Manlius church to celebrate landmark birthday

The Manlius United Methodist Church located on the corner of Pleasant and Wesley streets marks its 100th birthday this year. On Sunday Sept. 9, past and present members of the congregation will take part in a celebration to honor its long-standing presence in Manlius.

The worship service will begin at 10:15 a.m. with a proclamation to be given by Manlius Mayor Rick Penhall. The service's theme, "I Have a Dream," will focus on the history of the church, with a fictional mini-drama about the decision to support the building of the new church (the original was built in 1822). The dialogue occurs between a prominent 1906 church member and circuit rider, or Methodist preacher.

Afterward, a dedication will take place for the new memorial garden located on the Pleasant Street lawn.

"The memorial garden is a permanent monument to those faithful Christians who influenced and shaped our Christian walk," said Reverend Carol Keller.

The garden includes stones and bricks with inscriptions pertaining to the church, the religion and its people over the years.

"Even as the garden is being built, those who have stood in its center have felt the presence of 'this great cloud of witnesses,'" Keller said referring to Hebrews 12:1 found in the Old Testament. "'It is truly holy ground,' is what has been said."

Festivities will conclude with a special Old Tyme Roast Beef dinner mirroring the menu from the 1924 dedication dinner for Fry Recreational Hall, which now houses Holy Grounds Caf (c), a monthly coffee house targeted for local teens.

"A dream was fulfilled 100 years ago and the dream continues today as we strive to bring God's love and grace to this community," Keller said.

The public is welcome to attend. Call 682-8021 to make dinner reservations.

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