The Herring Run Miracle

Kerry Mortland, Director of Christian Education

“It Takes a Village” How many times have we heard that saying recently? Well at EWCC I believe that it
is true but add to that “It takes a church within the village.” Here at EWCC we sit above an ancient
estuary that winds its way past our church building and out to the ocean. Within this estuary is a nursey
for ocean life that needs the fertile and nourishing water to flourish. We see this magic occur each
spring with the annual Herring Run. These native fish travel past our grand church building sitting on a
rise above the river as they make their way inland to lay their eggs for the next generation. It’s almost as
if our church was chosen to be a sentinel that over sees this annual rite. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to
think that these migrating fish seek us out as a marker to follow along their route?

The area directly behind the church was filled many years ago to make a playground for the children of
Pingree School. The river was redirected under the railroad trestle over a century ago to allow easy
access for the train to pass over the river to bring people and commerce to the coastal areas. The
merchant ships no longer travel down the Back River bringing wool to the Wharf Street mills. But the sea
still depends on the estuary to nourish the next generation of life and we are still a sentinel above the
river overlooking all these daily miracles. It is vital that we remain stewards of this great gift by
protecting these sensitive areas around us.

As a church we have chosen to enrich and nourish the Holy Spirit here in our community. We provide a
safe and welcoming space for a daycare, we provide a meeting place for adults going through the
turmoil of addiction, and we provide safe space for children’s dance lessons. We also need to recognize
that we are that sentinel above the river and we invite those people that seek to enrich their faith to
come through our doors on Sunday morning and be part of our faith community where we are rooted in
the will of God.

The Church School takes their role seriously as the “church within the village.” We strive to make sure that every child that walks through the door will be taught that they are a child of God and they are entitled to all the love and blessings that God bestows on us each and every day. We recently saw a need for a class that includes older youth and we were able to make this a reality. We ask for your prayers and blessings to help guide us.   

We seem to be able to have fun with our “fishy” relationship to the Herring. The adult choir calls itself the Herring Run Festival Choir during the summer months when we don our shirts featuring a herring logo. Down in our Sunday School Class in the Fireside Room we have created an ocean bulletin board that features a fishing net placed over the top. During this Creation season we are asking our students to  decorate the board with creatures that live in the ocean. We also invite the children and adults to add a piece of yarn to the net each time they say a prayer as an outward sign of our caring for others in this world. Let’s pray for the “ Church within the Village” and all that we can accomplish.