Members of United Church of Christ in Keene, from left, Marlene Baldwin, Chris Cornell, and Gordon and Diane Ellis display the period costumes they'll wear during a colonial Thanksgiving service on Sunday. (COURTESY)
Keene church to hold Colonial Thanksgiving service Sunday
A Colonial Thanksgiving service will take the church back to its worship roots, said United Church of Christ Rev. Gordon E. Ellis.
"I'll actually be wearing a wig because one of our early pastors wore a powdered wig, a George Washington wig," he said.
Many other members of the congregation will be in period dress thanks to church member Marlene Baldwin, who is organizing the costumes and working with the Cheshire County Historical Society and local schools to borrow historical clothing and theatrical costumes, Ellis said.
The service will start with a proclamation from the city read by Lane, Ellis said.
"Then he'd walk around the church and make sure everybody stays awake," Ellis said.
With the service, he is trying to capture as many aspects of those early services as possible from community offerings, from the head of households that wouldn't necessarily be money but could also be eggs or produce for those in need to public censures, and the giving of punishments to church members called out in the service for their behavior.
"They wouldn't have musical instruments. The organ was considered the devil's bagpipes," Ellis said.
"I thought it would be fun and also bring to life to what life was like in those days for worshipers," Ellis said.
"We are not going back to having an eight-hour service,'' he said.