Emmaus Blog

Celebrating Family: The Ruhl Family Honored

Emmaus Homes - Friday, November 16, 2018

From a June 1971 Emmaus Messenger

The evening of Tuesday, April 27, was filled with a variety of events planned by the Emmaus Board of Directors to honor Rev. and Mrs. John Ruhl on the occasion of their retirement.

Because many member of the Board had not had an opportunity to see the new cottage at Marthasville, and because it has been named in honor of Rev. and Mrs. Ruhl, it was appropriate that the festivities began with a fellowship hour in the living room of Ruhl Cottage, attended by Board members, Administrators, and their wives.

The dinner which followed, was held in the Fellowship Hall of St. Paul's Church, Marthasville. (Incidentally, Rev. Ruhl served on the Building and Finance Committees when the Hall was constructed in 1963.) Attending the dinner, besides the honored guests and members of their families, were Board members and wives, administrators and wives, and staff members of the Marthasville location of Emmaus. Nearly 100 guests were served a delicious meal by Mrs. Mary Bell on behalf of the Marthasville staff; a colored television and a check to be used for travel, presented by Mr. Theodore Bruere, on behalf of the Board of Directors.

The public was invited to share in the rest of the evening. The sanctuary was filled with friends and associates of Rev. and Mrs. Ruhl as the Service of Recognition began with a brief organ recital by Rev. Paul Bode, a brother of Mrs. Ruhl. Another brother, Rev. Erwin Bode, was the main speaker. Other participants included Rev. Theophil Stoerker, Supt. Emeritus of St. Charles Emmaus, Mr. Bruere, Rev. Carl Schwarm, pastor of St. Paul's Church, and Rev. James Rinne, Associate Superintendent at Marthasville. Four daughters of the Ruhl's offered a vocal selection.

To conclude the celebration, an informal reception was held, and the many friend who had attended had the opportunity to personally greet the Ruhl's and extend their best wishes to them. Nearly 300 person attended.

Another Surprise the following day...

It is a custom at Emmaus to close each meal with a prayer, followed by the ringing of a small bell. On Friday, April 30, Rev. Ruhl had the closing prayer and then a moment of embarrassment- someone had stolen the bell! It was all part of a planned surprise, as the residents of the home used this occasion together to express their appreciation to Rev. and Mrs. Ruhl for their friendship and guidance over the years. There were many participants, some who spoke extemporaneously, others who shared poems and writings around the theme of friendship. Others came up to the Ruhl's table to present several gifts: a sport-coat for Rev. Ruhl, a purse for Mrs. Ruhl, a New English Bible and an album of pictures of residents and staff for them both. It was a nice surprise!! 

An earlier honor...

The Council for Health and Welfare Services of the United Church Board for Homeland Ministries met for their Annual Meeting at the Denver Hilton Hotel in Denver, Colorado, on March 14-17. Dr. and Mrs. Ruhl were invited to be their special guests, and were honored during one of the sessions with the presentation of a plaque. The citation on the plaque reads as follows: "Presented to Dr. John G. Ruhl to express our deep esteem and sincere appreciation for service to the United Church of Christ through Emmaus Homes. By the Council for Health and Welfare Services, United Church of Christ."

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