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Weekly e-Gram for members and friends of Dublin Community Church

April 23, 2010


The Confirmation Class is finishing their studies for the year.

One of the things I try to convey to these 14 year olds is a sense of historical perspective. Last fall we went outside and walked around our church building and grounds. They and their families see the Historic Gladden Chapel from the street every time they drive to the church. But, then they go to the back parking lot as they park, they walk in the back doors and enter the new sanctuary. They rarely go into the Gladden Chapel.

So last fall we walked the grounds. I pointed out the Gladden Chapel as we stood out on the street. We tried to imagine it in the early 1880’s when it was first built. Out front steps then faced a dirt (and often muddy) road that knew no cars.

The cemetery was there but the schools were not. Horse-drawn carriages and wagons were moving east and west in front of the church building.

It’s pretty difficult to get 14 year-olds (or 64 year-olds) to NOT imagine the four-lane highway in front of our church.

But, to gain even more “historical perspective” I was reminded the other day of a gathering we had last fall.

Many in Dublin Community Church sat down and had a meal with Muslims one evening. We each said a little something about our respective communities.

The Muslims are all from Turkey and though they are not from the same Muslim congregations, they told a bit of the long, long history of Turkey and its ties to Paul of the New Testament.

Then it was my turn to give a bit of our history. I smiled when I said that we could trace our local roots back “nearly 200 years.” That is but a scratch on the surface of the long history of the Turkish people. They could go back thousands of years. Still, they listened with respect and were pleased to hear of our history.

I think next fall, with the new Confirmands I will walk to the site of our original church building (on the NW corner of Bridge & High, if I am correct, and the building is long since torn down), then go to the 1844 building which still stands next to the Library parking lot. (It is now a business).

THEN we will return and try to envision the Gladden Chapel as the “modern” sanctuary; at least it was for the folks in 1877 when it was built.

I suppose that when you are 14, trying to imagine something back even 25 years is a mighty challenge, nevertheless, we will journey back 200 years again in the fall with a new Confirmation Class.

Peace, Rev. Bob Tussing

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