The Quincy Unitarian Church Home Page.
The list of Selected Sermons.
Presented October 25, 2009, by Dienna Drew
From the 100th Anniversary Unitarian Church History
Written by Dr. E.B. Montgomery
"What consists of the real life and meaning of the Church? From Rev. James Blake's Covenant and addresses of Frederick Hosmer and Dr. Joseph Robbins, all agree that the outstanding matter is freedom. Freedom is necessary for the mind if it is to receive that education which is the glory of mankind."
Dedication of the New Church, February 5, 1914
"Many of the members of the orthodox Protestant churches would not today subscribe to the Covenant which the Founders of this Society adopted seventy-five years ago. The world changes and we change with it. This Church has ever kept its doors and windows open to all the truths that science and thought has established. We think we cease to be Unitarians when we cease to grow. Every man and woman in this Society has the right to judge for himself or herself, unbound by any set of articles. We profess to be a Christian body, but every one is left to decide what Christianity is. All that we ask is that every one shall live according to his or her best convictions. Among Unitarians, differences of belief cause no bitterness. But just because we are free to handle the facts of life, nearly all of us reach about the same conclusions. There is a unity in diversity rather than a formal uniformity of opinion."
Rev. Daniel Sands, September 22, 1929
"The church some people never see at all. It is no dead pile of stones or unmeaning timber. It is a living thing. When you enter it, you hear a sound, a sound as of some mighty poem chanted. It is made up of the beating of human hearts -- of the nameless music of our souls."
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As I was reading through material for this talk which included newspaper articles, minutes of meetings, service programs, letters and diaries, I realized that we are repeating activities. The saying is "Learn about history, or we are doomed to repeat it". But if it is a positive activity, that can be a good thing.
How did we get to 1479 Hampshire? The previous large church was built in 1858, the Lincoln-Douglas debate year. The earliest recorded thought of leaving the 635 Maine Street church building is found in the annual Trustees' Report for the year 1910. "It has also been suggested by some that the church property be disposed of, a smaller church built with part of the proceeds and a sufficient amount be invested to secure a permanent income for the church." In recent years the church membership had grown smaller. The treasurer's report showed that the amount received that year was $2,435, expenditures amounted to $2,499, leaving a deficit of $64. It was a discouraging time in our history.
In the following year of 1911 the deficit grew to $1,000, much of it due to insurance, a new sidewalk, and repairs after the September rains. The next year the church would be billed $400 for street paving. At a March 13, 1912 meeting the trustees hoped to sell the property for $350 per front foot. At this same meeting Mr. Otto Mohrenstecher read a letter from Rev. Elliot resigning as minister of the church. They had many decisions to make.
A month later Mr. Mohrenstecher offered $29,000 for the 635 Maine Street property which was accepted at a later meeting, and the sale was final July 1, 1912. He was Fritzi Morrison's father.
At a May 24th meeting three locations for a new church were considered: south-west corner of 14th & Hampshire, north-west corner of 16th & Vermont, and a vacant lot north-west corner of 16th & Hampshire. The committee considered the price and location of the third property better than the others; the motion was passed ten to three.
In October 1912 the members were considering candidates for the next minister, and plans for the new church building. Plans of churches in Iowa City, Iowa; Madison, Wisconsin; Urbana, Illinois and Kansas City, Missouri were presented. Trustees E.F. Bradford and Samuel Eldred visited the Kansas City Church and in December recommended the building of a new church similar to it. That plan was accepted with the addition of the social and Sunday School rooms beneath the main auditorium. This was announced in the Quincy Daily Whig Dec. 7, 1912: (see article)
In April 1913 the contracts were let for the structure. During the summer of construction, this article appeared in the Quincy Daily Journal, August 30, 1913:
Famous Landmark is Being Razed
The old Unitarian church on Maine between Sixth and Seventh streets, which has been a landmark for years, will soon be a thing of the past. The steady growth of the city demands that churches be located in the residential district and the old structure is rapidly disappearing before the axes and saws of the workmen, In its place will rise a fine new office building and theatre. The old church has served as house of worship to many of Quincy's leading Protestant citizens. But is has served its time The old timbers were beginning to be affected with what is known as dry rot.
