a column dedicated to the folks in the pews
Written by Dale Buchanan
On a recent Sunday morning I walked up to the front door of the Big Red Church where the ushers handed me an Order of Worship. I picked up my old man’s cushion and found my regular pew. Gayle was off doing her thing, Scott was blessing us with beautiful music, and I glanced through this bulletin. Then I really looked at it
Every Sunday morning someone hands it to me. I do my ritual while the music plays, I use it to follow along with what is happening during worship, and the I discard it without another thought until next Sunday morning when I expect to be handed a new one. I started asking questions and found that the process of getting that Order of Worship—which I take for granted—is mind boggling. So many folks involved.
Our behind the scenes pew person this time is Adua Butticci. I found her on a Friday morning in the church office with a stack of papers which was, of course, the unassembled Order of Worship. You will find Adua there every Friday collating, folding, and in general giving us a tool to make our worship a more rewarding experience.
Adua was born in San Francisco. Her parents were first generation Italians. At age 14 Adua’s family moved to Merced where her father tried his hand at farming. Adua was not impressed with the rural life of the Central Valley and at age 17 escaped back to the Bay Area and lived with her sister in San Jose. There she enrolled at San Jose State University and earned her degree in social sciences. She then joined the Grail, a Roman Catholic version of the Peace Corp. Its mission was to empower women.
Along the way, Adua moved to Fresno, married, raised a family, and pursued her profession. But this is not all. Adua loves to dance—specifically the Argentine Tango. This dance she has had to give up because the men tango dancers have all disappeared. Not one to be defeated, she joined a group that dances Polynesian—no partner is required. As an afterthought she mentioned that she works out three days a week where they do a Colombian dance called the Zumba. Lest I forget, this amazing woman also sings in the Big Red choir. How she finds the time is a mystery to me!
Adua’s first words to me were, “I really don’t have anything valuable to say.” I am here to tell you that this soft spoken woman has much to say that cannot be spoken in this Reader’s Digest condensed version of her story. It is really just a teaser. Look her up, take her out to lunch, talk to her. You will be blessed.
As I wrapped up I asked my last question to which she replied, “Dale, I came to the Big Red Church in 1990 searching for something and I found it here. I stay because of the people.”
Dale Buchanan is a member of FCCF with a passion for stories and writing. In between penning his own memoirs, he is helping us get to know our members, one pew at a time.