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Ogden United Church of Christ,
Congregational

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The Reverend Carla Gilbert is our pastor.  You may contact her by mail, phone, or e-mail.

United Church of Christ, Congregational
3350 Harrison Boulevard
Ogden, UT  84403
office phone: (801) 392-5012
email: OgdenUCC@aol.com
or carla.gilbert@ecunet.org

 

From the Pastor, 
Rev. Carla's May 2002 Newsletter Message

Dear Ones,

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;

a highway 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, Utah
September 21, 1913

A couple of weeks ago, a fellow by the name of Craig Harmon, founder and director of the Lincoln Memorial Highway 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, life-work: www.lincoln-highway-museum.org

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 or share.

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 Moderator Musings)

"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 church.

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.
Peace and Blessings,
Carla

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