By Jon Roberts – Littleton, Colorado … Neither snow nor a pandemic would stop the Littleton church from gathering to celebrate a founding member’s 102nd birthday.

Some 30 members congregated in the church parking lot on Tuesday, March 23, to form a car parade and drive by the home of their beloved member, Lucile Claridge, who has been homebound since the pandemic engulfed the region.

Members usually celebrate Lucile’s birthday in person, but the question facing Alise Weber, Littleton’s children and family ministry pastor, was how to safely celebrate a 102nd birthday during COVID.  “I had realized that Lucile was turning 102 soon, but didn’t know how to celebrate her during this pandemic. Lucile hasn’t been at church since the Covid-19 pandemic began. It was another member who thought of a car parade and once that was suggested, I knew it was the perfect thing to do and the planning began.”

Long-time Littleton member Charlie Phillips came to celebrate because Lucile has been so generous to others in the church. “She and her husband helped a lot of people over the years. There was a young man who came here from Guam and they helped him through college. They have always helped with La Vida Mission.”

For Kelly Waller, Cradle Roll teacher at Littleton and life-long member, Lucile is a friend and a devoted Cradle Roll volunteer. “I have known Lucile since I was a child, and she has always been a bright spot in our church! She has always had a smile, a kind word, and a willingness to help. I want to be like Miss Lucy when I grow up.”

When not volunteering in the Cradle Roll Department, she can be seen giving encouragement to fellow members.

“I have been at Littleton Church for about 3 1/2 years and, during that time, Lucile has shown great love to our family. She has sent birthday cards to my girls and really encouraged me when I was new to the position of children’s ministry leader,” Weber said.

Lucile expressed her gratitude to her beloved church family. “I was so overjoyed and happy when the cars started coming by and waving and honking their horns. Thank you so much. I love you.”

Weber added, “There is something very special about having a centenarian in the congregation.  Everybody at Littleton loves Lucile.”

–Jon Roberts is RMC communication/media assistant; photos by Andy Nash