Much has changed at Union Church through the years. This brief slideshow only touches on the church building's history. Take a look at the fascinating written sketch below of what has been accomplished within its buildings and outside in the community:
Union Church of Proctor
1890 -- 2010
Dean S. Northrop
Updated, June, 2010
Just as no written history can ever be considered complete, this Chronology of Union Church of Proctor presents only a few highlights as selected by one member. Hopefully it reviews the building history and alterations, the memorial gifts, members cited for special honoring, the church’s finances, as well as the congregation’s spiritual and social achievements over a century.
An asterisk (*) appearing before an entry indicates the specific date could not be determined.
The parenthetical entries are largely provided for anyone interested in delving more deeply into a specific subject, and to call attention to materials that otherwise might be missed in searching through the many publications and records in the Parish House.
I wish to extend a special note of thanks and appreciation to Ruth and Sanborn Partridge whose suggestions for revisions and additions added so much to the accuracy of this Centennial Chronology
Dean Stilson Northrop
UNION CHURCH OF PROCTOR: A CHRONOLOGY
1821: Religious services and Sunday School held in Israel Pennock’s barn (land diagonally across road from present Library) with Rev. Lemuel Haynes serving as Pastor.
1837: Religious services in the first schoolhouse (present Municipal Building) with Rev. Jonathan C. Southmayd (town’s first teacher, buried in Riverside Cemetery).
- Congregational ministers from Rutland, West Rutland and Pittsford also preached here.
1866: Religious services held in the “new” stone school (site of present Post Office and Proctor Place) accommodating Catholic, Swedish and other small groups as well.
May 27, 1880: Land (one-third acre) given by Rawson S. Humphrey to the “Union Chapel Society” with stipulation that on no account was the Chapel to be used by “Spiritualists, Mormons, Free Thinkers and the like heretical and pernicious denominations or persons.”
1880: Wooden Union Chapel built on present site of Union Church by the Protestant Societies for English-speaking, Swedish Lutheran and Swedish Evangelical Societies.
April 8, 1883: The Sutherland Falls Sunday School organized.
March 3, 1889: Union Chapel destroyed by fire.
June 11, 1889: Meeting held in Village Hall to consider organizing a Union Church. The “Union Church Society” formed. A board of stewards elected to make plans for a church building, and for raising the necessary funds.
September 11, 1889: Plans for the church building submitted and a vote given to begin construction.
September 28, 1889: The Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor organized.
April, 1890: The Rev. Loyal A. Bigelow of the Troy Methodist Conference called as the new church’s first pastor.
May 11, 1890: Cornerstone of church laid by Rev. Bigelow, with address by Rev. C.C. McIntyre of Pittsford (who for ten years had served as pastor to the Proctor Protestant community).
- The church building was valued at $35,000 in 1910.
June 18, 1890: The Union Church organized. A clerk, treasurer and four deacons elected.
July 6, 1890: First members received into the church, 42 by letters and 13 by confession of faith.
- First communion service held.
December 31, 1890: First service held in church sanctuary, a Young People’s Christian Endeavor prayer meeting.
January 4, 1891: First regular church worship service held in the new sanctuary.
September 27, 1891: Church building dedicated. Rev. W.W. Foster, Jr. and Rev. J.W. Bixler of New London, Connecticut preached at morning and afternoon services.
*Large bell (now bass bell of chimes) a gift of Emily J. (Mrs. Redfield, Sr.) Proctor.
March, 1893: Junior Society of Christian Endeavor organized.
April, 1895: Rev. Loyal A. Bigelow resigned as pastor.
June, 1895: The Rev. Howard J. Banker (Methodist) called as church’s second pastor.
October 18, 1895: Women’s Home Missionary Society organized.
July 24, 1896: New organ inaugurated (probably with water-driven blower for the bellows).
September, 1898: Rev. Howard J. Banker resigned as pastor.
December, 1898: The Rev. George W.C. Hill (Congregational) of New Bedford, Mass. called as church’s third pastor.
1899: Junior Society of Christian Endeavor disbanded.
September 6, 1899: Parsonage erected and given as a gift of Emily J. (Mrs. Redfield, Sr.) Proctor.
- The deed specifies that should the house be used for any other purpose than the home of the Pastor of Union Church, its ownership will revert to the Proctor family.
1904: Custom of presenting Bibles to children at age seven begun.
1906: Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor disbanded.
January 25, 1907: Girls’ Missionary Society formed under the leadership of Mrs. Roswell Castle and Mrs. Redfield Proctor, Sr. (In 1910, renamed “The Girls’ Aid Society” and disbanded in 1911.)
July, 1907: Rev. George W.C. Hill resigned as pastor.
January, 1908: The Rev. Frederick W. Raymond (Congregational) of Hamilton, N.Y., called as church’s fourth pastor.
May 20, 1908: “The Brotherhood of Union Church,” a men’s organization, formed with 46 members.
1908: Debt on church building paid off.
- Cradle Roll department of Sunday School started.
1909: First annual Yearbook
*Original communion table given in memory of Rev. C.C. McIntyre.
June 9, 1910: Work begun on Parish House construction ($13,000).
October, 1910: Young Men’s Bible Class met in YMCA rooms.
1911: “Summer” stained glass window installed in memory of Redfield Proctor, Sr.; a gift of son, Fletcher D. Proctor.
- Attempt made to have student from Rochester Theological Seminary work with Hungarian Protestants. (See 1921 for successful arrangement.)
January 24 – 25, 1911: Parish House dedicated. (Photos in 1910-1912 Scrapbook.)
1912: “Autumn” stained glass window installed in memory of Fletcher D. Proctor, given by his wife, Minnie E. Proctor.
1913: Women’s Home Missionary Society activities included aid for Kurn Hattin Homes and Dr. Wilfred Grenfell’s Deep Sea Mission.
- Parish House used by Swedish Lutherans after their church burned.
1914: No church or Parish House services during the last three weeks of December, 1913, and two weeks of January, 1914. (Probably because of flu epidemic.)
- Sunday School departments included: Cradle Roll, Primary, Intermediate, Adult, Home Department, a women’s class and a class for Hungarian men.
September 10-12, 1915: Twenty-fifth anniversary celebration with community gathering in church where Revs. Bigelow, Banker and Hill reminisced on their pastorates.
June, 1916: Rev. Frederick W. Raymond resigned as pastor.
September, 1916: Women’s Home Missionary Society celebrated its twentieth anniversary, serving picnic supper on the Parish House lawn.
May, 1917: The Rev. Caleb H. Hodges called as fifth pastor, installed on December 11th.
1917: No Yearbook
published in this World War I year.
May, 1919: The Rutland County Sunday School convention held in Union Church Parish House.
June, 1919: Children’s Day attendance of 331 people, with 230 as average Sunday School attendance.
September, 1919: Rev. Caleb H. Hodges resigned as pastor.
October, 1919: Influenza epidemic; four weeks with church closed.
December, 1919: Christmas Tree and Party with presents given for Sunday School children.
*Present communion set, gift of Miss Emily Dutton Proctor.
December 1919: The Rev. G. Ben Roberts (Congregational) called as sixth pastor.
- 1919 Church Membership: 206
The Church and Church Society merged to become “Union Church of Proctor, Inc.”
1920: Church organ electrified after water-powered motor wore out.
- Women’s Home Missionary Society produced its own Cookbook. (Judging by financial reports, continued until 1935, and then income from 1937-1944, with increased income in 1945 and 1950, suggesting new editions were produced then.)
1921: Horse sheds in back of Parish House sold for $50 and removed. (Lumber believed used to build a barn on the Northrop property nearby, at 19 Church Street.)
- Primary and Beginners department additions to Parish House done.
- Sunday School had five departments: Beginners, Primary, Junior, Senior and Adult.
- Dr. Wilfred Grenfell addressed the congregation on his Labrador Mission work.
- Special collections for New England Grenfell Association, and for the Shaowu Mission in China were taken.
- Sunday morning, evening and mid-week services held.
- A hot-air furnace installed in the church to supplement the steam heat from the Parish House source.
- Religious services for Hungarian Protestants conducted by Bloomfield, N.J. Theological Seminary seminarian once a month, and also involved in teaching Hungarian to the children.
1922: Choir began wearing vestments, and the Pastor given a “Geneva Robe”, a gift of Mary H. (Mrs. Redfield, Jr.) Proctor.
- Pastor’s Room and Choir Room partitioned off in church.
- In rear of the Parish House a sixteen-foot wide strip at the south end of the property given as a gift, assumed by the owner, Henry H. Stilson.
1923: Ten “English Tuned Cast Bells” (added to the original 1891 bell) installed in church tower, gift from Mary Hedrick (Mrs. Redfield, Jr.) Proctor.
*Present organ installed by Austin Organ Company, of Hartford, Conn. (1965 status of this instrument included in the 1966 Yearbook
- Chimney on church tower removed.
* Miniature wooden barrel banks distributed to Sunday School children for their summer contributions.
1924: Rev. Ben Roberts on Mediterranean Sea Trip, with the Rev. Clifford H. Smith as interim pastor.
- Church missionary aid included China, Pittman Community Center in Tennessee, local Swedish Congregational and Lutheran Churches, Leper Hospital in Japan, and the Vermont Congregational Conference.
