Catching Up

My cousin, Grace Lehman Burkholder

My computer has been in the shop for clean up and  so I have been using my iphone to contact friends. One friend that I called was Grace Lehman Burkholder, a first cousin who is four years younger than I am. She had sent me a letter by snail mail. Our childhood homes were less than a half mile apart, so we shared many childhood memories. I also talked with Ruth Lehman who is Grace’s oldest brother’s widow. Ruth is also near my age. Now that we have shared telephone numbers we will talk to each other more frequently.

Grace wrote her letter to tell me that our first cousin, Lehman Martin, had died and been buried on the same day of another first cousin’s burial. Lehman’s mother was my father’s sister, and like me was given his mother’s maiden name as his first name. Though we were about the same age we had few contacts through the years.

Below is a picture that may have meaning for the Lehman family.

L. to R: I am setting on the lap of Aunt Lizzie Martin, my mother’s oldest sister,next is my brother, John, then our mother, Ruth, next is my Aunt Susan who was my father’s youngest sister and the mother of  Lehman Martin. On the far right is my father, J. Irvin, who is holding my cousin Aldus Lehman. The picture was taken on the lawn of my grandfather, David B. Lehman”s home. .

Lehman had more conservative influences than I, and was a bishop and church planter in a conservative branch of the Anabaptist movement. He lived for a while in southern Indiana and died in Tennesee. He was a writer who contributed to a devotional booklet titled, “Beside the Still Waters.” Grace read a few rich excerpts to me and I hope to be able to find this booklet on line.

This morning I learned that another first cousin, Emmett Lehman, died at age 82.  He was a lawyer and he and his wife had sons and daughters with advanced degrees.  He was very proud of them.  In retirement he wrote letters to the Lancaster newspaper, written with the precision of a lawyer. He complained when the editors asked to publish  simplified versions of his letters. He didn’t want anyone to tamper with his original wording.

Mary Bew

Also, during this time without my computer I called Robert and Mary Bew who live at Sunnyside Retirement Community in Sarasota.  It so happened that they were in the midst of reading My Spiritual Pilgrimage  as posted on my website.  When they finished reading Mary wrote this evaluation and  sent it to me:

D: for decisive and daring. Daring, not foolhardy , but thoughtfully courageous.

Bob and I were with you as Sarasotans in Florida in the 80s. We were invited to attend a Sunday morning with Grace Mennonite fellowship, a new group, meeting at the Sarasota Christian school.

We became part of this congregation, which needed counsel. I remember my relief when you came to give us that counsel.

Grace Fellowship sent many for discipleship with Youth with a Mission.  Grace was one of the founding churches to establish Resurrection House, a day resource center for the homeless.

Feel free to share this bit of our shared history.
Thanks for sharing parts of your faith journey.


About Martin Lehman

I was born 92 years ago, the son of a Mennonite pastor and organic gardener in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. At age 10 I was baptized as a member of the Marion Mennonite Church. I own the "Old Fool" moniker because I want to walk the Jesus Way even though the world and much of the church takes me as a fool for doing so. In my life I have moved from being a young conservative to an elderly radical. I tell that story in My Faith Journey posted on my website.
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