Celebrating the 200th Anniversary of the Historic Meetinghouse on Bedford Common

First Parish, Unitarian Universalist, on Bedford Common – Image (c) Bob Bass, all rights reserved

Submitted by First Parish in Bedford

All are welcome to a special celebration on Sunday. October 1 for the 200th Anniversary of the beautiful Meetinghouse on Bedford Common. There will be multiple events and the public is invited to each and all.

Festivities begin with the 10:00 AM service with special guest Rev. Andrea Greenwood. Born into a family of builders, before heading off to theological school Andrea spent two years doing research with architectural historians at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard and is interested in exploring church as the area where nature and the built environment intersect. She is a Unitarian Universalist minister who has served congregations in Atlanta, GA and Watertown, MA, where she helped found the Special Education Advisory Council and was long a member of the Disability Commission.  She and her husband, Mark Harris, have together produced four sons and one book, An Introduction to the Unitarian and Universalist Traditions.

This will be immediately followed by an 11:00 AM rededication of the Meeting House by Rev. John Gibbons, Senior Minister. Those gathered will process to the Common led by special guests – ­the Bedford Minutemen Company, Representative Kenneth Gordon, and Senator Mike Barrett. Short presentations will be made by Sen. Barrett and Rep. Gordon. A citation from Governor Baker’s office will be read, followed by Rev. Gibbons presiding over the rededication of the Meetinghouse.

Immediately following these festivities, the church will be open for a light lunch potluck for all in attendance. The Gallery @ First Parish will exhibit paintings and photos of First Parish over the years, and there will be several spots for viewing the new 10-minute video, First Parish Meeting House – 1817 – 2017, by Ron Cordes.

At 1:00 PM, the First Parish Adult and Youth Choirs will be joined by several choir members from First Church of Christ Congregational in a spectacular, participatory performance of Joyful, Joyful: Two Centuries of Hymns. All are welcome!

On this day, a special collection will be taken to support the following:

  • The Boston Museum of Fine Arts, for housing and safeguarding First Parish’s communion silver;
  • The Bedford Historical Society, for safeguarding of important First Parish and Bedford artifacts; and
  • The Andover-Harvard Theological Library at the Harvard Divinity School, for archiving First Parish’s records and documents.

First Parish in Bedford is grateful to these institutions and organizations for helping to preserve the history of Bedford, First Parish, and the beautiful Meetinghouse on the Common.

For additional information visit the First Parish website www.uubedford.org, or call 781-275-7997

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