December, 1925: Vote to do extensive renovation of church interior.
1926: Renovation of church interior completed. Chancel “re-created,” in memory of Emily J. Proctor, by her surviving children (Emily Dutton Proctor and Redfield Proctor, Jr.), and the grandchildren (Fredrika Holden Proctor and Robert Fletcher Holden). New woodwork, pews, layout, electrification. Entire interior and some exterior details rebuilt from contributions of members.
- Chancel windows installed in memory of Emily J. (Mrs. Redfield, Sr.) Proctor, given by her son, Redfield, Jr. and daughter, Emily Dutton Proctor.
- Services for eight months (Easter to Christmas) conducted in the Parish House during the renovating.
- Parking lot for cars created at rear of Parish House.
- New brass collection plates replaced original wooden ones, a gift of Fredrika H. (Mrs. John) Proctor.
- Hungarian services for 42 members of Evangelical Reformed Church held in Parish House every third Sunday, with Sunday School on the preceding Saturday. Many became members of Union Church, but had services in their own language with Rev. John Dikovics as their pastor. (Hungarian services last mentioned January, 1932 church bulletin).
1927: Young Men’s Club formed for unmarried men in the congregation.
- Baptismal Font installed, in memory of Wilbur E. Higbee.
- For the hard of hearing, installation of hand-held earphones in several alternate pews in the sanctuary.
- Color added to sanctuary woodwork to harmonize with windows.
- Boy Scouts of America, Troup 15, sponsored by Union Church, met in Parish House and Sutherland Club with several church members serving as scoutmasters.
- Special Flood Emergency Fund set up following “Flood of ’27.”
November 27, 1928: Rev. G. Ben Roberts resigned. (Deacons’ summary of his ministry in the 1929 Yearbook
June, 1929: The Rev. C. Lansing Seymour (Presbyterian) called as the church’s seventh pastor.
- Church Pageant presented.
- Church membership: 420
1930: “Spring” stained glass window installed in memory of Mrs. Minnie E. (Mrs. Fletcher) Proctor, by her children.
- Christmas Pageant presentations continued under Mrs. Seymour’s direction with over 300 in attendance.
- Young People’s Club formed with Mrs. Seymour as leader.
1931: New Choir Robes purchased.
1932: Benjamin F. Taylor elected first Deacon Emeritus, having served 42 years as Deacon. (Other long-term Deacons were Harry P. Powers, 27 years; Wilbur E. Higbee, 32 years; and Henry H. Stilson, 36 years.)
- Christmas Caroling by church members conducted.
1934: Church host for Convention of Rutland County Council of Religious Education.
- Women’s Association sponsored Girl Scouts.
- First entries of deaths and baptisms in the Yearbook.
February, 1935: Rev. C. Lansing Seymour resigned as pastor.
September, 1935: The Rev. R. Hawley Fitch (Episcopalian) called as eighth pastor of the church.
- Membership: 523.
- White Gift service before Christmas, provided by the Young People’s Society.
1937: Evening Services held.
- Bible Study classes conducted.
- Rev. Fitch on two-month (April, May) leave to visit Egypt and the Holy Land.
- Pilgrim Hymnals (1931 edition) purchased for church services.
1939: Specially made Steinway piano presented by Miss Mildred Taylor in memory of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin F. Taylor.
- Electric stoker, and roof over back church door, gifts of Miss Emily D. Proctor.
1940: Electric apparatus installed for keyboard ringing of the chime bells from the organ, given by Miss Emily D. Proctor and Redfield Proctor, Jr. A second (remote) keyboard also installed in the parsonage, later transferred to residence of Miss Mildred Taylor, and currently installed in the Parish House.
- Junior Choir organized.
- Church interior ceiling covered with white insulating sheathing.
June 14-16, 1940: Celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the church. (Details in the 1941 Yearbook
. Rutland Herald
article in the 1935-1941 Scrapbook, with photographs.)
- Revised Manual, with Standing Rules and By-Laws amended.
- Membership: 611.
1941: Special collection pledge for Congregational Committee for War Victims and Services.
1942: Pastoral Aid Committee created within the Women’s Association.
- Yearbook listed members serving in armed services in World War II and in subsequent Yearbooks, through 1947.
- Membership: 552.
May, 1943: Rev. R. Hawley Fitch resigned as pastor (had been called to active military duty in February, 1942.)
September, 1943: The Rev. M. Robert Davis (Presbyterian) served as interim pastor. (Also in 1944-1945, and 1949.)
- Furnace conversion from oil due to war shortages; coal used.
- Stilson property next to Parish House purchased for $1,900 and given as gift by Redfield Proctor, Jr.
lists choir members by name as of that year, also in 1949.)
1944: Anonymous gift of $3,000 received.
January, 1945: The Rev. Donald H. Frazier (Congregational) called as ninth pastor of the church.
1945: Repointing of masonry on church and Parish House.
- Guy H. Boyce elected Deacon Emeritus.
- Six personally-turned wooden altar candlesticks presented to the church by Henry C. Belcher.
- Church served as convention host for Vermont Council of Church Women.
- Twenty-four boys and parents spent week clearing trails on Camel’s Hump.
- New Hymn Books purchased for Parish House use.
- Reconversion of heating plant back to oil.
- Renovation of parsonage kitchen.
- White Gift Christmas Service with Swedish Congregational, St. Paul Lutheran and Union Church participating.
1948: Fuel shortage forced members to hold services in Fraternal Hall during February.
- Flower Committee gift of $500 from James A. Wheeler estate.
- Bequest of $5,000 from John L. Proctor estate.
- Junior Women’s Fellowship formed for those unable to attend the afternoon meetings.
- Clothes and food sent to Great Britain by Missionary Society.
March 7, 1949: Rev. Donald H. Frazier resigned as pastor.
August 2, 1949: The Rev. Lowell Q. Haynes of Skowkegan, Maine, called as tenth pastor of the church.
1949: Stained glass windows repaired.
- Bequest of $5,000 from Miss Emily Dutton Proctor estate.
- Union Christmas White Gift Service of the three Protestant churches held again. (Also in 1953)
1950: Parish House kitchen and dining room redecorated.
- Memorial Table at back of sanctuary, gift in memory of interim pastor, Rev. Robert M. Davis, given by his widow.
- Swedish Congregational Church members elected to attend and join the Union Church after their church closed and building was sold.
1951: Budget: $8,950.
- Large west window installed, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Redfield Proctor, Jr.
1952: New cupboards and equipment added to Parish House kitchen and nineteen tables purchased.
1953: Gas stove and ovens installed in Parish House kitchen.
- Unused chimney in northeast corner of church transept removed.
- Bequest of $500 from Elizabeth C. (Mrs. Wilbur E.) Higbee estate.
1954: Gift of Revised Standard Version of the Bible
for the lectern, in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Frank C. Partridge.
- Two copper flower vases on marble bases presented, gift of Lillian B. (Mrs. Mortimer, Sr.) Proctor.
- Bequest of $1,500 from George Davis estate.
May, 1955: Rev. Lowell Q. Haynes resigned as pastor.
October, 1955: The Rev. C. Robert Harrah (Reformed) called as eleventh pastor of the church.
1955: Gift of $3,140 by Redfield Proctor, Jr. for Miscellaneous Church Needs.
- Memorial Fund started with $500 from Women’s Association, and Mortimer R. Proctor, Sr. contributions.
- Parsonage papered and painted, remodeling kitchen and new light fixtures installed, exterior painted.
- Church Home Nursery organized.
- New road and enlargement of parking lot completed.
- Landscape changes as trees removed around church and church sign installed.
- Special projects at Christmas fro Brandon State School, and South Lincoln Grade School.
1956: Memorial and Other Gifts in Proctor Union Church, Proctor, Vermont, 1956
booklet published, funded by Redfield Proctor, Jr.
1957: Gift of income from trust estate of Redfield Proctor, Jr.
- Mimeograph machine purchased to publish church bulletins.
- Kindergarten room enlarged and door opening onto parking lot constructed.
- Bequest of $2,500 from Benjamin Williams estate.
1958: Bequest of $500 to Memorial Fund from Miss Laura Holden estate.
- Summer services held at 9:30 a.m.
October, 1958: Rev. C. Robert Harrah resigned as pastor.
- Bequest of $10,000 to Memorial Fund from George Davis estate.
November, 1958: Every-Member Canvas for pledges conducted.
July, 1959: The Rev. Harold J. Wright (Congregational) called as twelfth pastor of the church.
1959: Young People’s Fellowship gave birthday party for the Preventorium, continued annual caroling, and entertained the Brandon State School Choir.
- May 24th, revised Manual (covering church organization, standing rules and form of admission) adopted.
- Rules concerning uses of the church and Parish House set up.
1960: Gift of income from trust estate of Mary H. (Mrs. Redfield, Jr.) Proctor.
- Sanctuary cleaning and painting, gift of Mortimer R. Proctor, Sr.
- Dimmer lighting system installed in sanctuary, gift of Sanborn Partridge.
- Heating system in parsonage replaced.
- Both Senior and Junior Youth Fellowships organized. (Disbanded in 1962)
- New Kindergarten Bible School organized by Susan Gray, wife of Dr. James A. Gray.
