Author Archives: abbyhenderson

First Church’s architecture: pictures and video

Last week, our own Rev. Dr. Clyde Steckel gave a second-hour presentation on the architecture of First Church.  By popular demand, here are the slides he showed.  Click on each picture to enlarge.  Unfortunately at this time I don’t have the captions, but they are forthcoming!

At Brad Schumann’s suggestion, we also showed an incredible 8mm silent film of the steeple being taken down in 1967 and replaced in 1971 (video courtesy of Pete Norum).  Watch below, and be warned, it takes a little while for the action to start:




Protected: Church School Sunday: video of kids singing (same pw as Talent Show)

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Protected: First Church Talent Show: Pictures and Video! (email for password)

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Member Lenten Reflections: 7

Xan Laurence contributed her thoughts on prayer and an old hymn from childhood.  Thank you, Xan…

My heart an altar?


I am not a prayer.

More accurately, I am not a pray-er. I am not one who prays, much, except in the “Please, God” sense – “Please, God, let me find a parking space”; “Please, God, let me not be late”; “Please, God, let me win the lottery”… Even an occasion which perhaps should have evoked a prayer – a narrowly avoided car crash – instead found me repeating, “Oh, $#!+, oh $#!+” for as long as it took to avoid hitting anything and regain control of my vehicle.

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Member Lenten Reflections: 6

Jean Anderson wrote this piece on the meaning of prayer in her life.  Thanks, Jean!

Paying Attention

Every night, when I lay me down to sleep, I say a prayer. There’s not much to it; for myself, I ask only for strength, courage, confidence, and other qualities I need but do not possess. I often add prayers for the survivors of devastating natural disasters, or for friends and family members who are going through difficult times. No matter how sleepy I am, and no matter where I am, I don’t skip this small nightly ritual. It would feel strange not to pray before sleep.

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Member Lenten Reflections: 5

Maggie George wrote this piece about a powerful encounter with God’s presence.

It was a Dark and Stormy Night

Our bedroom was exposed on 3 sides to the the storm that night.  There were amazing gale force winds and pelting heavy rains.  We were in a wide open pasture land with nothing between us and the storm coming in off the ocean.  I found myself pacing, worrying and watching for leaks around the windows or tree branches about to break.

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Member Lenten Reflections: 4

Many thanks to Cynthia Hobbie for this thoughtful reflection on prayer.

Prayer, an Enigma

"Prayer Painting" by Kitty Pechet

For years I have struggled to understand what prayer is, where it comes from and where it goes. Is it an anguished cry in a moment of frustration or deep insecurity? Is worrying  a prayer? Is it that breathlessness that comes when one is looking at a beautiful piece of art or listening to music? Is it sharing a moment of laughter with someone you love? What does saying the “Lord’s Prayer” with others in worship mean? What does it mean when someone says they will pray for you? I have approached the meaning of prayer and circled around it, but honestly, I just don’t get it.

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Member Lenten reflections: 3

Thanks to Russ Hobbie for this photograph of prayer flags on St. Simon’s Island, GA.

Member Lenten reflections: 2

This beautiful post comes from Kris Felbeck, who writes about the profound experience of loss and grief in the family.










In Fall 2000 my father was dying.

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Member Lenten reflections on prayer: 1

Thanks to Kathy Haskins for contributing the first selection, a poem written for the occasion of Ash Wednesday.


Ashes to ashes and

Dust to dust

Star dust and Earth dust we are


Of death come to fleeting life

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