Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Historical Sketch of the Norfolk Conference

This sort of thing is more what one might expect to find over at Boy in the Bands but I thought some folks might find it interesting.  While searching for reading material on the parsonage bookshelf I came upon a booklet entitled Historical Sketch of the Norfolk Conference of Unitarian and Other Christian Churches.  A colleague gave it to me some time ago. It was kinda cool getting to read it again and it made me wonder what had happened to some of the churches listed in it.  Some I know.  Others I do not.  So....

Here is the list

Dorchester Group:  Christ Church, Unity Church, Neponset, Norfolk Church, First Church--Meeting House Hill, Third Church--Richmond Street

Dedham Group: Westwood, Needham, Dover, First Church Dedham, Medfield, Walpole

Brookline Group:  Sherborn, Sharon, South Natick, Brookline, Hyde Park, Canton

Quincy Group:  Wollaston, Old Theodore Parker Church, Roslindale, First Church Quincy, Randolph, First Church West Roxbury

I think we should get together and have a picnic!  Does anyone know about these?

Here is what it said about the South Natick Congregation:

First Unitarian Parish, South Natick:  This society was incorporated March 1, 1828 as the South Congregational Parish (now the First Unitarian Parish), or "The Eliot Church."  The present meeting house was dedicated Nov. 20, 1828.  It stands upon the spot where the first meeting house for the Christian Indians was erected by them, under the missionary labors of Rev. John Eliot.  This is probably the fifth house in succession from the First Indian Church.  The first four were built in 1651, 1700, 1721, and 1749.  The last was completed in 1767 and was still standing in 1812.

Eliot Church provided two "Secretaries" (but no presidents, who all appear to have been lawyers) over the years: Reverend Joseph P. Sheafe (1879-1881)  and Rev. George H. Badger (1889-1891).  The booklet was published in 1900 when Eliot Church was served by Leverett Daniels, the first Meadville (it was just Meadville then) alum to serve the church.  I am the second.

PS, The sketch itself also notes the occasional presence of Universalist clergy at Conference meetings.  Foxboro and Roxbury in particular...

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