- Daily Vacation Bible School held in July.
- Blue Choir Robes purchased.
- Budget: $20,445
- Church membership: 590.
1961: Church exterior painted, roof repaired and new vestibule flooring installed.
- Cracked bell (High C) of tower bells replaced.
- Bequest of $1,000 from Margaret Fischer estate.
- Vacation Bible School continued, with five divisions.
January, 1962: Church-sponsored Kindergarten (one day a week) begun under Mrs. James A. Gray’s supervision.
1962: Budget: $16,447.
- New carpeting in sanctuary, gift of Mortimer R. Proctor, Sr.
- Outdoor worship service and picnic at Camp Thorpe in Goshen.
- Christmas Eve dedication of bas relief, Nativity Scene, by Proctor youth, Julianno Cecchinelli, a gift of the Youth Fellowship in memory of Lillian “Polly” B. (Mrs. Mortimer, Sr.) Proctor
- No children’s Christmas Party, substituted with a gift to the Brandon Training School.
1963: Church sponsored a seminarian from Hartford Seminary for the summer to aid Pastor and help in Vacation Bible School.
- Kindergarten idea abandoned.
- Pilgrim Hymnals (1963 edition) purchased for the church (last purchased in 1937).
- Parish House painted and re-shingled.
- Budget: $18,679.
1964: Bequest of $1,000 from the Guy H. Boyce estate.
- New sound amplification system in sanctuary, gift of Mortimer R. Proctor, Sr.
- Vacation Bible School held, one-week duration.
1965: Gifts of $529 and $250 from Katherine and Harold Ladd Smith estate.
- Parsonage redecorated.
- September 26: Seventy-fifth anniversary of the church was celebrated, with Revs. Haynes, Harrah and Wright participating. (Detailed report in vertical file under “Church History.”)
- (Interim Report on church organ in the 1966 Yearbook.)
- Budget: $21,351.
1966: Adult Class of Sunday School reactivated.
- Bequest of $15,000 from Emily Proctor Eggleston estate.
- Bequest of $5,000 from John L. Proctor estate.
- October 2: Committee appointed to look into affiliation with a denomination. (Also in 1975)
- Four laymen conducted services while Rev. Wright was attending the Seeing Eye Dog School.
- Membership: 529.
1967: Gift of $5,000 in memory of Arthur C. Rockwell.
- New drapes in Parish House dining room.
- *Booklet prepared listing all gifts to Union Church Memorial Fund.
- Gift of $5,000 from Lottie Taylor Heald estate.
1968: Bequest of $5,000 to Memorial Fund from Harold Ladd Smith estate. Also $1,000 to General Expense Fund.
- Parking lot light poles and lights erected, given anonymously.
- Gift of exterior church lighting in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Guy H. Boyce.
- Ecumenical meeting involving Lutheran and Catholic women, and Union Church’s tow women’s associations.
1969: Gift of $100 for Building Fund, in memory of Andrew Macek, given by Mr. and Mrs. Donald Howe and daughter, Donna.
- Gift of $1,000 for Building Fund from Mrs. M.P. Dunsmore estate.
- Bequest of $500 from Nicolas Eigner estate.
- Gift of $300 for Building Fund from Mr. and Mrs. Wallace S. Jones.
- Bequest of $500 from Margaret Fischer Fund.
- Children’s Bibles distributed to families of church school children.
- Organ repairs completed at cost of $13,044. (Contract figure given as $18,200.)
- Panels to baffle sound installed in front of organ pipes.
- Projector and screen presented, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Austin Morrison, in memory of their son, Bruce Allen Morrison, who was killed in Vietnam.
1970: Sinclair T. Allen elected Deacon Emeritus.
- Gift of $110 for Building Fund in memory of Andrew Macek.
- Gift of $500 from Mr. and Mrs. Wallace S. Jones.
- “After-Church Coffee Hour” begun.
- More communion services added to church calendar.
- Micronesian student in Proctor, sponsored by Union Church.
- Budget: $38,588.
April 11, 1971: Rev. Harold J. Wright resigned, having served the longest tenure as minister of Union Church (12 years).
September 5, 1971: The Rev. John (Jack) N. Bixby (Congregational) called as thirteenth pastor of the church.
1971: Bequest of $25,000 to Memorial Fund from Mortimer Proctor, Sr. estate.
- Ecumenical men’s gathering held at St. Dominic’s Catholic Church.
- Thanksgiving Family Breakfast held (with Dr. Gray’s “sausage gravy”)
- Changes in Standing Rules made.
- Rummage sales conducted by Women’s Association.
- Membership: 505.
1972: First Canadian canoe trip organized.
- “Flemish tuned” carillon and “harp bells” (25 notes) Schulmerich system installed in memory of Miss Emily D. Proctor.
- New duplicator and stencil-cutting machine purchased.
- Gift of $3,000 for Missionary Committee from anonymous donor.
- Guest Book and stand given in memory of Mr. and Mrs. O. Martin Lindquist.
- Junior Choir robes (gold) presented by Women’s Evening Fellowship.
- (Last year of professionally printed Yearbook, replaced by 8 ½ by 11 inch mimeographed Annual Report format.)
cover previous calendar year
, while Annual Reports
review activities of the current fiscal year
, spanning parts of two calendar years. Thus, for example, the 9/1/87 – 8/31/88 Annual Report
spans part of two years.)
1973: Long-range Planning Committee formed. Active in conducting a survey and producing a report. (See 1983 Annual Report
- April, Women’s Evening Fellowship disbanded.
- Gift of $7,000 for Missionary Committee from anonymous donor.
- Summer-long exchange of pulpits with Rev. Brian Eyles of United Reformed Church of Chester, England.
- Parish House balcony closed off to form pastoral and secretarial offices, and duplicating-storage room.
- A church secretary hired.
- First woman Deacon elected: Mary M. (Mrs. John H.) Northrop.
- Ecumenical dinner held at St. Dominic’s Catholic Church for town’s senior citizens.
- Membership: 527.
- Negotiations begun to encourage heirs of Emily J. (Mrs. Redfield, Sr.) Proctor estate and the Vermont Marble Company to relinquish rights on the parsonage property (See September 6, 1899, above).
1974: Greater emphasis on local outreach and missionary work, such as Senior Citizens’ program and gift to Rutland City Rescue Mission.
- Twentieth Century Club planned for young adults.
- Christmas Bazaar conducted by churchwomen.
- Early Communion Service (first Sunday of the month) introduced.
- Two communion tables given in memory of Henry H. Stilson, gift of daughters Mrs. Bertha S. Ranger and Mrs. Celestia S. Northrop.
1975: Services held in Parish House during January and February as an energy conservation measure.
- January, Affiliation with some established church organization again considered, but “tabled indefinitely.”
- Glass bulletin board sign erected on downtown side of property, and marble sign placed on Parish House lawn.
- Ecumenical breakfast for men of three churches, prepared by Union Church women.
- Renovation of Parish House kitchen and dining room, and addition of two restrooms and cloakroom.
- Summer services held at 9:00 a.m.
- Sunday Lenten meetings for discussions on the early church and six Protestant denominations.
- Bible Study group met Saturday mornings.
- Budget: $43,100
1976: Services held in Parish House from January to Palm Sunday.
The Rev. J. Edward Carothers (Methodist) served as interim pastor, July, 1976, to July, 1977.
- January 22: Church membership booklet produced.
- Vaughn F. Boyce elected Deacon Emeritus.
- Questionnaire distributed and results reviewed, including duties of the church secretary.
- March 18: The Rev. John N. Bixby resigned as pastor.
- Christmas Pageant presented.
- Updated membership listing: 343. (NOTE: Lower membership figure resulted when names of those no longer in residence, affiliated elsewhere, or deceased were removed from the rolls.)
1977: Services held in Parish House from January to Palm Sunday.
August, 1977: Dr. Alan L. Meyer (United Church of Bristol, N.Y.) called as fourteenth pastor of the church.
- Bruno Baccei elected Deacon Emeritus.
- Christmas Pageant presented by Sunday School members.
1978: Men’s Club monthly breakfasts, and Family Night gatherings held. Lenten Bible Study class conducted.
- Church Family Photo Album Directory created.
- New table setting china and tablecloths presented by the Women’s Association.
- Church ceiling insulated, Parish House painted, insulation in Parish House and Parsonage walls (urethane), and storm windows installed.
- Community Christmas Chorus presented concert in sanctuary.
1979: Winter services held in Parish House, January to Palm Sunday.
- Discussion group conducted on “Death and Dying.”
- High School Youth Group started.
- Lexan protective panels installed over “Four Seasons” memorial windows.
- “Summertrain Fest” using Otter Valley Train, bag lunches and entertainment, organized as a fundraiser.
- Boy Scout troop and 4H group met in Parish House.
- September, Dr. Alan L. Meyer resigned as pastor.
- Thanksgiving Pancake Breakfast held.
- Survey prepared by Stewardship Committee (Report in 1979 Annual Report).
- Parsonage repainted. Parish House asphalt roofing and copper seams installed.
1980: Men’s group constructed stained glass “sun-catchers,” using the original amber stained glass from church windows, as a moneymaking project.
