Presbyterian Children Coloring Book, A Bicentennial Celebration!
Every year on July 4th, Americans celebrate their freedom and the founding principles of our great nation. Presbyterians love to celebrate and our collections document this experience in many ways.
In 1989, the General Assembly Council of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) appointed a Bicentennial Celebration Committee to coordinate events for the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the first General Assembly, which convened on May 21, 1789, at the Second Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The Coloring Book was created to include the youngest members of the denomination in the celebrations. It was edited by Carolyn Atkins (1919-2009), a tireless advocate for the preservation of Presbyterian history. She was elected to the board of directors of the Presbyterian Historical Society in 1977 and served as its first female president from 1982 to 1986. We have recently scanned this coloring book and made the full version available for download on our website as a history and activity resource.
In addition to the coloring book, a Bicentennial Hymn Competition was sponsored by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the Presbyterian Association of Musicians. The hymn, “Come Sing, O Church, in Joy,” submitted by the Reverend Brian Dill (1949-2016), was selected as the winning entry.
The underlying principles for the celebration put forward by the Bicentennial Committee at the 199th General Assembly in 1987 were to enhance our sense of identity as Presbyterians, to celebrate our diversity as a people of God, to recommit ourselves to the mission and ministry of Christ’s Church, and to see the future through new eyes. These principles are always worth celebrating and embracing as both Presbyterians and citizens of the United States of America. Happy Independence Day and happy coloring!