May 21, 2024

On This Land Honoring the 375th Anniversary of the Founding of Newman Congregational Church & The Town of Rehoboth


Rumford, R.I. - Newman Congregational Church, U.C.C., is pleased to present On This Land: A Celebratory Performance weaving History, Music & Poetry. As part of our year-long celebration of our 375-year anniversary, we will offer a 1 PM lecture in Memorial Hall followed by a 3 PM concert in our historic meetinghouse.

The 1 PM lecture will provide historical context, featuring Linda Coombs, author and historian of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head, Rebecca Smith, president of the Rehoboth Antiquarian Society, and Nancy Godfray of the Newman Church Historical Committee. The Newman Church congregation was founded in 1643 when our first minister, Rev. Samuel Newman, secured land from Chief Massasoit of the Wampanoag nation. Although the land was called Seekonk by the Wampanoags, Samuel Newman later called it Rehoboth, a Biblical term meaning open spaces or "God has made room for us." With this single act, both the church congregation and the town of Rehoboth were formed. The lecture will be presented in Memorial Hall, with original documents and historical artifacts provided by the Providence Historical Society and the Newman Congregational Church Historical Committee. There will be time for questions and answers and light refreshments afterwards.

At 3 PM, a performance follows, reflecting upon the history of the land and its inhabitants. This concert, weaving music, poetry and prose, is a collaboration between the Newman Church Choir, Geoffrey Greene, Director, and the AUREA Ensemble, Consuelo Sherba, Artistic Director, featuring the music of William Billings, Daniel Read, George Frideric Handel, and John Cage, with writings of Sylvanus Chace Newman, John Donne, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Herman Melville, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

The Newman Church Choir features Becky Bass, soprano, Barbara Youmans, alto, Matt Kleyla, tenor, and Jonne Gomes, bass. AUREA: The Alchemy of Music & Words, is a performance ensemble engaged in a joyous pursuit to investigate and invigorate the harmony of music and the spoken word. The group includes Nigel Gore, spoken word, Chris Turner, spoken word & harmonica, Katherine Winterstein, violin, Consuelo Sherba, viola, and Emmanuel Feldman, cello.
This afternoon of celebration all takes place on Sunday, November 4, 2018 at Newman Congregational Church, U.C.C. located at 100 Newman Avenue, Rumford, RI 02916. The public is cordially invited – the lecture is free and there is a suggested donation of $10 for the concert. People are welcome to attend the lecture, the concert, or both. A reception will follow the concert with an opportunity to meet the performers. Both events are made possible in part by a grant from the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities. For more information, to be a sponsor, or to reserve tickets, please call (401)434-4742 x10.


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