Stone United Methodist Church
Sunday, November 19, 2017
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The Stone UM Church - Allegheny College Connection

 
 
 
 

The Allegheny College – Stone United Methodist Connection

 

Written by Pastor Sarah Roncolato and given on

Sunday, April 26, 2016, during the “Call to Worship”

 

In the spring of 1806 Robert Roberts, a circuit rider from the Baltimore Conference, held the first Methodist meeting here in Meadville at the Black Bear Tavern. Out of this meeting emerged a Methodist society of 4 members, a body that would grow and  one day be known as  The People of Stone United Methodist Church.

In April of 1815 Rev. Timothy Alden, a graduate of Harvard Divinity School arrived in Meadville to begin a college. Rev. Alden believed that the human person had two obligations in life, the first to praise God and the second to use one’s gifts for the betterment of the world. Without yet even  a building, four students began classes in July of 1866. These students were the first class of what would be known as Allegheny College.

From the earliest days our lives have been intertwined, Allegheny College and Stone Church

In 1833 the Methodist church stepped in with funding to save the floundering college.

From 1833-1942 all AC presidents were United Methodist clergy.

As the community of Stone grew and changed, the church was frequently served by student pastors from the college.  Many pastors, including Rev. Arthur Crawford, Rev. Hank Zimmerman and myself graduated from Allegheny. The balcony in this sanctuary was built for students to worship here before Ford chapel was erected and services held on campus.

Over the years Sunday school classes have been taught by professors and one very notable alum, Ms Ida Tarbell.

The beautiful window which looks up the hill to the College was funded by the Allegheny community  following the great fire in 1927.

Our shared story is one of beginnings and buildings, of founders and framework.

But there is a greater story, a story of shared commitment and purpose.

We have had many differences, Allegheny College and this church we call Methodist .  And We share much in common as well.

Stone Church member and Allegheny College historian  Jonathan Helmreich writes this.

 

"Allegheny College today continues to honor its tradition of connection with the Methodist Church by “emphasis on respect for all faiths, and by offering opportunities to explore matters of religious belief both inside and outside of the classroom. Our connection to the Church is further strengthened by the shared values of personal integrity and responsibility, a vision of individual and global betterment, and a commitment to social justice in our community and beyond.”

 

Today we celebrate that we are stronger together than we are apart.

We celebrate that we have purposes divergent and distinct yet intersecting.

Today we celebrate our past and our present and look with hope to our future.

 

 

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