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Home » Cotuit congregation opens time capsule from 1941, places new messages inside for future – Cape Cod Times

Cotuit congregation opens time capsule from 1941, places new messages inside for future – Cape Cod Times

COTUIT — Cotuit Federated Church’s the Rev. Angela Ballou connected Sunday’s New Testament reading to time capsule messages the congregation would be leaving for future church members.
The question was pertinent because as soon as the service ended, a time capsule from a 1941 expansion project was opened and its contents shared. Today’s parishioners were going to leave their own messages to go into a new time capsule to be placed in the current expansion project. 
Ballou talked about the apostles’ letters to the faithful left in the wake of Christ’s death and resurrection. What did the letters of Christ’s disciples convey to the community of believers, she asked. 
Hope, one person said. Love one another, said a woman 
Then she asked what messages they expected to read from the 1941 time capsule. And she asked what kind of messages they want to leave behind for others. 
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“Your great-great-grandchildren might open this new time capsule,” Ballou said. “What message would you want to give them?” 
People called out, “Have faith,” “Be strong,” “Have courage,” “Do not fear.” They talked about leaving messages of hope and prayers.   
Ballou recalled Christ’s timeless messages of truth, peace, and love.
“I am with you always until the end of time,” she said, citing the words Christian doctrine says he spoke to his disciples before ascending into heaven. 
That was the flavor of the messages left on the construction plans that will be buried in the new time capsule which will be placed in the foundation when the project is near completion. In colorful ink, people wrote their prayers and hopes for those who will come after them.  
When the old capsule was opened, they found an old church bulletin, pictures of the church, newspaper clippings from the New Bedford Standard Times, and a faded yearbook and directory of members. When Amy Fish, co-moderator of the Building Expansion Team read the monthly salary of the pastor at the time ($225) the crowd of about 70 people laughed. 
The church has been undergoing a $3.9 million renovation and expansion project that is expected to be completed this fall. The sanctuary will be expanded another 35 feet with 12 additional rows of pews. A new 5,200-square-foot community hall with a 150-occupant capacity is rising alongside the current hall. Renovation plans call for a new kitchen, music room, meeting rooms, offices, storage and a nursery.  
Community is driving the expansion, according to Fish.
“The building will serve the community in many different ways,” she said. 
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The new hall will be a place for Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings, host blood drives and serve as a gathering place for meals, Ballou said. It will hold memorial services, be a room to welcome the community into the fellowship hall following Santa’s arrival in Cotuit.  
Ballou credited her congregation for the ways they came together to work on the expansion and  supporting each other in the process. The COVID-19 pandemic threw a few wrenches into the works with social distancing requirements and closures.
“There was a sense of the Holy Spirit when we gathered online and outside,” she said. “During the pandemic we learned we are not a building but a church, a community of faith. As we expand our sacred space, we have an awareness that God’s presence is greater than the building.”
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Jennifer Loughran, a Building Expansion Team member, said fundraising promises to leave little if any debt after construction. The church has $3.4 million pledged of the $3.9 million cost. Three different revenue streams are expected to contribute more. And the church is offering bricks and benches for sale as a means of fundraising. 
Christine Silvia left a brass bell that she got as a Christmas present at a 2015 church event.
“My message is that this church has brought so many people together,” she said. 
Roger and Betsy Reid wrote, “Let there be more light.”
Just above it, “So I’m with the Lord, now. Looking down from above. God Bless. 2022.”
Contact Denise Coffey at [email protected].  

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