Our services were held in the Jewish Temple while construction was completed.
In November the decision for the next minister was reflected in two newspaper articles: Nov. 10 and Nov. 29, 1913. "Rev. Lyman Greenman, who will begin his pastorate of the Quincy Unitarian Church next Sunday, December 7, was born in Massachusetts, educated at Harvard college, Harvard Divinity School, and studied at Oxford College, England. He has been very prominent in social improvement work in the East, recently in New York City." The article of Dec. 15 reports on his first service as our minister: "REV. GREENMAN DELIVERS FINE SERMON SUNDAY DECLARES RELIGION IS TOO MUCH OF A FORMALITY NOWADAYS Yesterday morning the beautiful new Unitarian church was opened for worship for the first time, and the new minister, Rev. Lyman Greenman, delivered a forceful sermon to a large congregation which gave close attention to the speaker. 'The Essential of the Unitarian Faith' was the theme of Rev. Greenman's discourse." The lengthy article quotes the main parts of the sermon.
With the sale of the Maine Street church and its furnishings, amounting to 31, 250.00, they were able to build and furnish the new one, buy a parsonage at 1454 Vermont for $6,000 and have a balance of $2,000. I find it amazing that this church was constructed in about 8 months. This building cost $17,719.00. Some of the expenses were:
Buerkin & Kaempen Contract and extras
O'Neil Plumbing & Heating Co.
American Seating Co. pews
A.L. Trapp organ storage
Kilgen & Sons, moving & rebuilding organ
Quincy Gas & Electric Co.
Quincy Electric Co. electric fixtures
Quincy Stone Construction Co. walks & steps
Church lot 3000.00$13,374.00
The design of the church is described as Tudor Revival and Craftsman, similar to the country parish churches of late medieval England. Each individual stone block looks irregular, but closer inspection reveals careful cutting and fitting in order to create an effect of broken courses rather than random arrangement. The superb masonry design is especially evident in the cut stones above the doors and windows. The two second story sections - the tower room and the pastor's study and office - are stucco with half-timbering. All of the woodwork on the main floor is oak except the organ case which is butternut. The general design of the paneling and furniture in the chancel is a modified gothic. Mrs. Isabel Lynds, a member of our Ladies Industrial Alliance, furnished the new pulpit and chairs in memory of her husband Daniel and son Edward.
After the first church service in mid December 1913 the women's group wasted no time in beginning their activities in the new building. Thursday, January 22, 1914 the King's Daughters held an all-day meeting and decided to give a three-course dinner the next Thursday. The Quincy Daily Journal reported on Jan 30:
King's Daughters Give Pretty Supper at Unitarian Church
One hundred and sixty people sat down to the long snowy tables in the dining room of the new Unitarian church last night when the King's Daughters, an organization of young ladies of the church, gave a supper. The tables were very pretty in their decorations of Japanese apple blossoms, being sold to those who wished to buy them after the supper. The menu included meat loaf, gravy, brown mashed potatoes, home-made hot rolls, peach salad, cheese delights, chocolate ice cream and cake. The members of the Unitarian church are deriving no end of pleasure from their pretty new home of worship and the church is expected to grow in popularity.
Thursday evening, February 5, 1914 our new church was dedicated and Rev. Lyman Greenman was installed. This is a quote from the installation:
"The sixteen ministers who have held the pulpit during the Society's existence have greatly differed in religious and philosophical thought. Some have been conservatives and some have been radicals. Some have been optimists and some have been pessimists. We have had those who went about doing good and we have had closet students. We have had 'God intoxicated me' and we have had scientific materialists. We have had seers, poets and hymn writers. We have had pulpit orators and learned scholars. We have welcomed men of every opinion, without committing anyone to their opinions. We have given each a respectful hearing, mindful that truth is many sided, but we have always reserved the right of judgment, and have yielded obedience to the truth as we saw the truth."
