was the blessing of the bell on a snowy Sunday with the fire department providing a “cherry picker” for David Joslin and the holy water...Speaking of snow, of all beautiful Christmas Eve services (and they ALWAYS are), the most unforgettable was the one we struggled to on foot through the blizzard of ‘66. The trip from our unplowed development, down deserted roads through the deepening snow took almost an hour before we saw the soft beckoning lights of the sanctuary. The scarlet poinsettias around the altar took on a special brilliance; the silver chalice and candles
glowed deeply as Harry Mayfield served Communion. There must
have been six or seven worshippers. Alan and Lois Stewart were there to give us music. Never was the greeting, “Merry Christmas!” more heartfelt...I remember Harry’s love of music and the beautiful choir at church and the first jazz festival…

...Fr. David Tontonoz playing the guitar and singing with the day school children and staff in the weekly chapel service truly make a joyful noise unto the Lord...Upon entering the building right after a tennis match, Fr. David shocked a Day School child who covered his eyes and said, “Fr. David, you’re undressed!”...Another occasion when Fr. David was “out-of-uniform” was when he came incognito for his first look at St. David’s on our busiest day of the year - Country Fair Day. He was duly impressed by the crowds and activity as well as the homemade soup from the Fair...He was back for another busy day at St. David’s before he was officially in residence as our fourth rector. That was for the convention which elected William H. Clark of Massachusetts (Fr. David’s home state) the Bishop of Delaware. Remember the remark, “Massachusetts is taking over Delaware!”?

...I remember the fun we had in Seymour’s station wagon going to meetings. Some of the discussions going and coming were more interesting than the meeting...Mostly I remember our personable bachelor priest with the young unworldly look and the born-teacher’s way of unraveling tangled webs of theology. I don’t know if he grew tired of his own cooking, but it was a golden era of potluck suppers - the one course dinner seven course dessert family nights...Seymour’s bachelor state confounded the harassed mothers of the congregation when he majestically declared and repeated regularly that Advent, a season of thoughtfulness and penance, was in full force all through December until the morning of Christmas Eve, and therefore it was unchristian to make any frivolous preparations before December 24th! I still wonder whether he has been able to maintain his high ideals under the onslaught of marriage, fatherhood and the pressures of family life.

...I recall the “iced tea” the weary confirmation teachers shared late at night at the Camp Arrowhead retreats. Dubonnet and gin or ginger ale, according to your preference, enlivened our fellowship as adults while the séances prevailed amongst the confirmands...At the end of a year of teaching church school, I invited my class to the church picnic. I counted noses at regular intervals. I breathed a sigh of relief after I had deposited the last one on his own doorstep again, looked around the empty car and realized with horror I had forgotten my own 4 year old. Back to the church to be greeted by my daughter’s wails of anguish - not because she had been deserted but because she hadn’t time to finish the Kleenex carnation she was making! Tender-hearted people of St. David’s looking after a little lost lamb.

...Mr. Mayfield and his family were our friends. Our family received religion, friendship and health from him, helping us through six years of coping with a mental illness with one of our children. His daily prayers, and ours, helped our son through 13 months as a Marine pilot in Vietnam...A wonderful thing for me, as well as others, was Harry’s success in getting a family member of a whole family to a renewed faith in God and to attend church regularly. His booming voice and positive approach were notable during his years with us. A typical remark from Harry was, “My coffee cup is half-full.” - not half-empty, but half-full.

...I remember “Gus” was a regular church-goer, although he never got beyond the parking lot until one Sunday. Paul Dufendach was about to read until one Sunday. Paul Dufendach was about to read the Epistle and noticed a late child entering the door, then saw the usher dive towards the floor. Paul’s dachshund happily sped past the usher to the front row where his family was seated…

...Because of the uncertainty of whether Andy Miles had or had not been baptized a private “conditional baptism” was arranged with just Andy, Ellen and Harry present. Who else has his rector and his wife as godparents?

...Don’t you recall the first infant born and baptized was Donnie Holcomb? Mrs. Dee (Charlotte) Curtis’s mother, Ann Ross (one of the original founders of Arden) was the first funeral. In that era everyone was expected to attend burials. The Tuesday morning group provided lunch after the service and everyone
went to the home. Baptisms of children were usually followed by an open house lunch. The whole family of St. David’s was invited to weddings; receptions were almost always in the parish hall. It was a total community life...The Tuesday morning group flourished for years, meeting regularly for study, discussion, ministry and healing. It was an open group and became a unique strength to the parish.

...In one of his first vestry meetings, David Joslin asked for reconsideration of an issue on which the vote was split, in order to achieve a unanimous vote. The result was a more badly split vote. So much for consensus at St. David’s!...We remember and appreciate the care and consideration with which David led us through the process of trying and evaluating the new liturgies...In a lighter vein, we remember the time when David (who was and is a car nut) dismantled the distributor of a sinister car parked outside the church after dark. When a young couple emerged from the back of the building, all David could say from the back of the building, all David could say was, “I’ve got your rotor.”...I recall the time I, a little frantic over the emotional state of an acquaintance (non-parishioner), telephoned David. I wanted the name of someone in her own parish whom I could alert. David took the situation in hand and I could alert. David took the situation in had and spent an unforgettable session soothing the concerns of my friend. She has never forgotten either.

...Persons of different denominations came to Seymour’s ordination. Tea sandwiches and punch were served at the reception and Grace Huggins, then moving on crutches, did most of the work. To the surprise of some, Seymour treated this as any other day and made his regular parish calls...It was a thrill to attend our rector’s wedding, ending an era at St. David’s but sending him off to Africa a happily married man.

...memories...some light-hearted, others serious - are all part of the St. David’s tradition. The hard work, the parties, the interpersonal relationships formed, and most of all, the worship of God shared with friends and strangers alike, are the substance that has bound us together in the past. May it ever be so.




HISTORY: 1954 to 2004



2320 Grubb Road, Wilmington, DE 19810 -- Call (302) 475-4688 or FAX (302) 529-1135.
Member Congregation of The Episcopal Diocese of Delaware.
in The Episcopal Church of the USA

To send us e-mail,

Copyright 2000-2008, Saint David's Episcopal Church, Wilmington, Delaware