Sunday, May 26, is Heritage Sunday, a time to
reflect upon and learn about the long and rich
history of the Presbyterian Church. Heritage
Sunday falls on the Sunday closest to the date of
the first General Assembly of the Presbyterian
Church in Philadelphia, PA, 1789. This is the
closest we have to a "birth-date" as Presbyterians.
On Heritage Sunday we will also celebrate our
church, First Presbyterian Church in Clinton. For
161 years, First Pres. has continued to serve the
Clinton Community. The location has remained
within a few blocks of its origin. In the 150th
Anniversary booklet, we are reminded that the
ministry and mission of our church began in 1858.
Clinton residents wrote a letter to the Presbytery
"We believe that the interest of Christ's Kingdom
and our own spiritual welfare would be promoted
by the organization of a Presbyterian Church in
this place." James H. Kennedy and Samuel Scott
were elected as the first Elders. And the rest as
they say is history, Whether worshiping in a
frame building until 1926 or lifting voices in praise
at our current building, our church never stopped
sharing the Good News of the Gospel in Word and
deed in our church, our neighborhoods and
around the world.
What is your favorite memory; the 1981 Jubilee
service or the 2007 Hog Roast? Maybe you
remember with fondness the Dirty Deeds project
or Singspiration Sundays.
I discovered these memories and many more in
the Memories booklet published in 2008. With the
turn of each page I want to learn more about the
ant that kept Don Kaiser from concentrating in
church because that ant walked around and
around a big hat on the head of a church lady
sitting in front of him. Sherry Himes' story of
"creatively" drawing a camel with three humps as
a Sunday School project for Christmas makes me
smile. With the turning of these pages and many
more, the heritage of the church unfolds.
As Raymond Hartner writes in the Memories
booklet, The smiles and whole-hearted hugs that
I get from our church ladies and kids solidify the
fact that we are a church, a family in Christ. That
is the most special thing of all."
As we prepare for Heritage Sunday, May 26,
please search for historical pictures, articles or
artifacts that we can display in fellowship hall.
And make some telephone calls. In the short time
I've been your pastor, I regularly hear the
comment, "They used to come to church, I don't
know why they don't come anymore." Let's
welcome home our Presbyterian friends and
family back to church on this special day.