Rev. Greenman responded with an address, saying he feels welcome here and encouraging the members to work together for the advancement of our church. Representing Quincy's clergy was James Smith, pastor of the Congregational Church and Rabbi Louis Kappin, each giving words of congratulations in their addresses. Unitarian ministers from Keokuk, Milwaukee, and Chicago, and our former minister. Rev. Elliott gave short talks. The program included organ selections by William Spencer Johnson, two vocal solos by Mrs. Rome Arnold, and hymns.
In April 1915 our church held the 21st annual graduation of the Blessing Hospital School for Nurses. The detailed newspaper article tells us, "The commencement address was delivered by [our] Rev. Greenman. The theme of his talk was: 'Opportunity of the Nurse in the Reconstruction of Society,' and his remarks were forcible and inspiring."
In January 1914 a campaign was initiated to place memorial windows in the church. Dr. Abbie Fox Rooney, a daughter of one of our pioneer members, although having moved to California in her later years, suggested the project. Relatives and friends of past members donated a total of $1,374. The windows were dedicated two years later.
The Founders Window, a scene in Indian Mounds Park looking out to the Mississippi River, honors our founding members. It was dedicated April 23, 1916. Michael Flanagan discovered a photo of this scene in the book the Herald-Whig is offering for sale this fall.
One of the southern windows is the Palm window given in memory of Robert S. Benneson by his wife. I feel that credit can be given to Mr. Benneson for his continued support, financial and otherwise, that we have had a Unitarian Church through all these years. His choice of Quincy for his home benefited our church and our city.
The middle window is given in memory of David Eaton Lynds by Isabelle Lynds.
It depicts the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem built in 691 AD, a Muslim shrine for pilgrims. According to Islamic tradition, the rock at its heart is where Muhammad ascended to Heaven accompanied by the angel Gabriel. Jews believe the rock is the place where Abraham prepared to sacrifice Isaac, and also this is the area of both Solomon's Temple and Herod's Temple.
The western window honors a founder, General James D. Morgan.
One of our Heritage Room windows is the Pilgrim fathers signing a covenant aboard the Mayflower, November 11, 1620. This was dedicated October 15, 1916, given by Sarah E. Walton in memory of her parents Mr. & Mrs. Samuel Jackson and her husband Henry P. Walton for whom Walton Heights was named, an area in north-east Quincy. Dedicated December 24, 1916, the William Penn window shows Penn's treaty with the Delawares, November 1682. Mrs. Berrian gave this window in memory of Judge Benjamin Berrian who contributed Berrian Park and most of South Park to Quincy.
In June 1916 members participated in a pilgrimage visiting the three former church sites with an address given at each, north side of Maine between 3rd & 4th, south side of Jersey between 6th and 7th, and 635 Maine Street. Charles Seger, a great grandson of Robert S. Benneson, planted ivy at the front of the new church. Following was a social gathering, supper, music, and an evening service.
A very long, detailed article in the Quincy Daily Journal of June 2, 1919 describes our 80th anniversary. "The memorable occasion was celebrated with a service so simple in its quiet dignity and absence of ostentation that it went straight to the hearts of the congregation gathered together to pay tribute to the courage and fearlessness of those who organized the first liberal church and to the men and women who have been true to its ideals ever since." "Considered to be the four great milestones along the way were the address of Dr. Channing, the sermon given by Ralph Waldo Emerson, the higher criticism of the Bible, and the theory of evolution."
On January 7, 1920 the name of our church changed from "The Second Congregational Society" to "The Unitarian Church".
