Thursday, February 8, 2018

Conversations on History Mark First Church 350th Anniversary Year

Conversations on Middletown's Past:
Events in February and March
First Church 350th Anniversary

The Rev. Julia Burkey, pastor of First Church (UCC)
in Middletown.
Conversations on Middletown's Past is a series of public events hosted by First Church in Middletown, in our 350th anniversary year, to celebrate our history and to open up honest conversations about various episodes in our history. The first conversations begin in February and March. 

Rev. Julia Burkey, and the First Church staff & congregation, invite you to attend these events for a into the our history and the story of how our society evolved, as reflected in events in our church and our community.

February 11, 2018, 4pm

Listen and Learn: History and Racial Justice in Middletown

On Sunday, February 11, First Church hosts an event that brings Middletown’s history to life, connecting it with issues that we struggle with even today: Racial equity, social justice, and distribution of wealth and human rights. Special guests include Debbie Shapiro, president of the Middlesex County Historical Society (MCHS), activist Precious Price, conductor Julius P. Williams, composer Lee T. McQuillan, journalist, past historical society president Erik Hesselberg, and Bruce Macleod.

Ms. Shapiro will speak of the days when Middletown was a booming port whose traders and investors made huge fortunes by shipping their Connecticut-grown provisions to Caribbean ports and sending their ships home laden with cargo of highly profitable sugarsugar that was raised, harvested, and loaded by enslaved laborers.  Live orchestral music will accompany portions of this presentation, which is based, in part, on the MCHS ongoing exhibit, A Vanished Port: Middletown & the Caribbean 1750-1821.

This conversation takes place on Sunday, February 11, at 4pm, at First Church, 190 Court Street, in Middletown. Admission is free and open to all. Donations are welcome.  First Church is an open and affirming congregation, and there is free parking for all nearby. 

February 25, March 25,
April 22, Second Hour, 11am to noon

Second Hour is a First Church forum featuring speakers, musicians, authors, dancers, lecturers, and others invited to enrich our Sundays from 11am to noon, after the church service. 

Historian and writer Dione Longly will lead three second-hour conversations on First Church early history. An independent historian and writer, Ms. Longly served for many years as director of the Middlesex County Historical Society, and has published widely on Connecticut history. Her second-hour presentations occur on February 25, March 25, and April 22 and they are free and open to all.

Come to church, stay for coffee & snackand Second Hour. Then have lunch at one of Middletown's fine restaurants just a block away on Main Street. First Church is an open and affirming congregation. 190 Court Street, Middletown, CT. For more information see First Church in Middletown.

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