Sinterklaas and the toymaker

The Old Dutch Church welcomes children to special Christmas events with a Dutch flavor.

Since 1697

Infants are baptized at Old Dutch today, just as they have been for well over 300 years.

Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Washington Irving made the Burying Ground the haunt of the Headless Horseman in his well-known story.

Summer Preview at the Reformed Church

Summer is getting nearer and with it comes several important events at the Reformed Church of the Tarrytowns. On June 24, worship services at the "clock tower" church will cease for the summer, as the congregation moves to the Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow for worship at 10:00 a.m. Worship services will continue each Sunday at Old Dutch until the first Sunday after Labor Day in September.

Then, in July and August, "Seven Sundays, A Celebration of Music in Worship, is coming back to the Old Dutch Church. This special series will feature a guest musician or group bringing their varied music styles to worship services for seven consecutive Sundays.

On August 13-17, Vacation Bible School returns to the "clock tower" church in Tarrytown. Further announcements will be made when registration opens.

Paths to Open as the Accessibility Project Is Completed

Pictured at left is the new entrance to the Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow. It was completed this past spring. The church is now easily accessible by wheelchair ramp. Also, a new stairway has replaced the former uneven steps. The final details--paved paths in the churchyard--are now finished and a ribbon cutting ceremony has been set for Sept. 22 at 11 a.m.

The summer worship season at Old Dutch has concluded for this year. However, visitors will have ample opportunity to visit the church and Burying Ground during the Old Dutch Fest in October. It will be held all four weekends, starting Oct. 7, from noon to 4 p.m.

 

A Visit From a Descendant of Our First Pastor

Carrie Wick of Peotone, Illinois, shown here with Rev. Jeffrey Gargano, traces her family history back to Guiliam Bertholf, the first pastor of the Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow, a congregation that continues today as the Reformed Church of the Tarrytowns. Rev. Bertholf organized the congregation as Protestant Dutch Reformed in 1697 and ministered to it for 27 years, traveling from Hackensack, New Jersey, to the church several times a year to preach, conduct the sacraments, catechize children and visit the sick. As the sole Dutch minister in New Jersey, he also ministered to churches in Hackensack and Passaic and up to nine other isolated congregations. He is Ms. Wick's seventh great-grandfather. She was traveling in the area and made a special effort to attend the Easter Sunday 10:30 a.m. worship service. Welcome, Carrie!

 

Here Lies ... Pumpkins

Garden at Sleepy Hollow School

 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.

RCT Welcomes Descendants of Early Members

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.

Memorable Evening at the Old Dutch

 

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.

 

"Sleepy Hollow" cast visits Old Dutch Church

Stars of the hit TV series
"Sleepy Hollow" stars Orlando Jones (who plays Captain Frank Irving) and Lyndie Greenwood (Jenny Mills) of the hit Fox TV Series "Sleepy Hollow" visited the real Sleepy Hollow, on Friday, September 26, 2014. for a ribbon cutting to kick off Sleepy Hollow's Halloween season. After meeting with Mayor Ken Wray and Police Chief Gregory Camp, the stars stopped in at the Old Dutch Church and the Burying Ground and at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery to visit Washington Irving's grave. Irving, of course, started it all with his famous tale, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," set in the churchyard. Visit the show's website.

 

Dutch Treat at the Halloween Parade

Reformed Church members in the parade 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.

 

 

A New Tradition? Reading the "Legend"

 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.

 

 

Good Friday Video

Candlelight Good Friday service at the Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow on a perfectly gloomy rainy evening, with the choir singing in the balcony. The song you hear is a poem that was written during WWII, on the wall of a cellar, by a Jew in the Cologne concentration camp.

“I believe in the sun even when it is not shining
And I believe in love, even when there’s no one there.
And I believe in God, even when he is silent.

I believe through any trial, there is always a way
But sometimes in this suffering and hopeless despair
My heart cries for shelter, to know someone’s there
But a voice rises within me, saying hold on my child,
I’ll give you strength, I’ll give you hope. Just stay a little while.

I believe in the sun even when it is not shining
And I believe in love even when there’s no one there
But I believe in God even when he is silent
I believe through any trial there is always a way.

May there someday be sunshine
May there someday be happiness
May there someday be love
May there someday be peace..."

Thanks to It's a Charming Life blog for the video and text.

"Getting Our Dutch On" at the Tarrytown Halloween Parade

Weekends with Deb at the Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow

Honoring 333 Years

Old Dutch Church book coverIn 1685, when it was built in the wilderness north of New York City, the Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow brought comfort and community to isolated pioneer families. Succeeding generations treasured the old church, the only house of worship in a wide area until 1837, when members of Old Dutch built a larger church nearby then another a few years later. Yet somehow they didn't abandon the old church, which continues to this day to host the congregation every summer for worship services. What was it about the church on the Pocantico River, made famous by Washington Irving's Legend of Sleepy Hollow? Read about its rich history and colorful characters in The Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow: Legends and Lore of the Oldest Church in New York. It is available from the church office at (914) 631-4497, or order it online here.