Reformation Sunday and The Kirkin’ O’ the Tartans on October 28th during both Worship services.
All are invited to bring to Worship items that are important to the spiritual life of our families: a Bible, a prayer shawl, anything that is important to our worship life. Those of Scottish heritage are encouraged to bring a piece of their family tartan.
These symbols of who we are and how we worship will be placed at the front of the church and as we worship will remind us of the great diversity among us and the unity and oneness our faith in Jesus Christ brings.
THE BACKGROUND: In the 1500’s, after studying with John Calvin in Geneva, John Knox returned to Scotland and continued to urge the reforms that led to the creation of Presbyterianism. Local Presbyterian churches became known as kirks.
Tartans are an internationally recognized symbol of Scotland. Highlanders wore clothes with distinctive striped or checked patterns, and the growth of clan and family tartans became popular in the mid-18th Century. As part of the effort to bring Scottish Highlanders under control in the 1700’s, the Act of Proscription was passed and the wearing of the tartan was banned.
From that period came the legend of Highlanders secretly bringing pieces of tartan cloth into their kirks to be blessed. In the mid-1900’s, Presbyterian Minister Reverend Peter Marshall gave a sermon at the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church entitled “Kirkin’ o’ the Tartans” and the celebration was born out of subsequent services.
The people of God have celebrated their faith and heritage across time. Today churches of many denominations celebrate the Kirkin’ O’ the Tartan service. Our Church has deep roots in the community and those roots reach wide across cultures and traditions.