Betty Izumi

Westside Church of Christ - History Project

Dates Attended: 1966 to 1973
Age: 4 1/2 to about 12

The reason that I attended was because my 3 older siblings, Sue, Irene and James attended.

Influence the church has had- Supposedly the first religion that an individual is exposed to is the one that you stay with and is most influenced
by. The reason why I stopped attending was that I feel that there is something lacking in the church and in Christianity. An important influence that the church has had on me is that because of my feel that Christianity lacks something, I've taken the opportunity study other religions which has given me more of an understanding of Christianity that I learned at the church.

Memories of Westside Church -The earliest memories that I have of the church are from before I was old enough to attend, my sister Sue and cousin Sarah (Nakanishi) used to take me with them when they had materials to prepare.

The first Sunday that I actually attended Sunday School, Mrs. Ito picked us up and I remember that I wouldn't talk to her because I didn't know her.

There was another time when I spent time at the church other than when Sunday school was being held. I can't remember who it was, but one of the church patron was working on her teaching credentials and needed to work with a child on reading skills. Since I have a reading disability I became the Guinea pig. I spend several hours at the Church after school working on my reading.

I remember when the newer section of the church was constructed because my brother James spent a lot of time helping and my father did the tile work. I remember the dedication because that was the only time that I saw all the pews of the church filled.

I vaguely remember Ken Rob, his wife and children. My sister Sue, babysat for them and they had asked her to teach Sunday School because she was really good with children.

I remember several instances of the church having events such as Easter egg hunts where I stepped on more eggs than I collected. There was a Halloween party with a haunted house that I didn't get an opportunity to go into.

I remember an instance when a group of us went to visit an orphanage and took a birthday cake for the children who were born during the month of July. We went on a tour of the facility and I recall that they had horse.

I remember when the church organized a 2 week camping trip to Sequoia National Park. I was about 12 years old at the time and I wasn't allowed to touch matches or use knives at home. Marlin Ray couldn't believe that he had to teach me how to strike a match and Don Arii got frustrated because he was trying to teach me to cut tomatoes into wedges and I kept smashing the tomatoes.

I also remember the church did some exchange activities with a group from Watts. Part of the activities had to do with recreating bible stories on silent film. For some unknown reason the one that stands out in my mind was where Darryl Shimazu and Joe Aiboshi played Cain and Able.

The one incident that made me feel that the church lacked a sense of community responsibility was one summer when I was about 11 years old and the church was having a Vacation Bible School and no one showed up. Jeannie Ray came to my house and got me out of bed, then we went cruising the neighborhood looking for kids to recruits.

Over the years I have thought about going back to church but the one thing that has stopped me is the sense that other than my belief in God and Christ, what is there that would make me feel that there is a purpose or a reason to want to be affiliated with the church.

Betty lzumi