Of March Madness and Easter miracles

DOVER — Some notes and quotes between headlines and deadlines…

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Let’s start Easter Sunday with an interesting bit of Dover history.

Did you know that William Penn, in his design of the city of Dover in 1717, designated two religious squares?

One was Meeting House Square, was reserved for “Dissenters” — the Presbyterians.

The other, Church Square, reserved for the Church of England. We know that today as the parish of Episcopals’ Christ Church.

The church has been at the corner of State and Water streets since 1734.

From the Editor logo copy copyIt’s intriguing to think that Easter services have been held there for 300 years.

“It is an amazing thing to sit in a place where people have been worshipping God since 1734,” said the Rev. Charles Weiss, who became rector of the church in February last year.

Can you imagine how services may have changed over the centuries?

What might it have been like when Caesar Rodney was sitting in the pews listening to a sermon from Samuel Magaw in 1764?

“Our nation has changed, our culture has changed,” said Father Weiss. “Our understandings of God and Jesus have evolved. But I think the central message that is consistent is that people have had the experience of the living Christ that goes way back before Christ Church existed.”

Prior to coming to Dover, Father Weiss served St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh.

He was ordained in the Diocese of Delaware in 1997 and served as an associate at Christ Church Christiana Hundred until 2002.

This editor asked Father Weiss if serving at a place like Christ Church, with its deep history, offers him a different perspective.

“Yes,” he said, “in the sense that this is the oldest church that I have served so there is some sense of responsibility, not only to serve the people here, but to help maintain historic facilities so the people can continue to do the work they’ve been doing for 300 years.”

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Services are 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. today at Christ Church.

Father Weiss offered a sneak preview of his sermon­ — “Brackets.”

Yes, that’s brackets as in the college basketball excitement.

“In March Madness,” he said, “there are occasionally miraculous tales where two teams who could never be thought of playing together end up doing so. I think the Easter story, in part, is that God brings together people that no one could ever imagine be reconciled.

“There are March Madness miracles and there are Easter miracles.”

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For Delaware history lovers, you might want to circle April 21 on your calendar.

Tom Welch, a historical interpreter for the state whose passion for telling the stories of lesser-known Delaware Revolutionary War hero Allen McLane has been written about a few times in this column, will present a first-time program on Louis McLane.

“An outstanding public servant in the mold of his patriotic father Allen McLane, Louis made an enormous contribution to his state, the nation and the international scene,” Mr. Welch said in a recent email.

Louis was the son of Allen McLane who was a congressman, diplomat and cabinet member under President Andrew Jackson.

The presentation will be at 5:30 p.m. April 21 at the Old State House in Dover.

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Readers surely have noticed the advertisements in recent editions for the W3 (What Women Want) Fest.

The event, which will run 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 23, at Delaware Technical Community College Terry Campus in Dover, is a new initiative of the Delaware State News.

Heather Cregar, our marketing and promotions manager, says the event will be a great day for “gal pals” and feature shopping, food, demonstrations, door prizes and more.

Cost is $7 in advance, $10 at the door.

Visit www.w3fest.com for more information.

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The daffodils have been spectacular around Dover in the past few days.

Anyone keeping an eye on those Dover tulips? We’ve spotted some blooms along Loockerman Street.

Happy Easter!

Reach editor Andrew West at awest@newszap.com

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