In 1813….The pineapple was introduced to Hawaii (January 21st)

The first US Federal Vaccination Legislation was passed (February 27th)

Congress authorized the use of steamboats to transport mail (February 27th)

The office of the US Army Surgeon General was established (March 3rd)

Rubber was patented (April 29th)

Captain John Lawrence uttered what became the motto of the US Navy, “Don’t give up the ship.” (June 1st)

Napoleon defeated the Austrian Army at the Battle of Dresden (August 27th)

The first US religious newspaper, The Christian Observer, was published (September 4th)

“Uncle Sam” was first used to refer to the United States (September 7th)

Oliver Perry defeated the British in the Battle of Lake Erie (September 10th)

Mexico declared itself independent of Spain (November 6th)

Beethoven’s 7th Symphony premiered (December 8th)

The British burned Buffalo, N.Y. (December 29th)

And on July13, 1813… some forward-looking Presbyterians founded this congregation!

This is our bicentennial year. We’ve already opened the time capsule from 1963 and shared a kickoff luncheon. This month, we’ll hear about something which, over a number of those 200 years, has been near and dear to the hearts of several members of this congregation – i.e.

Vanderkamp. Next month we’ll celebrate, with special worship and then a piping concert, the Scottish/Celtic heritage which Presbyterians in this country share whether they’ve been here for 200 years or not. And there’s more - something for each month of our bicentennial year.

Meanwhile, consider: the folk who founded this congregation 200 years ago were forward-looking Presbyterians. They had to be. You don’t start a new congregation except with an eye to the future. So let’s honor their memory by doing our best to be like them. Let’s turn our eyes this year to the future – of our community, of our neighborhoods, of our families and of the world we all share. Let’s see if we can figure out some exciting new ways to join together and contribute to the quality of that future life. In other words, let’s do our best to be forward-looking Presbyterians, too.