April 2023

Saturday, April 22, 2023
On Saturday, April 22, First Congregational Church of Detroit (#36) invited me to journey on a flight to freedom in their Underground Railroad Living Museum. The project, launched with a grant in conjunction with the 300th anniversary of Detroit in 2001, has heightened awareness and fostered community for over twenty years. The congregation transformed the church basement with props and sets depicting a journey from New Orleans to Detroit. Costumed members simulate stops and stations that are so compelling I screamed in fright at one point. With care, they illustrate the courage of people seeking freedom and the risks taken by those who aided them in that quest. The message carries the abolitionist movement of the mid-nineteenth century to the present-day, summoning travelers to seek freedom from whatever oppresses them. Members of First Detroit refer to this ministry, among other outreaches to the city, as their weekday congregation which complements their Sunday worshipping congregation.

First Congregational Church of Rockwood, Michigan, (#37) welcomed me to worship on Sunday morning. It was a joyful day as they received two new disciples into membership. By way of outreach, Pastor Dave Pniewski, relishes the double entendre of a nearby store, Save-A-Lot, where he passes out flyers inviting people to worship. Exquisite woodwork, crafted by a member, graces their modern building which was constructed when urban renewal in 2007 necessitated a move from the center of town. The new location is appealing to deer who often greet worshippers on Sunday morning

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