July, 1980: The Rev. Michael J. Moran (Reformed) called as the church’s fifteenth pastor.
- Church exterior woodwork repainted.
- The chancel and west stained glass windows were repaired and covered with Lexan protective panels.
- New By-Laws, with Church Council replacing Trustees and the Standing Committee. (Complete By-Laws included in the 1980 Annual Report).
- Gift for Music program from Gwendolyn Barnes-Thomas Fund.
- New red Choir Robes purchased.
- Parish House foundation and stairs renovated.
- Parsonage downstairs interior renovated.
- Budget: $32,264.
- Membership: 262. (Determined to be more accurate total of actual members.)
1981: New American Flag, set of lectern and pulpit paraments (red and white sets) and Bible bookmarks purchased and dedicated.
- Parish House upstairs floors and all tables refinished by the men of the church.
- New furnace installed in the Parish House.
- Fall Family Day picnic initiated.
1982: Proctor Community Concerns Council formed from clergy of the town’s three churches.
- Ceiling fan installed in Parish House.
- Parish House porch roof reshingled.
- Summer youth worker hired.
- Daily Vacation Bible School initiated.
- Ramp installed into Parish House dining room area.
- Parking lot paved.
- Deacons visited every member, and survey of interests and attitudes conducted.
- Dance to benefit Vermont Achievement Center sponsored by church.
- Budget: $57,620.
1983: Neighborhood coffee hours (slides and presentation) held by Stewardship Committee.
- First Ecumenical Ash Wednesday and Thanksgiving services held.
- Bus tour (Marble Exhibit) luncheon held as a fundraiser.
- Basketball hoop installed in parking lot for recreational purposes.
- Sanctuary west wall and tower repointed.
- Raymond H. Allard, Sr. elected Honorary Deacon.
- Deacons’ annual review of current membership listing begun.
- Actual expenses (1982-1983): $89,199.
1984: Monday After-School Bible Group begun.
- Monthly trips to Green Mountain College Pool in Poultney.
- Easter Egg Hunt and Pancake Breakfast held.
- Halloween Party for Proctor children conducted.
- Park benches installed below front driveway.
- Debt on capital projects retired.
- Budget: $79,468.
1985: Sugar-on-Snow Social held.
- Fundraising auction held (Bus Mars as auctioneer).
- Sunshine Nursery School incorporated into church program.
- Parish House dining room painted.
- Mission-of-the-Month program established.
- Ecumenical mid-week Lenten services begun.
- Ecumenical summer youth program conducted.
- Community Concerns Council surveyed every Proctor household (determined need for daycare services).
- Christmas Cookie Recipe Exchange tried.
- Budget surplus: $8,500
1986: Ecumenical Youth Retreat at Trak Inn, Bomoseen.
- Ecumenical Lenten and Advent Workshops and studies begun.
- Complete renovation of Sunshine Nursery School rooms done.
- Interior of Parish House painted.
- Parsonage exterior painted, and new kitchen floor installed.
- Budget surplus: $3,500.
1987: Major renovation of Sunday School rooms done.
- New fire alarm system installed in Parish House.
- Children’s Center Daycare in Parish House initiated.
- Actual Expenses (1986-1987): $61,330.
- Photo copying machine installed in Parish House office, gift of Sanborn Partridge.
1988: Protective Lexan panels vented to eliminate condensation and reduce heat buildup on the stained glass windows.
September, 1988: Rev. Deborah E. Jeter (Congregational) called as interim pastor.
- Ecumenical Bible School conducted.
- Ministers’ Portrait Gallery erected in Parish House.
- July, Rev. Michael J. Moran resigned as pastor. (Summary of his ministry in Deacons’ Report, 1987-1988 Annual Report.)
- Outreach projects included support of Church World Service Blanket Fund, Rutland County Citizens Advocacy Program, Habitat for Humanity and the Heifer Project.
- Nettie Humphrey Alexander and Victor Valach elected Deacons Emeriti.
1989: Church pew cushions re-covered, financed by Women’s Association and church contributions.
September, 1989: The Rev. Russell S. Gates (United Church of Christ) of Plymouth, Mass. called as sixteenth pastor of the church.
- Parsonage alterations included shower and vent fan, larger radiator in kitchen, and front hall closet built.
- Parish House sump pump replaced, front porch and steps painted.
- Steam line to church replaced and insulated.
- Sunday School included Nursery, Kindergarten, Junior-Primary departments.
- Church hosted Peer Leadership Training course (Rutland and Proctor High Schools) in Parish House.
- Children’s Day presentations of offerings to Rutland County Animal Shelter and to Women’s Network.
- One-week ecumenical Vacation Bible School held at St. Dominic’s.
- Children’s Center and Sunshine Nursery School Joint Committee formed, composed of parents and a church chairperson.
- August, Rev. Deborah Jeter resigned as interim pastor.
1990: New flashing installed and broken slates replaced on church roof.
- Parish House shingles and copper valleys, flashing and “pan” replaced.
- Kris Finnigan was hired as Church Secretary in January, replacing Nancy LeCount.
- New windows in Children’s Center Daycare room, financed by New England Telephone.
- Used smoke detectors in Parish House replaced with new ones.
- New drapes installed in Parish House dining room.
- Pancake Breakfast and Community Egg Hunt held in the Parish House and on the church grounds, the Saturday before Palm Sunday.
- Garaventa Chair Lift installed at church entrance at a cost of $15,000, financed by church donations, the MRP Fund (80%), and gifts in memory of Victor Valach.
- June 23, 1990: Union Church began weekend celebration of its centennial. Family Social and games in the town park, followed by barbecued chicken dinner on the Parish House lawn and evening program featuring “the Past, Present and Future of the Union Church Family.”
- June 24, 1990: Centennial Worship Service, with returning pastors and choir members. Reception in Parish House following the service, where many historical documents and memorabilia were displayed.
- Church Family Photo Directory assembled and distributed.
- Memorial Organ Restoration Fund created.
- Robert Miller retired after 14 years as Union Church organist.
- PHS Peer Leadership Training again hosted in Parish House.
- Senior High Youth Fellowship formed.
- Habitat for Humanity aid begun as Outreach activity (later renamed “Rutland Region Habitat for Humanity”).
- Coffee Hour begun as post-worship social.
- Bazaar earned $3,412.
- Church budget was $78,142.
1991: Annual Business and Elections meetings combined and held in January; Yearbook
re-instituted, as a 1990 summary.
- New and combined fund designations organized and redefined (see page 1 of 1991 Yearbook).
- Four Parish House rooms named in honor of past long-time Deacons (Higbee Library, Stilson, Taylor and Powers classrooms).
- Handicapped and “short-walkers” parking zone in front of Parish House established.
- A new cement stairway to lower parking lot poured.
- Mary Millett becomes the Union Church organist.
- “The Vigil of 39 Hours” (from 3:00 p.m. on Good Friday through 6:00 a.m. on Easter morning) was introduced.
- Easter Sunrise Service conducted by Youth Group at Wilson Castle for the first time.
- Detailed report on Union Church members’ range of pledging responses printed in Yearbook.
- “Talents” fundraiser offered each member $20 to be used to make an increase through the use of their wits and talents, returned to the church in three months.
- Junior High Youth Fellowship formed in October.
- October Laity Sunday Service held.
- Bazaar earned $4,260
- Church budget was $75,543.
1992: “Sun Catcher” reproductions of Spring and Summer Tiffany Windows produced by a Toronto glass company to be sold internationally in high-end shops and through their catalogue; also sold locally as a UCP fundraiser.
- “Plant ‘n Pastry Sale” begun as a spring fundraiser.
- Electric stove installed in kitchen, donated by John and Jean Gallus.
- “The Ark” structure added to the church playground, financed by the Sunshine Nursery School.
- Sunday School curriculum changed to Whole People of God, an intergenerational, ecumenical program; Sunday School hour separated from Worship hour, allowing for an Adult Class.
- “Pony Express” style of pledge drive introduced successfully.
- “Advent Workshop” begun on the evening of the first Sunday in Advent, with crafts and carols for all ages.
- Bazaar earned $4,826.
- Church budget was $76,136.
1993: IBM PC Computer donated by Central Vermont Public Service Corporation.
- Slate floor installed in church narthex by the men of the church.
- Evangelism Committee formed in March.
- Confirmation Classes begun with a yearlong program, held every other year for 9th Graders. Six high school aged youth confirmed on May 23rd.
- Men’s Chorus or Children’s Choir offer an anthem each month during Sunday services.
- Organ restoration by Wicks Organ Company begun and completed; the Organ Fund raised over $15,000 in memorial gifts with the remaining $71,800 coming from MRP Fund.
- Organ Restoration Dedication Service held October 17th.
- Gift of $25,000 from Sarah Proctor Stafford estate, to be used for “general purposes,” without restrictions.
- New vinyl replacement windows were installed throughout the Parish House by Bruce Carrington, using $10,000 from the Sarah Proctor Stafford gift.
- Sixteen-piece Italian terra-cotta nativity collection given by Fred and Marion Rathjen, in memory of their grandson, William Cornell, Jr.
- Bazaar earned $5,015
- Church budget was $78,384, with a year-end deficit of $5,740.
1994: Work on computerizing the financial records and payroll of the church begun.
