Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Vision Alive


March 8, 2017

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Elizabeth Davidson as Harriet

On Sunday, March 5th, First Parish continued the celebration of the church’s 300th Anniversary by exploring a vision from our church that has become a cherished part of the church’s history and shaped the history of the U.S.

Harriet Beecher Stowe was a guest in pew 23 of First Parish Church in 1851 when she experienced a vision of the death of a slave in the midst of a communion service. Inspired, she rushed to her home on Federal Street and began to write the vision that would become Uncle Tom’s Cabin, a novel that would personalize and energize the abolition movement.

Now, Harriet is brought to life by actress and playwright Elizabeth Davidson, who has committed to bringing the vision and story of the author to others. Through a partnership with Bowdoin College, “Harriet” was able to welcome neighbors to a tea and a reading at the Stowe House, as she did in the 1850’s. She then joined First Parish for conversation with Mary in worship, greeting the children and sharing her own historic childhood in the line of the “Beecher preachers”, her later move to Brunswick, and life after Uncle Tom’s Cabin. All celebrated her work that led her to call people’s hearts to action and compassion in the struggle for liberation, and the ways Harriet’s faith and vision was shaped by and has shaped our communal life at First Parish.

This event is one of a series that will mark our congregation’s 300 years of ministry as we look to many more in the future!

 



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