Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Invitation to Governor Patrick

The following language articulates the invitation I extended to the Governor last night...a bit florid I'll grant you, but still....of the sort one would expect from a "state occasion". Here too is a nice shot of the Governor signing a copy of the invitation we extended to him to occupy the "Governor's Pew
Fr. Paul

The Governor’s Pew

During the American Revolution, when it became dangerous for the British Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony to govern or live in Boston, the Colonial government was relocated to Salem and assembled nearby on Essex Street.

During that time, St. Peter’s Church became the “official” State Church of the British Crown, in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The Governor’s Pew was then dedicated and decorated with the British Coat of Arms and the British Flag. There was of course some uneasiness and some American Patriots attempted to disrupt worship by spitting on the loyalists, smashing windows and the like.

We were then under the British Crown. There was enmity between brothers and sisters because of religious conviction. Slavery was commonly practiced and slaves were permitted only in the balcony of this church for a time.

In succeeding years, in the crucible of history we have enshrined the idea of the separation of Church and State in the Constitution. We have abolished slavery and have worked diligently for the cause of Civil Rights. This Church has also striven for equality and human rights for all without regard to race, ethnicity, gender or orientation.

And now in honor of this congregation’s 275th Anniversary we, the Priest, Wardens and Vestry of St. Peter’s Church, Salem invite you, The Honorable Deval Patrick, Governor of the Free and Sovereign Commonwealth of Massachusetts, to occupy the “Governor’s Pew” as a sign of the universal freedoms for which a free people stand.

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