Going to the Chapel
About five years ago I was approached by a friend of our church, Jan Vance, with the germ of an idea. What if we had a display at the Harbor History Museum on the religious heritage of Gig Harbor? Surely, you cannot tell the story of the settlement of our community without including the role that faith played in the lives of many of our pioneers? Would I be supportive of such an idea?
I was, although I thought it might be uphill sledding pulling together the many pieces of that story and getting it told right. Well, Jan ran with the idea. Tirelessly. And last Friday, after five years of work, I had the privilege of attending the opening of a special exhibition, Going to the Chapel: Faith, Friction, & Fellowship on the Gig Harbor Peninsula.
I enjoyed it immensely! As you well know, Presbyterians have been a part of the Gig Harbor story for more than 100 years and Memorial Presbyterian Church, our predecessor, played a prominent role in the exhibition. You will see our old sign on the wall as soon as you walk in and you can’t miss a huge picture of Mary Jane Turner, the woman who pastored Memorial in some unorthodox and very effective ways—at a time when women pastors were unheard of among Presbyterians. In fact, near the end of the display, you will even discover Chapel Hill, including a great picture of our harbor baptismal service last summer.
Of course we are just a part of the story. It is fascinating to look at old pictures of church buildings surrounded by nothing but woods and try to imagine where they stand today. And various artifacts from the past—a corroded cross, an antique kneeler, an old pump organ and a fragile priestly garment—all combine to carry us back to a very different church era.
Last year’s Jubilee celebration turned our hearts and minds back with appreciation over fifty years of God’s faithfulness to our church. This exhibit takes us back another half century to the courage and faith of our earliest forebears as they proclaimed Christ in the wilds of rustic Gig Harbor. This exhibit runs until April 13 and it is well worth your time.
P.S. This Sunday I begin a new sermon series on the book of Galatians entitled RADICAL. Do you really understand what the gospel is? You will by the time we are done eavesdropping on Paul’s strong words to the church in Galatia