This past Sunday, 3/11, was our 100th Anniversary Commemoration Service. It was a beautiful and fascinating service full of special music and remembrances. The beginning and ending of the service featured Harold Walbert’s wonderful organ playing, which, as someone noted, seemed to involve every pipe within the organ. Another highlight of the service was the anthem, God of Our Past, Present and Future, which was composed by Kenneth Lowenberg and commissioned and donated by Music Director, Dorothy Mora, and her mother, Georgiana P. Dunham, for the special day.
The service included a section called “History and Hymns,” featuring snippets of church history as presented by members of the 100th Anniversary Committee. These were interspersed with favorite hymns, beautifully performed by different and shifting permutations of the choir. We learned that this church has been a “happening place” through the decades, whether it be the oyster feast of 1940 for all men of two years of age or older, or the dedication service for new pews in the same year, or the square dance celebration of a few years ago. We also heard about many of the strong leaders of the church, as exemplified by Richard Bambach’s mother, Mrs. Sally Bambach, who became our first woman moderator in 1964. She was a truly formidable presence and someone who set a high standard indeed for those of us following in her footsteps! As Pastor Alfred Wesley Hurst said in 1958, “There is much to make us tingle with zest and excitement as we begin a fifth decade of service in the life of the church” and the same can be said for us five decades later.
What particularly struck me as I listened to all of this was how much some things have changed (gender roles being a notable example) and how many other things have carried forward through the years. This is especially true of our commitment to each other and to the larger world and our belief that mission and social action are at the core of our identity as a community.
Speaking of mission, our children and youth need your help putting together Easter Baskets for homeless families. Please bring any of the following donations this Sunday, 3/18: gift cards for grocery stores like Safeway and Giant, chocolate, chapstick, and other small toiletry items. Thank you!
Who We Are:
This week’s story comes from Lorna Aldrich, a member of our Fellowship Committee:
Seeking a church community about a decade ago, I thought to visit that little stone church I often passed on Reno Road. On my first Sunday, Margaret Goodman approached and invited me into coffee hour. Then I noticed an announcement for the book club and decided to try it. Because everyone was so warm, welcoming and appealing, I kept coming and still keep coming. After a few years, Pastor Ellen added her reflective and thought provoking sermons. Dorothy Mora and Harold Walbert continually add depth to the music program, a highlight of Sunday mornings as well. I feel fortunate to have found this community.
Besides the church community, I participate in the Arts Club of Washington, where I coordinate use of the art studio and a small members’ gallery, and the National Press Club, where I am one of eight rotating editors for the online newsletter, for which I also make some assignments and cover the occasional story as well. I paint oil landscapes in the Arts Club studio one or two days most weeks, read incessantly, both the book club selections and a wide variety of other books, manage to get to my gym and enjoy spending time with my friends.
Did You Know:
- Did you know that on 3/10/1918, fifty-four people attended the first services held at Cleveland Park Congregational Church?
- Did you know that on 3/17/1918, we held our first congregational meeting?
EVENTS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
Coffee Hour Conversation: How We Worship, 3/18—Please join us this Sunday for the first of two conversations about the theology and experiences that shape how we worship. Dan Sack will facilitate a discussion of the following questions: what is unique about our service? What is the purpose of the scripture readings and sermon? What is the role of music? What do you like/not like about our service and other church services you’ve attended?
March for our Lives, 3/24—We’ll gather with UCC members and others from around the country for a gun violence prevention march. Our group will meet at the UCC Washington Office in the United Methodist Building on Capitol Hill between 9 and 11:30 am (we’ll leave for the march at 11:30). For more information and location: March for our Lives FAQMaundy Thursday Service, 3/29—Join us for a 7:00 pm service of Communion & Tenebrae (Latin for “shadows”). This Holy Week Service will celebrate Jesus’s Last Supper and new commandment (Love One Another) and commemorate his death on the cross at Calvary. If you’d like to read a part in the Passion Story, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Good Friday Vigil, 3/30—We’ll gather at 1:00 pm for a vigil that includes meditation to the powerful tones of a gong at 1, 2 and 3 pm. Scripture readings and periods of silent meditation will take place in between. You are welcome to participate in any or all of the vigil.
Easter Sunday, 4/1—Join us for a 10:30 am service of Joyful Alleluias on this special day! The choir will perform Mozart’s Alleluia, and our children and youth will enjoy a celebratory Sunday School program and Easter Egg Hunt.
Unite to End Racism Rally, 4/4—On the 50th anniversary of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination, the National Council of Churches (NCC) is gathering people from across the country to remember the past, recognize King’s work, and launch a comprehensive effort to end racism. The UCC will be actively engaged in this multi-year initiative. The event will start with a silent prayer walk to the mall, followed by an interfaith prayer service and rally. To gather with others from our congregation, email email@example.com. Rally to End Racism.
Many Ways to Pray Retreat, 4/6-7—Join Kris Davis and Rosemary Peters at Bon Secours Retreat Center in Marriottsville, MD for a weekend of Opening. Using prayer, meditation, art and nature, we’ll explore many ways to open our hearts and minds in this season of rebirth. Cost: $175 single (overnight/3 meals) or $110 double. Space is limited, so please register now: firstname.lastname@example.org.