My mother's first diary entry mentioning the Unitarian Church is Feb. 8, 1931, "Papa had gone to the Unitarian Church." and on April 19, "Papa and Mama went to the Unitarian Church." Then in the fall, on September 20, 1931, "Papa and I went to the Unitarian Church. Rev. Daniel Sands' sermon was about the lines he had written on the board in front of the Church, 'From sleek Contentment set me Free, and fill me with a Buoyant Doubt.' It is a wonderful thought and inspired me with a new hope and faith. When I fall back into 'sleek Contentment' - it is so easy - I have really greatly fallen back, and when I pull myself out of it I am ashamed, and surprised at myself for not being more broad minded." Mom was 21 years old when she wrote that.
From her diary of Oct. 18: "Rev. Sands spoke very interestingly - mostly about the fallacies of the government. [ We would never do anything like that!] He said he was going East, to preach next Sunday in a church in New England, and to attend a Unitarian Conference."
Wednesday Oct. 21: "Tonight Papa, Mama, & I went to the Unitarian Church. We had received a letter signed by Mrs. Emil Halbach and Mrs. Zoe Swanberg which frightened us not a little. Rev. Sands is a guest minister to a Unitarian Church in Boston this coming Sunday, and he might accept the invitation to become their minister, for they have none. He has had reason to be disgusted here, and unless we do something to make things look brighter, we are going to be forced to close our Church. Mrs. Halbach spoke to us, but we came to no conclusion other than that we must bring up our attendance on Sunday mornings and our membership. Also to make all members active. Some of those with their names in the book never come. [Then, writing her parents' and her name] Finally Mr. & Mrs. H.E. Dege and Bertha Dege signed the book. Two others signed, so when Mr. Sands comes back he will have that encouragement."
Oct. 25: "Frieda and Clara Lily [Mom's younger sisters] are starting to Sunday School at the Unitarian Church this morning, and Papa & I are going with them. We went down stairs. Mrs. Sands asked if I would help her arrange the flowers - Mrs. Russell Williams and Mrs. Cohen furnished them. I was introduced to Dr. Clayton Bowen - the minister who is taking Rev. Sands' place today. Mrs. Williams took Mrs. Emil Halbach's place today and taught the class to which Frieda and Clara Lily were added. They were taught not to use slang, [I think we all know that Frieda and Clara Lily have followed that advice well] and after the lesson they colored pumpkins and cut them out. Later we attended the service. Earl Pond sang 'Invictus'."
This is the letter to members that came a few days later:
October 29, 1931
Our minister has returned from Philadelphia and Boston where he was invited to take part in the respective programs of these Unitarian organizations. Sunday, November first, he will again be with us, in our own church pulpit, and we are to have the pleasure of hearing his address on THE CHURCH AND THE FAMILY, the subject he so capably discussed in the Philadelphia Conference.
What Mr. Sands said in this talk has had NATION WIDE publicity and although certain sensational papers gave most inaccurate accounts, his address was reported in such papers as the "New York Times," and "The Boston Transcript." A "feature" article written by Mr. Sands, was published in the October twenty-fifth issue of the "conservative" Philadelphia Public Ledger, and YOU and I are to have the privilege of listening to him Sunday morning!
Will you BE THERE to hear him? Will you BE THERE to pledge him your support?
A business man is judged by his clothes, a business house by its stationery, but the success of a minister in his church is determined by the number of members in his congregation. May we depend upon you to help us make our church attendance worthy of our minister?
In the Success of our Church
Mrs. Harold Swanberg
Do we have a letter writer like that today?
Rev. Sands did stay two more years, then we had Rev. Jenks for two years. Rev. Robert Pratt came in October 1936 and was our minister for ten years.
The Easter service of 1939, our centennial year, was very special. The "Service of Christening" for five children included James Berrian Winters, son of Mr. & Mrs. Victor Winters and brother of Nancy Winters. The Vocal Solo "Flower in the Crannied Wall" was given by Fritzi Morrison. The Recognition of New Members for 18 people included Frieda Dege and her sister Clara Lily Dege. The sermon title was "When Life is New". During this centennial year the chancel candelabra table and small matching table were designed, made and donated by Herman Dege, my grandfather.
At this point some of the information I will give to you is from Frieda Marshall's book of our history, "Beyond the Centennial Year" which I recommend. As Mary Belle Coffman said, "It's a real page turner."
