How First U celebrated its 300th Anniversary

Friday, January 10, 2020 – Kick-Off Event: The January 10 Parish House Supper and Program featured the debut of a hymn, “Winds of Change” composed by Beth Armstrong for the anniversary, a presentation by the 300th committee dramatizing events of the first 100 years, and a sale of commemorative items, including sun catchers made from the memorial stained-glass windows that were installed in the Meeting House in the 19th century.

Beth Armstrong

SWAG items for sale

Sun Catcher and hang tag

Sunday, February 23, 2020: The Sunday Service featured the first in a planned series of sermons by Rev. Liz Lerner Maclay about our 300-year history. Her sermon, titled “Damnable Good Works,” described key events of the first hundred years. The congregation sang Beth Armstrong’s new hymn. The church’s historic silver communion service was on display, and 18th-century music filled the Meeting House. During the prior week, an outdoor banner proclaiming our 300th Anniversary was erected on the Meeting House lawn.

300th Outside Banner

The Rest of 2020: Like most other churches, in March 2020 we began to follow the Covid-19 guidelines issued by the Rhode Island Department of Health. Some activities planned for the tricentennial celebration have taken place. Phyllis Cole led a summer service titled “Our Benevolent Women” on the history of women in our church. The History Committee completed three banners, one for each hundred years. Commemorative items were advertised and sold from the church website.


Our First, Second, and Third Hundred Years Banners