One-hundred years ago, when our building was officially dedicated, the congregation installed a time capsule in our cornerstone. Mrs. Maria Dimock, the only living charter member of the church, placed a copper box in the cornerstone. She was assisted by Mrs. Elizabeth Head, youngest daughter of the first pastor, Rev. Hitchcock, and by Mrs. Dimock’s five-year old great granddaughter.
The contents placed in the copper box reflected the history of the congregation and its position in the local community. Church records tell us the time capsule contains a directory of the current church, manuals and lists from years past, current newspapers, Sunday School rosters, original church documents of 1844 founding of the congregation, and historical reflections on the life of the congregation in Moline.
While we expect our records of time capsule contents to be incomplete and partial, what is contained in the time capsule and what survived a century stored in a copper box will soon be revealed.
On September 9th, the congregation will extract the time capsule. The church will gather immediately following worship, at approximately 11:00 am, to watch as stonemasons cut away the mortar of our cornerstone. We expect the documents to be fragile, so on this day we will only look at the copper box and peer inside to see its contents.
In the following days, we will digitize the documents and share them via social media. Then, on September 16th, the original documents will be displayed in our Fellowship Hall. We are developing programming for our Sunday Schoolers to explore the documents and learn about the history and ministry of the congregation. The documents will remain on display the following week, through September 23rd, with time for the community to view these historic documents on weekdays.
We are grateful to the generous and faithful people who built our lovely building and for the worship and ministry that has flowed from our building and into our community and the world. Their generosity and faithfulness helps us to imagine what we will leave as a legacy for the generations which follow, and what we will put into a time capsule of our own to be extracted by the congregation in 2118.