February 24, 2024

Newman, UCC to Dedicate and Bless an Historical Marker to Acknowledge the Land of the Pokanoket Native American Tribe


On Sunday, October 2, 2022 Newman Congregational Church, United Church of Christ has invited members of the Pokanoket Native American Tribe to join us for our 10 AM service followed immediately by the dedication and blessing of a new historical marker that has been installed at Newman. The marker was installed across Newman Avenue from the church meetinghouse, near the Newman cemetery. In addition to the members of the Pokanoket tribe, other special invited guests include members of the East Providence Historical Society, the East Providence Chamber of Commerce, and the marker sponsor Blount Seafood.

The historical marker “A Sowams Heritage Area Site” documents the Ring of the Green and 17th Century settlement and depicts the church’s first meetinghouse at its center. By dedicating this historical marker, we acknowledge that Newman, UCC was the first permanent settlement within the Rehoboth land purchased from the Massasoit Ousamequin in 1643. The people of Newman UCC look at this special service as the beginning of a relationship with the Pokanoket tribe in which we acknowledge the truth of our history and help them to preserve their culture.

This special dedication and blessing of the historical marker is part of Newman UCC’s overall racial justice efforts. Recent actions by Newman UCC on this front include the creation of a Racial Equity Team. One of the ideas generated by this team was to develop and promote a Community Racial Equity Scholarship program that is open to the Black, Indigenous, and People Of Color (BIPOC) community. Newman UCC’s Racial Equity Team recently announced four individuals who were awarded scholarships totaling $23,500. Newman UCC and its Racial Equity Team hope that this scholarship program will continue to help level the education playing field for BIPOC individuals pursuing their dreams.

Newman UCC is an Open and Affirming congregation of the United Church of Christ and extends this invitation to one and all, living out the example of Jesus’ extravagant welcome.

Newman Congregational Church, United Church of Christ
100 Newman Avenue, Rumford, 02916


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