Beacon Street Diary
Last Wednesday we had 8 visitors (1 from Connecticut and the rest from Massachusetts) to learn about various aspects of keeping church records. We had a very lively group and they asked a lot of great questions. There's nothing like good interactions with the participants to make a seminar more exciting.
We will be having our second session this coming Wednesday. Unfortunately for the folks who called in late this week, but great for us: We've sold this one out, plus one. Clearly, there's still interest in this topic.
A new section of this seminar has been a records management discussion. The library staff and some board members have helped me create a guideline that's designed for Congregational churches. It's available by request in hardcopy from the library and it's on our website.
Did you happen to notice that the picture of Diane Kessler of the Massachusetts Council of Churches, a tenant at 14 Beacon, was taken in our reading room? Sunday, October 15, 2006, Globe Magazine.
Peggy Bendroth's talk about "Children, Family Values, and the Congregational Way" was attended by 30 people yesterday. Some interesting tidbits I learned was that Horace Bushnell's work with churches and Sunday schools had a profound effect on the way in which Americans viewed child rearing. The concept of always being extra nice and polite was one of the cornerstones of his work. Peggy further explained that the problems that people feel we are facing these days in regard to how much time there is for family and kids has been at the forefront of our culture's concerns since the mid 19th century.
The afternoon roundtable panelists included Rabbi Debbie Cantor and Jane Smith to discuss the topics of conversation in relation to Judaism and Islam, respectively.
There has been a significant number of people interested in having Peggy give this talk again. If you are one of these people, please contact her.
The following is picture taken during the main talk with one of our board members, Susannah Baker, introducing Peggy (in green). Veteran board member, Arvel Steece sits opposite Peggy. Click on the image for a larger view.
Recently we've hosted a number of tours, seminars and visitors. The Simmons College student chapter of the Special Library Association came for a tour two weeks ago. The group visit was arranged by one of our former student interns, Annika Diedericks. Last week we hosted a large group of staff members from our neighbors, the Boston Athenaeum. They brought with them a design drawing of a concept for our Reading Room from their collection. It was amazing to see the similarities and differences in the current Reading Room design. We will be making a return visit to their library soon. Also Beth Nordbeck had arranged for a short seminar for one of her classes on how to use our collections and what we might have here to assist in writing research papers on Congregationalism. Yesterday, we had a lovely visit from Rev. Digby James and his lovely wife, Marianne. Dr. James is associated with the Congregational Library in London and was traveling in the US collecting research on George Whitefield.
If you are in Boston or coming to Boston, we'd enjoying having you stop in. If you have a group that you think would enjoy or benefit from a tour or seminar, please contact us at 617-523-0470 or email Claudette firstname.lastname@example.org. We have two seminars coming up on October 18 and 25. Please see our website for details and registration.
Registration is still open for our lecture "Children, Family Values and the Congregational Way" on October 12, 2006 at the South Congregational Church, Hartford, CT. Students may attend free of charge. Don't miss this opportunity for an engaging and enlightening day.
In the afternoon, our discussion of "Congregational Distinctives" will be an open roundtable with Jane Smith, Director of the Duncan Black Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian/Muslim Relations and Debra Cantor, rabbi of Congregation B'Nai Shalom in Hartford.
The Congregational Christian Historical Society Board will meet Wednesday, September 27 from 10:30 AM - 1:00 PM here in the Pratt Room. Board members may contact Peggy by emailing email@example.com or calling 617-523-0470.
If you see our Executive Director, Peggy, at the Haystack Bicentennial Celebration in Williamstown, please say hello. Peggy has taken a display highlighting some items from our very unique collections and brochures for our upcoming events. There is still time to head out to the celebration for the weekend and the weather should be fine. Click on the Haystack website for a schedule of events.
We wanted to let you know about a recent visitor to the Congregational Library. We were pleased to welcome The Rev. Robin Whitehead, Vicar of the Parish of St. Botolph's in Boston, Lincolnshire, namesake of Boston, MA and Graham Stewart-Smith, Parish Administrator. They were here to discuss the major refurbishing of their church, known affectionately since the 14th century as "the Stump". In 2009, St. Botolph's celebrates its 700th anniversary.
Historical Relationship Between Boston, Lincolnshire and Boston, Massachusetts:
The two Bostons will forever be associated with one of the outstanding events in America and English history. In 1630, leading burgers of Lincolnshire crossed the Atlantic, in the ship 'Lady Arabella' with Governor John Winthrop. They established a settlement at the mouth of the Charles River, to become one of the great cities in the New World. Governor Winthrop ordered the old name changed, 'That Tremontaine shall be called Boston,' in honor of the origin of the settlers.
Two years later the famous puritan vicar of St. Botolph's, John Cotton, also crossed the Atlantic to become the pastor of the First Church of Boston.
For more on the refurbishing of this 14th century landmark and its 700th Anniversary events, visit their website.
The brochures for our all day research seminar on October 18 and October 25 are being mailed today. You can also print a brochure from our website. If you missed the program in June, here's your opportunity to spend the day with us.
Our Fall Program brochure is now available on the website. Please return your registration to us as soon as possible. Come spend a day in creative engagement with Congregational history and its tradition of a learned, thoughtful pastoral ministry.