December 20, 1992

Dear Members and Friends of First Parish in Norwell in the year 2042:

The members and friends of First Parish in Norwell in 1992 extend their greetings across the years to you on this the occasion of your 400th Anniversary Year. Congratulations! Here's to the next 400 years.

We hope and pray that some of those who are alive and with us this day, our children, will be present with you on December 21, 2042 and can provide a living link between our generation and yours. Most of us will be dead and buried, but we will be with you in spirit. We hope that you will find as much meaning, enthusiasm and support in the congregation of 2,042 as we have found in the congregation of 1992, and that you will continue to be good stewards of this church that we love, its building and properties, its people and programs. We are the generation that built the new addition of offices, classrooms and meeting rooms. We hope they have served you and the community well over the past 50 years. We have been enjoying them for just two years and have 13 more years to go on the mortgage. You will have other things to pay for in 2,042. God willing this will not be one of them.

We don't know what the world will be like in 2042, but we suspect that it will be not unlike the world we live in. Like us, I am sure, you struggle to feed the hungry and to minister to the sick and the oppressed. We hope that you will be closer to a world at peace than we are and that people and nations and races will be working together for common goals and aspirations. We hope you will be more successful in the reverence and preservation of the natural world than we have been. It won't be easy. There will always be contending interests and values. Maybe you will be exploring more of the solar system than we have. Perhaps a colony will have been established on the moon, maybe even on Mars. We wish you well in the exploration of the universe beyond this beautiful blue green planet, but we wish you even more success in the exploration of the heights and depths of the human spirit in all of its mystery and wonder.

You will find some interesting things in this time capsule, the last two pictoral directories of the members and friends of this church, a selection of orders of worship and newsletters, some newspaper stories and magazines about the church and the times we live in, a group photo of those attending our opening fall service in September and other photos, some sermons, prayers and addresses pertaining to our 350th anniversary year, letters of congratulations from the President, the Governor, senators and representatives, and other materials. We hope you find these of interest.

We who are alive on this day greet you who are not yet born and pray for you a world and a life full of challenge, excitement, meaning, purpose and adventure. May you and the congregation of 2042 and all succeeding generations continue to minister to people in all the experiences and conditions of human life. May you celebrate the joys and the sorrows and the mysteries of birth, coming-of-age, marriage, death and the renewal of life in all its pain and glory.

May the ultimate power and source of life and death bless you with courage, hope and determination to make of your world and your church a haven of love and peace for all who draw the breath of life. Happy 400th Anniversary. Long live the people and the church known as the First Parish of Norwell, Massachusetts.