Christian leaders say it’s a time of new frontiers for worship as we wait for our return to our church sanctuary.
I wonder if the twenty-four families of men, women and children considered it new frontiers when they embarked on their pilgrimage of FAITH.
As William Bradford declared, in his history “that their children may see with what difficulties their fathers wrestled in going through these things in their first beginnings, and how God brought them along.”
Following the loss in Plymouth of the fourth Pilgrim church to fire in 1892, the congregation initiated plans for a new meetinghouse that would, in the words of former First Parish minister George N. Marshall and co-writer Arthur B. Whitney, “enshrine the values and FAITH that have made our nation great.” Such a VISION became reality thanks to many generous donors throughout America, and the cornerstone was laid in 1896. Completed in 1897, the fifth Pilgrim Meetinghouse was dedicated on Forefathers’ Day, December 21, 1899.
The Meetinghouse’s unique stained glass windows celebrate not only the Pilgrim epic, but also Pilgrim values which have become the core values of America. Many of these unique windows were designed by Edward Peck Sperry of Tiffany Studios and were gifts from Mayflower descendants and societies.
If you’ve seen the recent video of the replica Mayflower returning to Plymouth Harbor after a 11.2 Million dollar renovation you can see its size and imagine what it was like being there. With 102 passengers and a crew of about 30, food and supplies for the 66 day journey and crossing the Atlantic at the height of storm season. The one thing they brought with them that didn’t take up any space among their equipment for a new beginning was their FAITH in God and belief in what they are doing.
So as the Pilgrims journeyed on in FAITH we are doing the same today. They didn’t know how long their journey would be and we don’t know ours either. Not being able to physically sit in worship with one another has affected us all one way or another. We miss the fellowship, camaraderie of being able to say “I’m so glad you’re here” and to shake a hand or bump elbows.
As the Pilgrims sailed across the Atlantic I am sure they all did what they could to help keep the ship afloat during those trying times. So we are asking you to please do what you can to help keep the First Congregational Church of Westminster afloat during our difficult times. Your caring for one another in many ways and your financial support for the church.
In FAITH we THANK YOU,
Generous Giving Ministry