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Tips for Celebrating Your Presbyterian Heritage

  • Design a “heritage banner” that incorporates images and symbols of your congregation’s past and its hopes for the future.
  • Ask members for pictures from past church events. Use these to create a slide show, display, or narrated video.
  • Borrow one of the traveling displays from the Presbyterian Historical Society for use at a church event. A list of displays and a reservation form is available here.
  • Record oral history interviews with long-time members of your congregation. Transcribe selected interviews and make a booklet of memories to distribute. This may be a project your youth group would enjoy as it draws the generations together.
  • Host an auction to “rent” your pews. Renting pews was a common practice for raising money in American churches before the modern system of pledging. You could designate the money raised for a special cause.
  • Have your church’s vital records digitized by the Presbyterian Historical Society.
  • Organize a cemetery tour to learn about some of the founding families of your church.
  • Consult with your church musician or choir leader on the choice of a “heritage hymn” or anthem for your congregation. Or, based on the history of your congregation, draft new lyrics for use with a favorite hymn.
  • Write a series of historical minutes to present during worship services throughout the year. They can be about events or people in the life of the church.
  • Use the church newsletter or bulletin to commemorate the anniversary of significant events in the church’s past.