Thursday, September 8, 2016

DEVOTED FOOTSTEPS - through Dogtown Woods

In the years from 1728 -1755 Cape Anne parishioners demonstrated their spiritual dedication step by step, as they hiked from Rockport and other points, through the northern Dogtown woods to the Third Parish (“Squam”) Meetinghouse now called the Annisquam Village Church. When the Fifth Parish was established in 1755, The First Congregational Church of Rockport was built, and hikers were relieved of their lengthy Sunday morning commute.

Curious about the experiences and inspired by the motivation of earlier congregations, the ANNISQUAM VILLAGE CHURCH and the FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH OF ROCKPORT, in collaboration with the FRIENDS OF DOGTOWN, invite you to join in a Living History event entitled “DEVOTED FOOTSTEPS,” a recreation of the parishioners’ path between Rockport and Annisquam.

On Sunday, September 25th at 8:30 a.m. an 18thc. breakfast of porridge and biscuits will be served at the Annisquam Village Church, followed by a brief historical devotional and blessing upon the  hikers. Those who desire will then walk with knowledgeable guides along the easily passable, broad wooded way our forbears most likely trod - approximately a 2.5 hr. hike, newly named “Parishioners’ Path”, and accessible on the Discover Dogtown App available at Music and historical apparitions along the way will propel hikers to their destination at the First Congregational Church of Rockport where lunch and a closing devotional will complete the event.

Public and parishioners alike are invited to participate in any and all parts of this commemorative event - just the breakfast and devotional, the noontime devotional and lunch, the hike and lunch, or any combination thereof. Each part is designed to accommodate all ages, but children age 12 and under must be accompanied by a responsible adult. Well-socialized dogs are welcome. Transportation will be arranged from the churches to the entrance and exit of the wooded trail to assist those wishing an abbreviated hike, as well as to retrieve cars at the end of the event.

For further information, to lend a hand, or to register in advance for these events (which will help us to gauge how many participants to expect for meals and hike) please contact coordinators: Annisquam Village Church, (978-283-6416) or
Rockport Congregational Church, (978-509-4995) or
Visit “Dogtown Footsteps” on Facebook or
Register in person after Sunday worship service at either church.

The Rev. Sarah Clark will preside at the 8:30 a.m. devotional, and at 10:00 a.m. will offer the usual worship service at the Village Church, focusing on these ancestral ties. Rev. Derek van Gulden, after hiking Parishioners Path, will preside at the noontime arrival/devotional at the Rockport Congregational Church.


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