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NO. R-170. JOINT RESOLUTION honoring the Waterbury Congregational Church on the occasion of its bicentennial anniversary.

(J.R.S. 65)

Offered by: Senator Doyle of Washington County, Senator Cummings of Washington County and Senator Scott of Washington County.

Whereas, the Waterbury Congregational Church houses one of the most historic religious congregations in central Vermont, and

Whereas, the churchís founder and first spiritual guide, missionary Jeremiah Bushnell, traveled north to the Green Mountains from Connecticut, following the path which many of Vermontís early citizens had previously blazed, and

Whereas, he decided that the village of Waterbury, and the immediately surrounding area, were in need of a sustained religious presence which only a permanent congregation could provide, and

Whereas, in July 1801, in pursuit of his lofty goal to establish a new house of worship in the community, Jeremiah Bushnell, with the enthusiastic cooperation of 16 like-minded individuals, organized the first Congregational church in Waterbury, and

Whereas, from its inception, the mission of the church has been "to help where needed and to foster faith," and

Whereas, in 1824, in order to solidify the mission and institutional longevity of the congregation, whose membership had expanded to 38 worshipers, the congregation, including then-Governor Ezra Butler, established the White Meeting House Society, and

Whereas, the society purchased a parcel of land from Amasa Pride for the sum of $150.00 on which to construct a permanent house of worship and congregational meeting home, and

Whereas, on this site, located on Route 100 in Waterbury Center, still stands the edifice that the Carpenter brothers initially constructed for the society over 175 years ago, and

Whereas, during the century following the original construction of the "White Church", it has been adorned with the addition of a chapel, stained glass windows, gothic architectural details and other enhancements, and

Whereas, the White Church has rightfully earned its listing on Vermontís Register of Historic Places, and

Whereas, over the decades, the Waterbury Congregational Church has maintained a special relationship with its sister Methodist congregation, providing temporary space after the 1927 flood, and, at one time, even sharing ministers, and

Whereas, the Waterbury Congregational Church has participated in many worthy charitable activities, including for the past 16 years, the Crop Walk to raise money for the purchase of food for the hungry, and

Whereas, in celebration of the congregationís bicentennial anniversary, on July 28-30, the Waterbury Congregational Church will observe this momentous occasion with a series of special events, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly extends its warm congratulations to the Waterbury Congregational Church as this venerable religious community observes two centuries of religious life in central Vermont, and be it further

Resolved: That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the Reverend Peter Plagge at the Waterbury Congregational Church.