Sunday, March 7, 2010


Today, the Box spent a large part of the day waiting for me at Market Square Church, where we were celebrating the 150th anniversary of the church building on the square. In 1858, the church's second building, which was down the street, had burned down. It seems a disgruntled stable employee (ripped from today's headlines!) wanted to burn down the stable and, of course, the whole neighborhood went up in flames, too.

The congregation decided to rebuild in another location, and dedicated the current church building on March 18, 1860. So today, we had a special day planned by a committee I was on. We set up an exhibit of old photos and other items from the church's archives.

It started with a program on stained glass in general during the adult Sunday School class. It was an interesting survey of the styles and techniques of many centuries of glass art, presented by a stained glass historian and consultant from Philadelphia.

That was followed by a Communion service that included music by a brass ensemble and the singing of a hymn from the dedication service in 1860. The pastor read from some newspaper accounts of the fire and the 1860 dedication service, and the Communion service used came from a manual of that era.

Next, a delicious luncheon was served in a beautifully-decorated social hall. LeeAnn and Bob Ormsbee did the decorating. LeeAnn was a student of Rachel's and mine back in the day! Her son Matt was a friend of Sarah's when she was in high school. Small world!

LeeAnn used red tablecloths with gold napkins and gold star balloons. Lunch consisted of lasagna and a green salad, followed by a cool cake that sported the church's logo on it. I may have the only existing picture of it, which I will share with you in a minute.

I was asked to produce a little card that would stand on the table, sort of a commemorative piece. I made a card with a photo of the church from the other end of the square (which I had taken in 2006) and on the other side a collage of photos of the church sanctuary. It seemed to be well-received. One member asked if they would be selling them after the luncheon. That was a nice compliment. Naturally, I invited her just to take it from the table.

Finally, a program in the sanctuary focused on three important stained glass windows there. We learned about the symbolism of the windows, the manufacturing techniques, and differences from window to window. I was happy to see my friend Guy and four others who had come because of invitations I had issued! It was fun taking them to see the rest of the building, including other stained glass windows and a bronze plaque of the Ten Commandments produced by the Tiffany Studios.

Perhaps the only existing photo of the official Anniversary Cake.
Colorful flowers for a festive day.
This is the Resurrection Window,
made in London in the late 19th century.
My friend Carl Dorko took this picture.
This part of the church was added in 1882.
At one time, this steeple was the highest
structure between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

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