A Conversation for 2

Written and shared by Edie Coughland, a lay delegate from Miramichi Presbytery, who “believes in this project from a personal perspective” and wanted to share her enthusiasm with her congregation. 

Photo: Marilynn Linley

Photo: Marilynn Linley

Voice 1   You know they have built a new archives center in Sackville?

Voice 2   No who, and what does that mean?

1   Conference is who.  Archives refers to documents or records relating to the activities of a business or organization:   Keeping  historic documents, in this case church documents.   Properly preserving and storing documents is a very specialized process.  Acid free paper is used, mildew and mold are removed so as not to infect other records, pins staples and clips and elastics are banned, and the records are organized and filed at a particular humidity.  It is a bit scientific for me, it requires some qualification to do this properly.

2   Wow, I had no idea, I’ve never really thought about this before.  How have we been keeping things all along?

1   Truth is, right now we have record books shoved in a drawer, we have had some church histories written but I think they are scattered about, someone here probably has a copy of some of the stuff.  Photos, to my knowledge have not been officially kept at all.   Does anyone here (asked to congregation) happen to have anything associated with the church that you think should be kept properly?

2   I have some stuff myself:  Records of baptisms, actual photos of my children in Sunday school.  I even have some CGIT stuff kicking around, scrapbook and photos,  the list from the reunion that we had a few years back, that is all stuff that I don’t want to throw away but really have no place for.  My mother spoke at the anniversary service last year about the past and her memories, I would like it if that service was kept, and some of it is not personal to me at all.  How do I send it in and if I ever want to see it again how can I access it?

1   I’ll have to find that out, there is an information package available that tells everything.

2   Do we need to send money to get them to do this archiving thing?

1  Yes and No,  right now the money is needed to fund the building itself but we also want to insure this service will always be available to us, so I would say it is kind of like giving to the cemetery fund.  It is for the proper preservation of the past for the long term.   Just like we commit to upkeep the cemetery, conference is committed to the long term.

2   I think it is a great idea, it takes the responsibility off of us, as a local congregation.  It is something important that needs to be done, and we really do not have the means to do for ourselves.

1   Sometimes we don’t think about all the paper work and photos until there is a death in the family and then we are left sorting things out.   And, I know, I just can’t keep everything!

2   We are proud of our past!  How can I help you?

1   Well I’m excited, believe it or not, in this project.   Maybe you picked up on that!  You can help by supporting this service and telling others about it, and sending in our church stuff.