- Ceiling fans installed in the church sanctuary, a gift from Mary (Mrs. George) Johnson.
- July auction, with Bus Mars as auctioneer, held, earning $2,000 and sponsored by the Finance & Stewardship and Buildings & Grounds Committees.
- Nine “cathedral” wide-candle candlesticks given by Dean Northrop.
- All-Church Turkey Dinner held in September, involving over 100 church volunteers and earning about $1,200.
- “Leaf-Peepers Bed and Breakfast,” using bedrooms donated by church members with a breakfast offered at the Parish House, tried as a fundraiser; made about $600.
- Outreach disbursements showed 24 sponsorships, with the congregation indicating highest interest in:
Proctor Community Concerns Council Habitat for Humanity
The Open Door Mission Church World Service/CROP
Rutland Women’s Network Union Church General Fund
- Bazaar earned $4,500
- Church budget was $98,677
1995: Secretary’s Office moved to west end of the Parish House balcony.
- A new Canon Copier was purchased.
- Replacement oil burner and firebox installed in Parsonage.
- Finance changes: New job descriptions for Financial Secretary, Bookkeeper and Treasurer; a new computerized accounting system attempted.
- Additional refrigerator given by Women’s Association; Buildings & Grounds Committee volunteer to make a “cubicle” for the new frig.
- Pews removed from ½ of the transept area of the sanctuary to accommodate fellowship and coffee hours.
- Songs for Praise and Worship (blue songbooks) given in memory of Hazel Argentero, by Bob and Joan Argentero.
- Sign-in “Ritual of Friendship” booklet placed in pews for Sunday attendance and introducing guests.
- Five young people (3 girls and 2 boys) were confirmed on June 4th.
- Sunday School returns to part of the same hour as Morning Worship; Sunday School children and teachers attend first 20 minutes of service, before going to the Parish House for classes.
- “Foster Family” Sunday School program begun: adults given a Sunday School child with whom to become special friends.
- New reversible paraments for Advent, Communion, Christmas and Easter given in memory of Inez Fay, by son, Gary.
- First Lady of the Lake Retreat held at the Allenby Camp on Lake George in September.
- “Dolly” installed on the legs of the sanctuary Steinway piano.
- October “Bed and Breakfast” fundraiser held again… and again in 1996.
- Bazaar earned $5,318.
- Church budget was $86,615.
1996: Parsonage windows replaced with vinyl, double paned, easily cleaned windows, funded by the MRP Fund.
- New accounting system (ACS – American Church Systems) implemented successfully, purchased as a gift from Charles Partridge; bookkeeping changes with computerized accounts, payrolls, receivables, etc.
- Less conservative, balanced portfolio developed by Finance & Stewardship Committee (1996 and 1997 Yearbooks provide detailed breakdown of Union Church financial status).
- Second Family Photo Church Directory issued in June.
- Vesper Service held in Parish House in August.
- Union Church symbolic logo adopted.
- Bazaar earned $5,805.
- Church budget was $86,961.
1997: Parsonage given vinyl clapboard siding, and kitchen remodeled (cabinets built by Rev. Gates of butternut).
- New vinyl Church sign installed, replacing deteriorating metal one on downtown side of the church property, given in memory of Frank and Helen Olney, by their children.
- Partridge family investment with the Vermont Community Fund, of Middlebury, presented, with income distributed to Union Church quarterly.
- Four teens – all girls – were confirmed on May 25th.
- Stock income for purchase of Parsonage stove and a computer monitor given by Gary Fay.
- CHIME group of vocalists and instrumentalists offer praise music during worship, using the new blue songbooks and instrumental scores.
- Schulmerich Carillon system shut down as no longer functional.
- Proctor Community Concerns Council initiates an annual “Proctor Recognition Dinner,” celebrating the many years of community service given by Paul Trapini.
- “Exploring the Grief Continuum: Trauma, Loss and Transition” Workshop, sponsored by GriefWorks, a countywide grief management team, was presented in Parish House.
- Annual Bazaar becomes an all-church responsibility after many years under Women’s Association auspices.
- Bazaar earned $5,665.
- Church budget was $90,466.
1998: Outreach Committee establishes the Fuel Assistance Fund with Proctor Coal Company.
- Outreach support is changed from separate, individual pledges to 15% of all pledges/gifts.
- UCP volunteers (20) go to South Hero to help community clean up after a major ice storm.
- Social Committee purchases new dishes and tablecloths for Dining Room.
- A reconditioned dishwasher, gas hot water heater and necessary plumbing/electrical were installed in the UCP kitchen, using memorial gifts given for Lena & Ray Allard, Euna Capman, Tess Galo, Laura Gustafson, Anna McKenzie, Alice Morse and Glenn Patch.
- April Ham Dinner held, with poor response.
- A Junior High Ecumenical Youth Group is begun, led by Steve and Nancy Allenby.
- Eleven new members were received on Palm Sunday.
- Lenten Offering and Blanket Fund Offering exceeded their dollar goals.
- Organist Mary Millett resigns; replaced by Janet Stover.
- No Plant ‘n Pastry Sale conducted this year.
- “Medical Equipment Lending Program” established by the Outreach Committee.
- Carillon survey conducted to determine congregational interest in replacing the system at an estimated cost of $17,000 to $23,000. Vote was in the affirmative.
- “Sutherland Falls Hose Company” (Proctor Fire Dept.) celebrates its Centennial, and UCP sponsors a 5K Run for all ages, in support of the event. The Ecumenical Vacation Bible School entered an award-winning float in the Firemen’s Parade.
- After 27 consecutive years, the UCP Canadian Canoe Trip is discontinued. Deep appreciation is expressed to Sanborn Partridge, who led all 27 trips! Canoes and other equipment were given to Rev. Jim Gray, at the Dorset Congregational Church, to be used in his outdoor ministries.
- Summer Worship at the Proctor Pool, and vespers in the Parish House are continued.
- Keeping In Touch outreach expanded to include “shut-ins” and nursing home residents.
- “RampAnts” (a wheelchair ramp building ministry) begins using volunteers from UCP to design and build ramps in partnership with state agencies which will fund materials.
- Within the October 18th Morning Worship, “a service of closure” is conducted as the Women’s Association of Union Church concludes its meetings and ministries.
- Sanctuary painted and carpeting installed in the month of September, financed by the Heritage Fund. Services held in the Parish House while work is in progress.
- A fund drive, in memory of Miss Emily D. Proctor, is conducted to replace the Schulmerich Carillon with a “digitally programmed” system from the van Bergen Company, in Charleston, SC – a total cost of $19,880.
- The Bazaar earned $7,032
- Actual Operating Expenses were $93,290, yielding a $7,466 surplus for the year.
- Average Sunday attendance: 80.5. Membership: 211.
1999: “Lenten Fair” begins: a Sunday in Lent when the children of all three churches in Proctor meet together for lessons, crafts, music and refreshments, during Morning Worship.
- Carillon installed in March, with funding coming from individual donations and the Mortimer Proctor Fund. $4,000 collected in excess of cost; balance returned to MPF.
- Ceiling in Parish House Dining Room covered with suspended panels. $2,464.
- B & G Committee paint and repair Parish House kitchen cabinets.
- Wednesday Morning Prayer & Bible Study Group begins “Birthdays in Prison” visits each month, celebrating the birthdays of the month among the inmates.
- Parish House chimney replaced from roof up, upper “pan roof” and porch roof replaced: $11,521.
- Four youths, 2 girls and 2 boys, confirmed on May 30th.
- All-Church Clean-Up Sundays, one in fall and one in spring, with folks in work clothes for worship, then cleaning grounds, windows, followed by picnic lunch. Great success!
- Fuel Assistance Fund discontinued due to lack of use.
- First RampAnts project in April, at a trailer in North Clarendon.
- Wheelchair lift at church is aging quickly (intended for interior use only [!]); church attempting to persuade Garaventa Lifts to rectify with a low price on replacement lift.
- Mortimer Proctor Fund refuses $4,000 return from carillon; held for future projects.
- Glenn Giles is celebrated for his 25 years as Union Church’s Choir Director.
- Annual fuel oil contract signed between UCP and Proctor Coal: $.69 per gallon.
- Glenn Giles steps down as director of the Proctor Christmas Chorus.
- Plant ‘n Pastry Sale and Bazaar earned $8,689
- Annual budget: $102,107, ending year with a surplus of $8,253
- Average Sunday attendance: 77. Membership: 207.
2000: Church Council adopts a policy regarding all the funds of Union Church, to return to principle a portion of “spendable income” equal to the inflation rate of that earning period.
- New oak cabinets were added to the “choir and robing rooms” in the church, in memory of Anna Williams Cizmadia, by her husband, Joseph. $5,000.
- Roy Pilcher resigns as president of the Sunshine Nursery/Children’s Center Board, after 14 years of able service.
- A new sound system, including corded and wireless microphones, new speakers and amplifier, a cassette tape recorder/player and a CD player, is given to UCP in memory of Mary Moore Partridge, by her husband, Charles, daughter, Carol, and son, Roger.
- RampAnts projects growing in complexity and number; apparently a great need.
- Parsonage driveway rebuilt and resurfaced, with pachysandra ground cover on bank.
