On May 1, 1768, seven men and four women signed a covenant establishing the First Church in Hartland. On Sunday, May 20 we had a wonderful day of celebration for the 250th anniversary. We were called to the morning service by the ringing of our bell by Mia Crunden. Members of the church read the original covenant rededicating ourselves to the church. We also sang the Dedication Hymn that was written by Rev. Lemuel Foster in about 1840. It was sung throughout the years for special services. It was last sung at the 200th anniversary. This year the last two lines, and an additional stanza, were found which had been missing at the 200.
The Hartland Historical Society was very involved in our celebration. Much thanks to Joanne Groth for all her help. She put together a slide show of photos – old and new. A beautiful display was put together in the church of old letters and artifacts. Also, a bulletin featuring photos of the church and bell. The historical Society has a quilt that was made by the ladies of the church and presented to Rev. Warner and his wife when they left the church in 1876. Remarkably, it was found by a woman interested in quilts when on a trip to the Netherlands. She researched the names on the quilt and eventually it was returned to Hartland. The Abby Ward quilters made a beautiful replica in 2004. Together they hung in our sanctuary for the day!
We all enjoyed a lovely picnic (inside due to the weather). Bill & Siobhan Murphy, Amy Goodovsky, Dararith and Ben Ly and Janine Baryza-Ly entertained us with some great music. It was a wonderful time of fellowship. We were so pleased to have Merilyn Stocklen and Liz Taylor here to celebrate with us.
At 1:00 we returned to the Sanctuary for a presentation by Nancy Huber. It was a look back at our rich history and our beginnings and our present place in our community. We are reminded of all that has been done to keep our church and the parsonage and the Parish Hall maintained and purposeful in our community. We continue our mission work locally and abroad. With God’s blessing the church will continue to be a beacon of God’s love for another 250 years!! The afternoon ended with the Hartland Historical Society’s annual May meeting.
Many thanks to all who made it a special day. Thanks to Rev. Zappulla and all those who did the music. Thanks to the committee: Susan LeClerc, Chairman, Lisa Sheehan, Megan Lindgren, Nancy Huber and Bill Murphy. There are so many to thank who helped with food and set-up. Thanks to Kerensa and Jonathan Sawn, Brett Watson, Tom LeClerc, Karen Hill, Rob Henselder, Keith Huber, Cindy Willis, Dawn & Mia Crunden, Tara Nielsen, Carole Vincent, Heather Leeman, Jen Gomez.