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Windham Church Celebrates 200 Years


Windham – Windham’s Congregational United Church of Christ (UCC) celebrated 200 years serving the community this past Sunday.  The celebration included the traditional morning worship, a catered dinner and a dedication service in the afternoon.
The church was established in Becket, MA, on May 20, 1811 prior to the residents heading west to establish a new community here in Windham. The group worshiped before they left Becket and worshiped shortly after they arrived July 27, 1811 marking the first service held in the new land.
The celebration started with a traditional worship service. The church was full to capacity with community members, former church members and family that came home to celebrate and commemorate the event. Former area resident and school teacher Ron Mercer played the accompaniment for the Singing Grannies; they provided the special music for the morning worship service as the church celebrated 200 years. Members, guests and friends took time to look over the history of the church before heading outside to take a commemorative photo on the church steps.
The service was followed by a dinner at the Brick Chapel catered by Monica Welton of Monica’s Café. About 120 folks jammed in the Brick Chapel to feast on chicken, ham, potatoes, veggies and luscious cupcakes.  Pioneer Windham resident “Isaac Streator” portrayed by Robert Malone of Grove City, Ohio stopped by to tell how the church was started and grew over the years. He told of how difficult it was to get to church during the muddy season and that at one time two services were held to accommodate those on each side of the “mud divide” that they had in the rainy season.  He also shared how folks would rally together to build the church, add pews and other items the church needed and  told  a brief history of the church’s early days, a history lesson everyone enjoyed.
Folks visited over dinner; some from out of town took time to catch up and check out the village they hadn’t been back to in a while.
Following the dinner, folks returned to the church for a consecration service.  Several former pastors of the congregation took part in the consecration service as well as a local minister from another church in the area. Pastor Patrick Malone current pastor of the Congregational UCC church read a letter delivered by representatives from the original church in Becket, Massachusetts written by their current Pastor Kevin Schmeil. Schmeil congratulated the church on their milestone and wished them well. Rev. Malone presented the Becket representatives, Eila Bell and Dean Williams, with a photo plaque and an ornament to take back to their church commemorating the event. Following the service the church bells tolled to indicate the church was consecrated and the festivities had come to a close.