- Summer services at the pool, and evening vespers continue.
- Church steeple repaired. More problems discovered.
- Pew Cards replace the “Ritual of Friendship” sign-in booklets in the pews.
- Nelson Fund continues to support ($500 annually) the trips and programs of “Proctor Seniors.”
- “Interest Inventories” circulated among membership, intended to highlight areas of ministry, fellowship and worship preferred. Good response.
- Six youth, 5 girls and 1 boy, confirmed on December 3rd.
- RampAnts promote concept of “a temporary, reusable ramp system” to be used where there is a short-term need. Work begins on building a prototype.
- Bazaar earns $6,743.
- Actual Operating Expenses: $101,947, yielding a surplus of $10,077.
- Average Sunday attendance: 72. Membership: 203
2001: Parish House/Church furnace repaired extensively: $6,139.
- Foster Family program continues with Sunday School children and adults in the congregation attending breakfasts and outings together.
- Audubon Society continues its connection with UCP, having monthly meetings in the Parish House, and hosting statewide conferences and special speakers there.
- A new computer is purchased for the church, to be used primarily by the pastor.
- A “Bookkeeper” is hired part time to do monthly reconciliations and determine proper use of computer-programmed line items.
- A “Building Manager” position is filled to keep up with repairs/maintenance part time.
- A “Procedures at the Time of My Death” form is developed to allow church members/friends to make decisions about their own funeral/memorial arrangements.
- Church steeple completely re-shingled with slate: $17,000 (½ from MPF).
- Parsonage 2nd floor hallway, back stairway and 1st floor dining room painted, wallpaper stripped and re-papered.
- Summer worship hour at 9:00 a.m.; school year, 10:00 a.m.
- RampAnts portable ramp prototype completed; funded by state funds and UCP’s Nelson Fund.
- Janet (Stover) Hazelton resigns as UCP Organist; Alan Walker hired.
- Five youth, 2 girls and 3 boys, confirmed on June 3rd.
- Water cooler installed in church; water to drink after 111 years!
- Large evergreen tree just north of church entrance lighted at Christmas time.
- Proctor Community Concerns Council aids 31 households, including 63 children with the Christmas Voucher Program.
- RampAnts receive The Governor’s Award for Design/Accessibility.
- Bazaar earns $6,887.
- Actual Operating Expenses: $103,719, yielding a surplus of $10,252.
- Average Sunday attendance: 79. Membership: 216.
2002: New fire alarm dialing system installed – 911 compliant. $500 plus $145/year.
- Possibility of a comprehensive project to meet accessibility needs raised.
- Deacons begin Sunday Morning Worship with songs from “the Blue Book.”
- Determined that UCP is tax exempt as a religious corporation, but does not have, or need, 501-C3 non-profit status with the federal government to remain so exempt.
- Council decides to publish in the yearbook a complete list of members (active & inactive), while a “committees’ working list” of active members and friends will be kept on the church computer.
- Church computerized accounting program converts from DOS to Windows, requiring the purchase of a new computer for the secretary. $1,560.
- Cracks in parking lot filled and entire area sealed.
- Possibility discussed of new exterior lighting around the buildings, in memory of Charles Partridge.
- “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” adult fellowship begun, with “mystery guests” sharing meals with hosts whose identities are revealed at the last minute. Very successful and fun!
- Meals program begun for households where someone is returning from a hospital stay, childbirth or bereavement.
- New Garland commercial gas stove purchased for kitchen – $2,600 – John Gallus memorial.
- Stained glass windows examined by Tim Byrne, and deemed in good and stable condition.
- Money from the Barnes/Thomas Fund used to pay summer worship soloists.
- Children’s Center reaches a crisis point financially; council releases it from any financial responsibility to UCP.
- Bazaar now an “All-Church Bazaar,” after dissolution of Women’s Association; Helen Howe, long-time chair of the event, ready to step down – her many years of service much appreciated. Helen’s daughter, Donna Howe, will take over.
- Frank Olney, raised in Proctor/UCP and an architect in Boston, contacted about the “connector concept” for accessibility in our two buildings.
- Ladies of the Lake Retreat moved from Lake George to home of Joan & Bob Argentero, on Lake Bomoseen.
- A UCP Photo Directory produced by Olin Mills, Inc., including pictures of 75 households.
- UCP contracts with Frank Olney to conduct an accessibility feasibility study. $2,750.
- Men’s Breakfasts held monthly.
- Proctor’s Marble Bridge closed in the spring for extensive reconstruction, effectively cutting the town in half. Bridge re-opened in December.
- Old UCP engraved flatware “retired” for special occasions, and new silverware purchased.
- Policy adopted prohibiting consumption of alcohol in the Church, Parish House or on their grounds, with the exception of a “one-glass-only” champagne toast at wedding receptions.
- Dining Room floor “scuffed” and refinished.
- Memorial Lights on Community Christmas Tree begun; proceeds to PCCC.
- Children’s Center making a dramatic return to solvency – operating now in the black!
- Bazaar earned $7,354.
- Actual Operating Expenses: $124,776, yielding a surplus of $5,388.
- Average Sunday attendance: 92. Membership (combined active and inactive): 225.
2003: RampAnts funded by state as pilot program for use of aluminum, modular, reusable ramps, manufactured by AlumiRamp, out of Michigan. $10,000.
- Union Church of Proctor By-Laws amended and revised, by vote of the Annual Meeting.
- Digital Camera purchased for use at Church activities: $400.
- 12-13 singers in the UCP Senior Choir.
- Gettysburg College Choir sings at UCP; stay overnight and breakfasted. Great!
- Crossroads Arts Council initiates “Sundays at 2:00” concerts/recitals at UCP.
- Frank Olney conducts first accessibility feasibility meeting at UCP – 4/26/03.
- Steve & Nancy Allenby step down as Youth Group leaders – 14 years of great service.
- Discovering UCP owns the land from the back of the buildings down to the railroad tracks, consideration is given to enlarging parking lot for much needed additional spaces.
- Nationally famous hand bell choir from Christ United Methodist Church in Salt Lake City, Utah, performs at UCP. Exceptional!
- Fuel oil contract with Proctor Coal Company: $.98 per gallon.
- All three bathrooms at Parsonage redecorated.
- Four youths, all girls, were confirmed on June 8th.
- Special summer services continue: one at Proctor Pool, another evening vespers.
- Fabian Excavation contracted to remove ledge, add fill and top with stone area behind exiting parking lot to double parking capacity: $10,000.
- Survey conducted by Deacons to determine congregational preferences in worship music.
- UCP participates in Church World Service CROP Walk with other churches, in Rutland.
- 120 Pew Bibles (NRSV) purchased from Vermont Ecumenical & Bible Society: $700.
- Frank Olney conducts second accessibility feasibility meeting at UCP – 10/25/03 – offering two plans for connecting two buildings in a manner that renders all levels and restrooms accessible.
- The Christmas Concert, performed by Proctor Community Christmas Chorus for 25 years, discontinued.
- OMYA contracts with the Children’s Center to open the Baby Center, next to the Proctor Post Office, for care of its employees’ infants. All ancillary costs of this project would be the burden of OMYA alone; the church will have not investment in the Baby Center, other than to provide their liability insurance.
- Outreach initiates “Santa’s Shoppers” – inexpensive gifts provided nursing home residents from which to choose gifts for their loved ones. Big success. Funded by the Gunnar & Mary Nelson Fund.
- Outreach initiates a long-term support relationship with Project Chacocente, a resettlement effort, moving families from the Managua City Dump to a rural collective in Nicaragua.
- New rheostats installed in church - $5,500 (from Heritage Fund).
- Bazaar earned $7,864.
- Actual Operating Expenses: $134,292, yielding a deficit of $2,161.
- Average Sunday attendance: 89. Membership: 223.
2004: “Pastor’s bedroom” redecorated in Parsonage.
- Plan for accessibility, connecting buildings, new restrooms, elevator, etc. unanimously accepted “in concept” at 2003 Annual Meeting of UCP.
- “Accessibility Financial Feasibility Committee” (AFFC), appointed by Council to determine where and if monetary support is available for AccessAbility Project.
- New boiler installed in Parsonage: $8,500.
- Clean-up of soot damage to Parsonage caused by old boiler: $16,000 (UCC insurance).
- Southeastern corner of foundation wall at Parsonage rebuilt: $7,500.
- “Men of the Mountain” Retreat initiated, with 8 participants, at Pico Pond, in Mendon.
- Nametags made available to all during worship; fairly well accepted.
- Deacons revisit the possibility of purchasing new hymnals to replace the 1962 edition Pilgrim Hymnal currently in use.
- Keeping In Touch cards to shut-ins and college/military young adults continue; “goodie boxes” are sent out in February each year to the younger group. Very popular!
- $2,500 raised from congregation to hire a professional consultant for AFFC’s financial feasibility study – Mitchell Moore, of Harrisonburg, VA, hired.
- All-Church Work Sundays continue, one in the fall and one in the spring, and bring our buildings and grounds into shape for the next season. A popular event with hot dogs and hamburgers following an hour or so of work after worship.
- “Hanging of the Greens” instituted on a weekday evening, to decorate the sanctuary and doors of the church for Christmas; many of all ages participating – pizza following work!
