FRESNO -- Rural Life Sunday celebrating "Farm Life" took place Sept. 14 at the Fresno United Methodist Church with Pastor Kathy Powers officiating.
The outdoor worship service began at 10 a.m. in the Fresno Park shelter with 120 in attendance.
The setting for the outdoor worship service included straw bales, wooden crosses, a brass cross, mums, pumpkins, and fall decorations. During the joys and concerns who brought a tractor or farm truck, told the make and model , as well as what they used their vehicle for on the farm.
Special music was a song, "Thank you Farmers," written by Janet Miller and sung by her granddaughters, Kialeigh, Joselyn, Jaydeigh and Sammy Miller. Other special music by Charlotte Marsh, who sang, "The Great Speckled Bird" and "God of the Mountain."
Throughout the program, tributes were read about farmers: "I'm Just a Farmer, Plain and Simple" was read by Dean Wyler and "So God Made a Farmer" was read by Paige Newbury as a tribute to her grandfather, Ben Harstine.
The message for the day was entitled, "Second Chances," given by Ray Griffith, former Agriculture Education teacher at River View High School.
There was a report given by Kurt Wyler's trip to Costa Rica through the Ridgewood FFA. Congregational hymns that were sung were, "America the Beautiful," "His Eye is On the Sparrow," and the closing hymn was very appropriate, "Bringing in the Sheaves."
The outdoor service was followed by a covered dish dinner; people sat outdoors at the picnic tables outside and enjoyed the music and singing by Larry Stahl, who played his guitar.
At 1 p.m., a children's pedal tractor pull took place and was sponsored by Brian Powell and the Ridgewood Young Farmers.
There were five weight classes with 20 children participating.
The first class pulling was 30-45 pounds, and the winner was Gavin Gress.
The second class was 45-60 pounds, and the winner was Keja Ross.
The third class was 61-75 pounds, and the winner was Jaydeigh Miller.
The fourth class was 76-90 pounds, and the winner was Royce Schaffer. The fifth class was 91-105 pounds, and the winner was Lane Huff. This year, they added a class called the Old Timers which had 22 participants, the winner was Lester Snyder.
The was a sight to be seen. Trophies were awarded to first place winners and sponsored by Brian Darr Farms, Wylerview Farms, Shot Gun Red Pulling Team, Kurt Wyler Pulling Team and Jim Shroyer Woodworking LLC.
Throughout the afternoon, there was a petting zoo by the Ridgewood FFA, cake walks, cornhole toss, horseshoes and a watermelon eating contest.
Winners of the watermelon eating contest are as follows: Grade school through middle school, Lincoln Trimmer; high school, Derick Stocker; and adult, Mary Hiltabidel.
Plenty of refreshments including popcorn, snowcones, homemade ice cream, cake, cookies, chips and pretzels were available.
There were more than 150 people in attendance in the afternoon.
Lining the park grounds were 23 tractors, four-wheeled drive vehicles, antique tractors and lawn mowers.
The grand finale was a tractor parade and hay ride. This was a day of old fashion worship and fellowship.