This pulpit was originally fixed and in the middle, but in 1939 it was separated from the floor so it could be placed according to the requirements of any particular service and better for weddings.
Sunday morning attendance increased 25% in the 1944-45 year, with 57 pledges amounting to $2,080.
The continuing problems of the kitchen prompted this letter to the board: "We should like to call your attention to the need for some improvement in the condition of the kitchen. The plaster of the east wall is crumbling badly. In fact, the mortar . . . falls off onto the table -- a bad condition where food is being prepared."
Extra crunchy gourmet delights?
The Six O'Clock Club, then in its eighth year, donated $20 toward the painting of the kitchen. The members of the Evening Hour Alliance redecorated the tower room for the Junior Church class taught by Clara Lily Dege in September, 1945. Ted Morrison, 15 years old, earned $1.95 cutting the grass.
In 1945-46 the annual budget was $4, 205, with the minister's salary of $2,800. In the fall of 1946 Mr. Pratt tendered his resignation, needing to move to the better climate of California. Mr. Pratt's success was shown in a 60% increase in membership, and in the community, his activities with the Adams County T.B. Association, the Garden Club, and work concerning juvenile problems and family rehabilitation. Mrs. Pratt was recognized for her work with the Girl Scouts and young people of the church, the Evening Hour Alliance, and membership in the Women's City Club and Friends in Council.
In the spring of 1947 Mr. Rex Aman came to us with his wife Agnes and their two children, ages 5 and 3. We had no parsonage and housing could not be found, so living quarters were arranged in the church.
The custom was to send out postcards every week giving the topic of the next Sunday's service. Mr. Aman requested a typewriter and mimeograph equipment for a newsletter. In the fall of 1949 "The Quincy Unitarian" was published and mailed.
In an October sermon Rex Aman declared that no person, regardless of color of skin, should ever be barred from becoming a Unitarian or from visiting the Unitarian Church.
While the Aman family lived in the church their son John Franklin was born. It is difficult to imagine a family with three children, one a newborn, living in this building. This situation did little for the church's reputation in this community. The home west of the church was for sale, but they could not come up with the funds to buy it. The next plan during an August 5, 1949 meeting was to build a six room, two story stucco home with a basement on the north lot of the church property. The following month it was decided to buy the home at 1435 Hampshire for $8,050 with necessary improvements to cost another $5-6,000. It was a good design and close to the church but needed some up-dating such as a heating system. Members volunteered services in some of the areas of plumbing, remodeling, insulation, roofing, painting, cornice repair, electrical, and concrete work. The estimated worth of the finished house was $20,000, much more than the amount invested.
After living in this home for a few months, Rev. Aman wrote this message to the congregation: "Many have asked how we like it. It's wonderful! After three years of church dwelling, it is a pleasant contrast in comfort and cheerfulness for all the family. We think it will prove to be satisfactory . . . for many ministers and their families."
Also in 1949 the women's group, Chancel Evening Alliance, began the after service refreshments or "coffee hour", so we can say we are celebrating the 60th anniversary of those tasty treats.
To give us an idea of the church's financial situation in 1950, the records show that there was an effort to increase pledges to total $4,645. They could not raise the minister's annual salary of $3,200, so he was allowed to use the parsonage rent -free for a trial period. Mr. And Mrs. William Spencer Johnson, organist and violinist, had not been paid for a long time and the amount due was over $200. The treasury balance was $222.
An April 1951 church service had a panel of six members, including Nancy Winters' mother Charlotte, discuss the theme of "Our Church". What are the chief assets? Why do we like our church? Why aren't we able to accomplish more - faster? What we liked included: sense of togetherness, dignified services, not being scared into believing anything, freedom of individual action in the name of religion, and comradeship between pulpit and pew. The problems were: limited finances, indifference to church activities, and "we cannot depend on just a few people."
Anything there sound familiar? I feel that we have improved on those problems.
