From the Pastor,
Rev. Carla's May 2002 Newsletter
This is a part of our church history I just learned about.
The Lincoln Highway
"This is a name to conjure by. It calls to the heroic. It enrolls
a mighty panorama of fields and woodlands; of humble cabins and
triumphant farm homes and cattle on a thousand hills; burrowing
mines and smoking factories; winding brooks, commerce laden rivers
and horizon lost oceans.
And because it binds together all these wonders and sweeps
forward till it touches the end of the earth and the beginning of
the sea it is to be named the 'Lincoln Highway".
It brings back to us the lank figure of the growing boy walking
the country roadway with borrowed books; the dreaming out, surveying
and building of his highway of the
soul, that should stretch from that mysterious ocean of the past,
whence he came, to the mysterious ocean of the eternal, to
which he would go;
along whose everyday travel he had a gentle word for the sorrowing,
a hand for the one in trouble, a sharp prod for the indifferent, a
word of council for the perplexed, an inspiration for the doubtful,
and love for all; the highway of the
soul of the "Great American".
Rev. Frank G. Brainard
First Congregational Church Ogden,
September 21, 1913
A couple of weeks ago, a fellow by the name of Craig Harmon, founder
and director of the Lincoln Memorial
Museum, called and said he would like to meet with me. He was
traveling across the country in a 1960's red fire engine following
the route the Lincoln Highway, and as
an archivist of the highway museum
in Gallon, Ohio, wanted to look up the Congregational Church. Of
course it no longer existed at its original 1ocation on
25th and Adams but someone in the neighborhood told him
about our church (it still has the name Congregational in it), so he
called and wanted to chat. He was searching out the historical
information regarding all connections with the Lincoln Highway, and
excerpts from the above noted sermon brought him to the Cottage.
What followed was a fascinating 3 hour conversation about his
man's vision regarding the Centennial Celebration of the Lincoln Highway and his
tribute to Abe Lincoln, who is
for him a hero of all heroes.
The gentle manner of this man, who truly is a pilgrim and a man
with a mission, offered a witness of the possibilities and realities
when one is dedicated to a vision that is beyond what anyone else
might see as possible. It was inspiring! I invite you to look at the
website to even begin to grasp the reality of his dream and now,
The work of the Spirit is amazing!
As we move into Pentecost and explore more deeply the aspects of
that work, we will discover that one of them is the "integrating" of
seemingly disparate parts, bringing them together so they fit
together in ways which bring about something new to discover, learn
In the course of this conversation and his recounting of his
devotion and work, it was clear to me that this man is directed by
more than just his own vision, and in further conversation confirmed
that he relies almost solely on the wondrous movement of the Holy
Spirit to guide the specifics of his vision.
I hated to see him go, and I know I will see him again,
somewhere, sometime. He left with several pictures of our church
(and one of me holding an original picture of Abraham Lincoln and a
lock of his hair) and a copy of the history which Gordon
Harrington put together some time ago.
Upon reading more closely Gordon's history as a refresher,
stimulated by this visit. Guess what seems to be a part of our
church's DNA? THE ARTS! (Reb, you win the prize: See the
"On a ...more cultural note,.... the ladies of the new church
sponsored an ART Loan Exhibition in the assembly hall in January,
1890.. The Standard reported: ‘some of the paintings in the
art department are excellent and reflect great credit upon the
artists who contributed their works for the use of the
exhibition'.... The Standard proclaimed 'all who would not
miss a treat will attend’".
The Spirit is moving! I do believe it was not coincidence
which brought Craig Harmon to the
church; and I do not believe that it is coincidence that there is a
connection in the interest in the ARTS by members of our
The Spirit is moving! All one has to do is read through this
newsletter to see the number and variety of activities this church
has identified as interests and projects of its members.
Easum and Bandy, church growth people, say that a church that has
moved from a static church to a disoriented church to a re-formed
church and growing church will need to take a breather periodically,
to consolidate gains and just rest from the work involved in
growing. BUT if it does not begin to work at changing and growing
again within 6 months, it will move from "taking a breather" to
becoming a static church once again.
I sense a new energy around our church. That is good news. The
Spirit is moving! And it is an answer to prayers. We are
blessed! Continue the prayers and continue the energy.
See you in church.