A ceremony to break ground for the Accessibility Project at the Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow has been scheduled for Monday, April 3, at 11 a.m. "Thanks to the ongoing generous support of so many from across the country, visitors will soon be able to enter the church without the challenge of a single step," said Aubrey Hawes, president of the Friends of Old Dutch. (See "Old Dutch Church Access Project Seeks Donations," below) Fundraising efforts will continue until the $350,000 goal for the project is reached. To date nearly $250,000 has been raised from more than 200 donors from 35 states. Persons wishing to donate may use this form.
The photograph above shows how the church entrance will look when the Old Dutch Church Accessibility Project is completed in mid-2017. A more welcoming stairway will replace the uneven stones, and there will be a new wheelchair ramp and an expanded landing at the threshold. The Reformed Church of the Tarrytowns launched a crowdfunding site on gofundme.com last December. Online donations are now being accepted. The enhancements will make the church accessible to everyone, says the Rev. Jeffrey Gargano. He is pastor of the Reformed Church of the Tarrytowns, which is the continuing congregation of the Old Dutch Church, established in 1697. "Just as we have been gifted this marvelous house of worship by previous generations, we now have an opportunity to enhance it for future generations."
The Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow will "Marco Panuccio Presents O Holy Night: A Classic Christmas" on December 11. The candlelight concert begins at 7:30 p.m. This production was described by the Chicago Tribune as "what a holiday concert should be: beautifully sung, moving, intelligent." Mr. Panuccio is an EMMY nominated and award winning lyric tenor. He has performed with the London Symphony Orchestra, Beijing Symphony, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and other esteemed opera companies. Expect timeless pieces such as Shubert's "Ave Maria" and Franck's "Panis Angelicus," as well as yuletide songs from a more modern era, including "I'll Be Home for Christmas" and a rendition of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah." Mr. Panuccio will be accompanied on piano by David McConnell.Tickets: $25; $15 students
The Reformed Church recently welcomed Donald Guenther and his family, pictured (L-R): Kyung and Donald, currently of Allentown, PA, and nephew Klaus and his wife, Heidi, of New York City. Don and Heidi are holding the silver communion beakers with which Don's seventh great-grandparents Sybout Herrickse Krankheyt and Marytie Abrahamsen Rycken celebrated Communion in 1697, the year the congregation of the Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow was officially formed. Klaus is holding the Baptismal Basin used to baptize Don's fifth great-grandfather Hercules Kranckheyt on June 24, 1727, in the Sleepy Hollow Old Dutch Church.
An environmental club at Sleepy Hollow High School is doing a series of garden plantings in the rear courtyard. They have a section that has simulated gravestones for different kinds of seeds next to a cutout of the Old Dutch Church and the Headless Horseman. The "headstones" read (left to right): RIP Lettuce, In Memory of Basil, RIP Mint, Here Lies Pumpkins.
A choir made up of members of the Reformed Church of the Tarrytowns and other churches taking part in the Community Thanksgiving Service Nov. 25 rattled the rafters from their seats under the roof. The congregation much appreciated the anthem chosen, "Simple Gifts From God," and the closing song, "O Beautiful for Spacious Skies." Afterward, there was hot cider for everyone! See the full story.
Church members and friends brought the flavor of colonial Dutch days to the Tarrytown Halloween Parade on Oct. 25 with a float featuring a windmill and colonial Dutch dress. The annual parade capped a busy day at the Old Dutch Church Fest, which ran for three weekends, ending Saturday, Nov. 1.
Mid-afternoon on Friday, Oct. 31, was a good time to bring the children to the Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow, spread a blanket in the Burying Ground and read "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," Irving's famous tale of the Headless Horseman, which is set in and around the old church. In Irving's "Legend," Ichabod Crane is chased by the Headless Horseman and races for the safety of the Old Dutch Church grounds, a refuge then and still today.