The first PA system was installed in the fall of 1951 by Earl Sloan who donated a loud speaker, microphone and amplifier. The hearing aid system was added in 1954.
In February 1953 it was reported that the total membership was 143, with 82 active members. The search for a new minister offered a salary of $4,000 plus the parsonage. In July Rev. Thomas Maloney was approved. He was 31 years old, had served one year in the Davenport Unitarian Church; had a wife Betty and three daughters.
The Good Samaritan Home Association planned to build a nursing home facility at 21st and Harrison. Two of our active members, Dr. Ted Stebbins and Ed Hess, served on their board. Church members pledged $4,300 in the fund-raising.
"Unitarian participation in this program has evoked a high esteem from the protestant churches of Quincy."
In 1954 the man hired to cut the lawns of the church and the parsonage demanded that the church purchase a power mower. This was considered out of the question but the mower would be taken into the shop for sharpening, if needed. Paul Morrison, Ted's father, took the responsibility of the care of the lawns, and Ray White used his power mower for the job in September to the end of the season.
The Chancel Evening Alliance planned a Vacation Craft School during the last two weeks of August 1954. Frieda Marshall volunteered leadership, with Betty Maloney, Charlotte Winters, and Ruth Harris serving on the committee, and other leaders were my mother, Bertha Danhaus, and her sister, Patsy Rose Dege. This plan prompted improvement of the basement rooms, cleaning and painting by Paul Morrison with his crew of four. The Vacation Craft School activities, games and music was enjoyed by 30 children, including myself at age 11. A newspaper was produced with articles written by the students. The listed expenses of the two weeks was $14.80. And we even had snacks.
The heating system has certainly had a long history, that is at least talking about it. The church was originally heated with coal. Gas conversion was suggested in 1943 but not possible because of wartime priorities. In 1945 the gas equipment would have cost about $160, a good savings on the coal bill and janitor service. The board of trustees did not act on this. Nine years later, early in 1954, there was still discussion about replacing the hand-fed coal furnace with a gas heating system. But first the plaster needed to be repaired in the boiler room. It was installed and ready for use in October, 1954.
Charges for renting the church were $2.50 per night when heat was not needed, $3.50 when heat was necessary, and $1.50 additional for use of the kitchen.
In December, 1954 Dr. E.B. Montgomery died at the age of 96, believed to be the nation's oldest practicing physician. He wrote our "100th Anniversary" history booklet in 1939. Early in his practice he was a physician to John Wood, founder of Quincy.
The foreign film series premiered March 29, 1955 with "Kind Hearts and Coronets".
The oak table and six chairs we have in the Heritage Room were purchased in 1959 from Roy Bennett Furniture Company for $250. Elizabeth Stebbins sketched the Founder's Window for notepaper printing, packaged with envelopes and sold for $2 a set.
Rev. George Crist was our minister 1960-1968. He earned a Bachelor of Divinity degree from Northwestern Theological Seminary in Minneapolis with graduate work in philosophy at Iowa State University and had served Lutheran churches in Wisconsin from 1949 to 1955. In Quincy he was a reporter for The Quincy Herald-Whig. At the January, 1961 King's Daughter's meeting he explained his heresy trial and dismissal from the Lutheran Church.
In 1961 Bertha Danhaus encouraged the formation of a Memorial Committee. She knew about this fund in my father's Trinity Church and that the custom of giving memorials instead of flowers for funerals was becoming popular. At the board meeting Jane Shair made the motion, also appointing my mother as chairperson, much to her surprise. Ted Morrison and Tom Moore served on the committee.
In the fall of 1969 the Order of Service quoted Emerson: "I like the quiet church before the service begins better that any sermon." The suggestion that we enter the church and remain silent before the service was largely disregarded. Rev. Hoagland thought the quiet time would be more attractive to visitors and creative religious meditation. I think we are just too happy to see each other to be quiet.