- Bazaar earned $7,906.
- Actual Operating Expenses: $154,877, yielding a surplus of $1,102.
- Average Sunday attendance: 83. Membership: 226.
2005: Alice “Nonnie” Cooney Frelinghuysen, curator of the L.C. Tiffany exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, joined us in worship on March 20th
, and afterwards, gave an impressive and informative lecture on our Tiffany Windows. She indicated that our three “diptychs” are among the most beautiful that Tiffany produced, due in part to the fact that Agnes Northrup, his premier watercolorist/designer, created the prototypes used in their creation.
- Concern about the Memorial Fund, an irrevocable trust held by the Chittenden Bank, which is made up of donations for church people, but is not in the control of the church; church initiated inquiries into ways to regain some control about how the money is invested.
- Mitch Moore, our Accessibility Feasibility consultant, determined the church could raise approximately $250,000 for this project. Next step to form a committee to carry out an Architectural & Engineering Study.
- Estimate for updating wiring in the Sanctuary came to $35,000-50,000; no action taken.
- Van Bergen Bell System, installed in 1998, is beginning to have troubles (!); questions as to appreciation of the music by surrounding residents (!!)
- “Saints’ Sunday,” honoring past and current long-time stalwarts of Union Church, was held on May 1st, with a wonderful turnout and celebration, followed by a delicious Dinner.
- Fuel oil contract jumps in cost from the previous one, but $10,000.
- Ecumenical Vacation Bible School, held in and around St. Dominic’s Catholic Church the first full week in August, continues to thrive with 70-90 children participating and 40 youth and adults as teachers, helpers, etc.
- RFP’s for architectural bids by the A & E Study Committee went out, hoping to have preliminary plans and models for accessibility available to the Annual Meeting. Estimated cost $15,000. Ann Vivian, of G-V-V Architects in South Burlington, as selected for the work.
- The winter of 2005 saw the beginning of a much-needed service from John “Nick” Ojala, who offered to shovel the stairs and walks around the church buildings at no charge.
- Bazaar earned: $ 7,960
- Actual Operating Expenses: $135,414, yielding a surplus of $6,194.
- Average Sunday attendance: 90. Membership: 219
2006: AccessAbility Project begins with a congregational workshop led by our architect, Ann Vivian; a preliminary and ambitious plan was adopted for presentation at annual meeting.
- The Mary Proctor Fund (church only or “Little Mary”) was turned over to the church because at $66,000, it was too small for management by the Chittenden Trust Company. It will be used to meet unexpected expenses, like the rapidly increasing cost of fuel contract.
- A & E Committee becomes the AccessAbility Building Committee, consisting of E. Lon Schneider, chair, Nancy Allenby, Russ Gates, George Pilcher, Jane Ross, Brad Thomas, Dan Varney and Ann Volz.
- Annual Meeting accepts the final design for the AccessAbility Project, at a cost of $751,000.
- AccessAbility Funding Committee established, consisting of Linda Doty, chair, Nancy Allenby, G. Ray Ault, Gary Fay, Russ Gates, Ed Larson, Tom Oxholm, E. Lon Schneider, Brad Thomas and Jim Toher.
- Graphic artist and friend of the church, Kathy Milillo, donated her services in the design and production of first class fundraising materials.
- AccessAbility fundraising drive officially begins in August, 2006, and by mid-September had received $180,000 in gifts and pledges.
- Women’s Retreat held at a Catholic retreat center, Lumen Christi, in Benson, VT.
- Chimney at Parsonage gets a new metal liner; $ 2,722
- Church Pictorial Directory, by Olin Mills, was completed and received back in December.
- Fence installed by parishioners, with the help of a worker from Pratico’s Fence Company, around the Children’s Center/Sunshine Nursery Playground; required for state license.
- “Oboe Pipes” added to pipe organ, replacing a rank that was little used: $ 3,000
- Outreach Committee commits $3,000/year for three years to the Nicaraguan “Out of the Dump” housing project outside Managua.
- Bazaar earned: $ 8,662
- Actual Operating Expenses: $138,942, yielding a surplus of $2,711.
- Average Sunday attendance: 82. Membership: 230
2007: After 14 years of terrific leadership of the Proctor Youth Group, Nancy and Steve Allenby stepped down, with the average attendance over the years of more than 25 youth.
- After lengthy discussion with the board of Deacons and the Church Council, it was decided that whether or not to perform Civil Unions of gay and lesbian couples in the church would be left to the discretion of the Pastor, as is the case with marriages of heterosexual couples (See February, 2007 SCROLL/FROM THE BALCONY).
- Union Church selected the Neagley & Chase Construction Company, of Burlington, VT, as our construction managers for the AccessAbility Project. Bids for the various parts of the project were received and selected, and a final plan and course of construction was accepted by the church.
- By the end of January, the Funding Committee had raised $465,000 in cash donations and an additional $271,000 in unpaid, three-year pledges.
- Lenten celebrations continue: Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper at St. Dominic’s Catholic Church, Ash Wednesday Observance at Union Church and Lenten Wednesday Evening Services each week at St. Paul Lutheran Church.
- Groundbreaking Celebration held on Sunday, April 15th, with Downtown Brass Company playing, and a reception following. Rainy but high-spirited.
- Additional railing, 14½ inches in height, installed on Parish House balcony wall, to comply with state safety regulations, imposed because of AccessAbility Project.
- Nine youths, 3 girls and 6 boys, confirmed on May 27th.
- AccessAbility construction begins on June 4th.
- Five pews in Sanctuary cut down, and two removed, to accommodate wheelchairs; work done well by church volunteers.
- Before construction moved too far along, it was decided not to heat the new addition and the sanctuary with the Parish House boiler; a new boiler was installed, not without complications, in the basement space of the church building, for this purpose, at a cost of about $16,000, from UCP’s Heritage Fund.
- A new Dell “Vostro 200” computer was purchased for the Pastor’s Study, $1,438.
- Following the ecumenical VBS program in August, Nancy Allenby and Lenore Gates step down as its directors, after 18 years of outstanding leadership. Audrey Tilden, with the help of others from several churches, will take up the work in 2008.
- UCP offers its 38th Annual Holiday Bazaar on November 3rd. Total funds raised: $9,986.
- Advent and Christmas activities continue and grow: Advent Workshop & Lunch, Santa’s Shoppers outreach to nursing homes, Hanging of the Greens, Sunday School Pageant, Caroling, Rutland Prison monthly visit with a holiday theme, Christmas Eve Candlelight.
- Financial stress increases at UCP, with the fuel oil contracted price for the 2007-08 heating season amounting to $4.31 per gallon, bringing to prepay to $22,000.
- AccessAbility Project continues on, dramatically beyond its originally anticipated completion date of October 1st!
- Actual Operating Expenses: $144,941, yielding a deficit of -$6,984.
- Average Sunday Attendance: 75 Membership: 243.
2008: The Ladies’ Lunch fellowship is begun by Bonnie Kelleway, inviting any women of the church to come to an area restaurant on the second Tuesday of each month, for a “dutch treat” lunch and fellowship. Numbers immediately came to and were sustained at 12-15 women each month.
- Church Council approves a “Memorandum of Understanding” with the Children’s Center, Baby Center and Sunshine Nursery School, more formally stating the connection of these three non-profit programs to the church. They operate under our federal ID number and therefore are ultimately responsible to the Church Council in matters of governance, non-profit standing and liability. The former “Board of Directors” for these three entities has been renamed “The Advisory Board.” They too are authorized to oversee the operations of the centers and school only by the discretion of the Church Council.
- Application to the Mortimer Proctor Fund was made by the church for monies to re-wire the Parish House attic and insulate that area ($15,200), and to re-side and re-paint the entire exterior of the Parish House ($95,300). Church received the $15,200 for the work in the attic only. That work was completed by the year’s end.
- OMYA, the company that purchased Vermont Marble Company from the Proctor family in 1976, begins to shift its North American headquarters from Proctor to Cincinnati, Ohio. This will have a considerable impact on the town and surrounding area, as nearly all administrative jobs will be moved.
- AccessAbility Project completed in April, with a wonderful Dedication Service on Sunday, May 18th, with bagpipes, drums, Downtown Brass and organ, playing Highland Cathedral as an introit and postlude. Many came to celebrate this moment in UCP’s history marking full accessibility at last, after 118 years! A joyful Reception followed.
- By the completion of the AccessAbility Project, the church had borrowed $68,000 from a line of credit at a local bank, at an interest rate of 2.25% (!), coming due in October. There were still more pledges to come in, though we had already received 92% of all funding anticipated. The bank agreed to extend the line for another year at the same interest rate (!!).
- Fuel oil contract for the 2008-09 heating season is dramatically less, at $2.26 per gallon, making the prepay, with credit for unused oil in previous year, about $10,000.
- Vacation Bible School continued its popular work as an ecumenical effort of the three churches, under the new leadership of UCP member, Audrey Tilden.
- The Vision Committee is begun in an effort prepare for the future: UCP identity within its fellowship and in the larger community, changes necessary for environmental and fiscal responsibility, redefinition of the pastoral work inside and outside the church and a good look at the wisdom of owning a parsonage. This committee soon used “Unbinding the Gospel,” a handbook for evangelism, as a touchstone for the future of UCP.
