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September 21, 2007

CW's religion programs focus on the spirit of the holiday season

Colonial Williamsburg’s religion programs capture the spirit of the holiday season. In November and December, programs reflect the importance of religion in day-to-day life for 18th-century Williamsburg residents.

In “My Fortress and My Strength,” enslaved Baptist preacher Gowan Pamphlet, portrayed by Colonial Williamsburg interpreter James Ingram, talks about events of the day and their impact on the slave community at the Presbyterian Meetinghouse. The program can be seen at 11:15 a.m. to noon Tuesdays and Thursdays Nov. 27 through Jan. 1.

Most of the faculty at the College of William and Mary during the 18th century were ordained ministers. Sermons were regularly read for the edification of the students. In “A Sermon for the Season,” an 18th-century sermon is presented and edited to fit into a half-hour program. The program can be seen at 11 a.m. Tuesdays, Nov. 27, Dec. 4, 11 and 18 at the Wren Chapel at the College of William and Mary.

“The Comet Comes to Williamsburg” features a re-enactment of famous 18th-century evangelist George Whitefield’s appearance at Bruton Parish Church on Sunday, Dec. 16, 1739. A minister of the Church of England and colleague of John and Charles Wesley, Whitefield was an important figure in the Great Awakening, a series of revivals that swept through Britain and North America in the first half of the 18th century. The program can be seen at 2 p.m. at Bruton Parish Church on Dec. 17.

The Feast Day of St. John the Baptist was celebrated annually by the Masonic Lodge of 18th-century Williamsburg. Lodge members processed from the lodge to the church to hear a sermon delivered by the chaplain of the lodge. Our modern-day re-enactment of this annual event at 1:50 p.m. on Dec. 27 includes costumed interpreters, current members of Lodge No. 6 and guests who are Masons.

During “Come Hither My Brethren,” an interpreter portraying Rev. Mr. Dixon will deliver an edited version of an 18th-century sermon written for the occasion at 2 p.m. Dec. 27 at Bruton Parish Church. Following the sermon, current members of Lodge No. 6 and guests who are Masons will return to the Masonic Lodge for a reception and open house. A lodge historian will present an overview of the history of Lodge No. 6. A question-and-answer session will follow.

For more information, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit the Internet at www.history.org.

Established in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational institution that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia as a town-sized living history museum, telling the inspirational stories of our nation’s founding men and women. Within the restored and reconstructed buildings, historic interpreters, attired as colonial men and women from slaves to shopkeepers to soldiers, relate stories of colonial Virginia society and culture — stories of our journey to become Americans – while historic tradespeople research, demonstrate and preserve the 18th-century world of work and industry. As Colonial Williamsburg interprets life in the time of the American Revolution for its guests, it also invites them to interact with history. Williamsburg is located 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information or reservations, call toll-free 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg on the Internet at www.history.org.

Media Contact:
Penna Rogers
(757) 220-7121



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