The Wayside Pulpit was built by Fred Stephan and installed in 1973. Frequently I have heard a new member say it was the first thing noticed at our church and drew the person to us. Also in 1973 The League of Women Voters met in the church on the 3rd and 4th Thursdays from 1:30 to 3:15.
Many improvements were realized during the Rev. Cal Knapp years, 1971-1976, in the church building and in a special feeling of gladness in our relationships. It was his suggestion for the "talk back". His great idea that we are still enjoying is our Plant Sale. The first was in 1973 with a variety of plants donated by members, a spring luncheon and a slide show of exquisite flowers and garden scenes narrated by Cal Knapp. The profit was $167. We could not realize what the future held for this activity. My son Michael was 1 year old at the time. A few years later he and Susan were helping me make donuts in the kitchen for several years.
In 1978-79 my mother and I were teaching about cultures of the world in her R.E. class. This led to our suggestion for a Chinese New Year celebration. She made a dragon costume from an old bed spread, long enough for a line of children to walk under. They decorated it with triangular scales and made the dragon head. The congregation had song sheets and we all sang a Chinese folk tune "Shake Hands with the Dragon". This means finding the courage to do something new and unknown and finding joys and satisfactions that might not happen otherwise. As the dragon moved through the main and side aisles the children stuck their hands out of the dragon's side to shake hands with the congregation. Mom and I made up another song, "If a dragon makes you happy, clap your hands" and all enjoyed those 5 verses. The dragon made its appearance approximately biannually and one year John Sperry brought little Chinese firecrackers to accompany our songs. I have a photo of the dragon for you to see.
When my mother was teaching her class about other religions of the world in 1981, she thought our sanctuary should have something to recognize that we draw inspiration from many religions. When she discussed this with Carol Meyers whose children were in the R.E. class, Carol said one of her hobbies was making cloth banners. Carol made the quilted decoration and Mom made the little framed explanation of the symbols.
In 1990 the pewter chalice was presented to the church in honor of Bertha Danhaus recognizing her many church activities, especially with the Memorial committee. An engraved plaque was presented to Bertha.
In December the members who were 80 years and older were honored for their many years of work for the church. These included Charlotte Winters, Ted Stebbins, Bill Sexauer, Eve Norton, Fritzi and John Morrison, Tom Moore, Lloyd Harris, and Bertha Danhaus. Our minister, Rev. Lynn Smith-Roberts declared, "These are our saints."
Lynn organized a peer support group for HIV/AIDS patients and by 1992 had served over 25 people and provided the only HIV support service within 110 miles of Quincy.
The Quincy Area Ministerial Association, in writing a mission statement which excluded certain local clergy, finally abandoned the restrictions and welcomed the Rev. Lynn Smith-Roberts as a member. The group had a meeting in our church and "they especially enjoyed the Founders' Window and the wayside pulpit messages."
Our ordination service for Dr. Robert Manning was November 17, 1996. The four o'clock ceremony began with a processional of members and invited guest speakers. Our church board president, Sandra Morrison, led the acts of ordination and installation, followed by the minister's response. A reception followed in the Fellowship Hall. A chalice-designed stole created by Carol Nichols and Libby Haggard was a gift to the minister. A video of the event was produced by Geoffrey Mendenhall.
A few days after the ordination Dr. Manning wrote, "I have become firmly convinced of the vital role our church plays within the greater Quincy community in helping anyone who comes through our door deepen his or her intellectual and spiritual life."
That is our continuing challenge.
I hope this has been interesting for you to see how we have repeated many activities, thoughts and, yes, problems. And have grown with many new ideas.
The members of 95 years ago, in 1914, would be amazed and gratified to see the improvements we enjoy today, especially our addition.
Blessing: old church to new church
Pilgrimage celebration of our 77th anniversary, June 4, 1916
Stand firm, gray rock.
Tough-weathered beam, hold fast.
Staunch walls, proud roof
Repel the wintry blast!
Glow warm within
With highest hope and joy,
Clear flame of love
Burn brighter, warmer still.
The Quincy Unitarian Church Home Page.
The list of Selected Sermons.