The First Congregational Church of Crown Point will celebrate “Heritage Sunday” Aug. 21.
The church will join the annual Heritage Day celebration at the Penfield Museum with a service at the historic Penfield Church , at 9:30 a.m. There will be no service at the “Church in the Park” this week. The service will be conducted by Pastor David Hirtle.
The Rev. S.L. Herrick, pastor of The First Congregational Church of Crown Point, began holding services in a rural portion of the community known as Ironville nearly 190 years ago, according to Hirtle.
To mark that effort, current members and the pastor of First Congregational Church of Crown Point will join with the Penfield Historical Society and all those in attendance in a Heritage Day service at the old Second Congregational Church Meeting House.
“The church records show that at a special meeting of the Congregational Society, in 1846, the Second Congregational Church of Crown Point was formed,” Hirtle said. “Congregationalism, inheritors of the free spirit of the Separatists that left England aboard a tiny vessel called The Mayflower in 1620, came together as a Christian community to build a church home where all would feel welcome, where all had a voice in the path they believed God was directing them.
“The faith of those early settlers, carved out of the wilderness of the Adirondacks, a church building in 1845 and dedicated in October of that year,” Hirtle said. “The building cost $1,600 and boasted a basement used for the education of its members and the community. It was a focal point of that small, growing community. It provided not only a place of worship, but a communal center for meetings, times of joy and of loss, and great struggle during the early days of this area.
“This special service will bring together friends and families from the area,” he added. “It will serve as a bridge from the days before electricity and electric organs to this time of computers and microchips.”
The service will recall hymns, played on the historic pump organ by Patricia Knapp, scriptures, prayers, anecdotal information and messages for both children and the young at heart.
“All of this will join not only tradition but the hearts of faith that sustained those original worshippers and still is relevant to this day,” Hirtle said.
Hirtle has issued a challenge. The friends and members of the parish are to attempt to “pack a pew” with their own friends and family much as would have been done in the early days of worship here in the greater Crown Point area.