Rector's Chronicle

8 November 2017

This weekend, we will celebrate the founders of our wonderful congregation. They first met in Thomas Corcoran’s house at 3119 M Street on 10 November 1817. Just one year later, the first church building was completed and the congregation held its first service on Christmas Day 1818. They simply got on with it!

Back in the 1930’s, my grandfather built small stone cottages in Galloway in Southwest Scotland. He built them in what was then the usual way - by hand, and with only one laborer to assist. The two of them marked the ground, dug the foundation, and constructed the entire thing - from turf to roof. Most are still there and occupied.

Dr. Reuel Keith, the first Rector of Christ Church, Georgetown, said as he prepared to leave his successful ministry in 1820:

“The Church . . . is built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone. It is cemented with the tears and prayers of some of His most faithful and devoted people. He will never leave it, nor forsake it.”

Our founders, honored in our memory though they are, knew very well that they were building on a much deeper foundation - one that preceded their lives in Georgetown, the Revolution, the Colonies, the British Empire, and another 1700 years of human history. This congregation is a precious, living stone in the great building that is the Christian Church. Its true foundation is the Apostles and Prophets with Jesus Christ being the chief cornerstone.

On Sunday, we will express gratitude for 200 years of worship and witness, mission and ministry. We will commit ourselves to the same sacrificial devotion that our founders showed in their determination to do what needed to be done. Most importantly, we will celebrate the presence of Jesus Christ in our midst - in our worship, in our fellowship, and in our service to others. We are today's founders, today's builders. What will those who come after us say about us, our faith, and our work? My prayer is that they will see in us what we now see in the lives of Dr. Keith, Francis Scott Key, Thomas Corcoran and all the others.


The Reverend Timothy A. R. Cole