- Electronic “Prayer Partners” established by Deacons and over 20 parishioners signed up to receive these email listings of prayer requests received during worship on Sundays.
- RampAnts continue wheelchair accessibility work in the county, having installed more than 70 ramps and stairways over the past nine years.
- Ladies of the Lake Retreat continues to be well-attended, held at the home of Bob and Joan Argentero, on Lake Bomoseen, on a Friday and Saturday in January.
- 39th Annual Bazaar held the first Saturday of November, earning: $11,103
- Actual Operating Expenses: $ 160,878, yielding a deficit of -$4,360
- Average Sunday attendance: 78 Membership: 235
2009: Connector elevator goes out of warranty in March, at which time a maintenance contract was purchased from Bay State Elevator Company, at $205 per month.
- In order to cut some expenses out of the 2009 deficit budget, the pastor has decided to work part time as the interim Hospice Chaplain at the Rutland Area Visiting Nurse and Hospice Association. What he earns there, and in his antique restoration business will be deducted from his UCP salary. Netted about $5,000 in savings to the church.
- “The Rainy Day Fund” was begun, blending funds from the Memorial Fund and the Mary Proctor (“Little Mary”) Fund, and including an inaugural donation from John Conant, III.
- With the passing of Gareth Fay, the church’s Treasurer, in 2008, renew emphasis is put on the computer program, “ACS,” for church bookkeeping.
- New tables, Lifetime vinyl molded folding tables, 12 eight-footers and 8 six-footers, were purchased for the church, funded mostly by another donation from John “Jack” Conant. The old tables were kept to use as “loaners” to people for non-church events.
- The two pumps and four floats in the Parish House sewage pumping station were replaced by A-1 Sewer and Drain Company for $3,100; the previous equipment served the church without a problem for 37 years.
- Royal Technologies, the maintenance company for UCP’s fire alarm system, replaced the main box in the Parish House basement, and Pro Fire Tech replaced numerous antiquated fire extinguishers with new ones, and added others.
- Children’s Center, Sunshine Nursery School and the EEE program at the elementary school received two grants ($7,500 and $8,100 – “The Vermont Community Preschool Collaborative”) from the Vermont Community Fund for the purpose of bringing the 3 and 4 year-olds of the town “up to speed” for Kindergarten – secured with help from local grant writer, Carrie Becker.
- After the surfacing of a Jessie Willcox Smith painting at the Proctor Free Library, which was valued at close to $100,000, attention was focused on a dusty old painting in a similar frame, leaned against the back wall of a small closet in our Parish House. It was soon identified to be by the same artist, from the library’s same benefactor, Miss Emily Dutton Proctor, given to Union Church in the mid-1940’s. Because we could not secure a painting of this value and enjoy it at the same time, it was decided to sell it at auction by year’s end. On December 3rd, it was, at Sotheby’s Auction Company in New York City, for $90,000, yielding $85,500 to UCP after fees.
- Proctor Elementary School gives to UCP “on permanent loan,” a set of hand bells and chimes which were first used on Children’s Sunday.
- OMYA’s withdrawal from Proctor leaves “the old bank building” and the four-story marble office building empty. Fortunately, Carris Reels Company purchased the bank building, remodeled it and made it their corporate headquarters.
- The steeple carillon, replaced with new digital system in 1999, was shut down indefinitely due to electronic “breakdown.” Another replacement would cost about $12,000; no plans now exist to use the carillon again, or to replace it.
- Casella Waste Management continues a five or six year pattern of regularly donating services to Union Church, for which we are very grateful: waste containers for Bazaar’s unusable “leftovers,” containers and porta-potties for our AccessAbility Project, a street sweeper to clean sand/dirt off parking lots in the spring and trash totes for weekly pick-up.
- New outside lighting, given in memory of Charles Partridge by his family, is installed: two lampposts with LED lighting (expected to last about 17 years!) and landscaping; replaced fixtures for lighting the church exterior and Parish House porch with new, energy-efficient fixtures.
- In August, two months before the end of our line-of-credit for AccessAbility, the church paid $34,700 to the bank, with a third coming from recent donated funds and two-thirds from the Memorial Fund – the project has been completed and now paid in full.
- The large glass panels along the connector walkway were scratched during construction of the AccessAbility Project – a settlement of $15,000 from the construction company to the church was arranged. (Warning to all window-washers: tempered glass, as these panels are, is VERY susceptible to scratching; they must only be washed with window cleaner and soft cloths, NEVER SCRAPED)
- A “power washer” was purchased for cleaning the windows that are out-of-reach by ladder; also, a DR Trimmer was acquired to help keep brush down along the parking lots; the funds for these purchases came from a donation of $1,500 by a family for whom the RampAnts built a wheelchair ramp.
- Due to a fire at Proctor Place, the apartment building across from the church, the Baby Center was displaced from its facility there, as was the post office. The Center was squeezed into the Parish House temporarily (about 8 months), until repairs were completed at the former site.
- On the fourth Sunday of Advent, UCP celebrated for the first time, a “Blue Christmas” during worship, acknowledging that this season brings with it sad memories and unwanted changes from previous years. A candle-lighting ceremony (that almost got out of hand!) was well-received.
- As has been the case for several years, returning “children of the church” provided special music for the Christmas Eve Service; among them have been Caitlin Canty, Jordan Snow, Andrew Sutherland, Jen McManus and Jenna Coughenour.
- Actual Operating Expenses: $162,477, yielding a deficit of $7,627
- Average Sunday attendance: 77 Membership: 240
2010: The pastor sends out a congregational letter indicated that he and his wife, Lenore, will be seeking employment in Pennsylvania, and complete a move there by early to mid-summer.
- At the Annual Meeting, Sunday, February 7th, it was decided to use the proceeds from the sale of the Jessie Willcox Smith painting in the following manner: $8,550 to the Outreach Fund of UCP in support of its ministries outside the church; $5,000 set aside to cover (approximately) the cost for a lawyer to clear the deed to the Parsonage of a clause returning ownership to “the Proctor family” should it no longer be the home of the UCP pastor; $29,200 to “The Rainy Day Fund” in anticipation of future operating deficits at UCP; and $42,750 to cover a portion of the cost of residing and repainting of the Parish House, depending on a $58,000 grant from the Mortimer Proctor Fund.
- Grant request for $58,000 from the Mortimer Proctor Fund is denied in full.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
1890 – 2010: 120 Years of Union Church Ministers
- Rev. Russ Gates resigns from the pastorate at Union Church, effective following Worship, on June 13, 2010.
Loyal A. Bigelow April, 1890 – April, 1895
Howard J. Banker June, 1985 – September, 1898
George W.C. Hill December, 1898 – July, 1907
Frederick W. Raymond January, 1908 – June, 1916
Caleb H. Hodges May, 1917 – September, 1919
G. Ben Roberts December, 1919 – December, 1928
C. Lansing Seymour June, 1929 – February, 1935
R. Hawley Fitch September, 1935 – 1942
M. Robert Davis Interims:
1942, 1944-1945, 1949
Donald H. Frazier January, 1945 – March, 1949
Lowell Q. Haynes August, 1949 – May, 1955
C. Robert Harrah October, 1955 – October, 1958
Harold J. Wright July, 1959 – April, 1971
John N. Bixby, Jr. September, 1971 – March, 1976
J. Edward Carothers Interim:
July, 1976 – July, 1977
Alan L. Meyer August, 1977 – September, 1979
Michael J. Moran July, 1980 – July, 1988
Deborah E. Jeter Interim:
September 1988 – August, 1989
Russell S. Gates September, 1989 – June, 2010
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Union Church of Proctor, Vermont: A Chronology
Sources and References
Union Church of Proctor Annual Reports & Yearbooks
, 1909 – 2009 (No 1917 publication)
“Did You Know?” questions and answers prepared by R. Benjamin Westin and Rev. Michael Moran.
“Dates of Significance and Interest in the Life of Union Church of Proctor, Vermont” A six-page chronology prepared by Rev. Michael Moran.
Historical Synopsis of Union Church of Proctor, Vermont
1890 – 1895
Union Church: An Historical Sketch
1890 – 1915 (Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Booklet)
Union Church Scrapbooks:
Young People’s Society for Christian Endeavor Notebook, 1889 – 1898
#2 (1910 – 1912)
#3 (1913 – 1915)
#4 (1916 – 1920)
#5 (1921 – 1927: Contains eleven photographs of church interior renovation, 1926 –
#6 (1928 – 1934)
#7 (1935 – 1942)
#8 (1942 – 1965) [No materials on Rev. Harrah’s pastorate]
Minutes of Church Meetings
: Annual Meetings, Church Council, Standing Committee and Deacons. January, 1957 – June, 2010.
Committee Reports for 1942 – 1965
The SCROLL Newsletter:
Monthly UCP newsletter from January, 1977 (?) – June, 2010
“The Union Church of Proctor” a four-page paper researched by Sinclair T. Allen, dated 1/12/68.
Proctor: The Story of a Marble Town
by David C. Gale
Proctor: My Home Town
by Herbert W. Johnson, Sr.
Commemorative plaques on memorials in Union Church of Proctor.