2013 Annual Meeting Remarks from Historian Sue Rockwell



I assume that most of you have heard of Temple Isaiah, many of you have probably heard of Temple Emunah, maybe even the Chabad Center.  But have you heard of Temple Hancock?

Those of you who have been around the church for a while and are over 60 may remember that from 1959 until 1963 the Temple Isaiah Congregation had nowhere to meet, so they used various facilities around town, including in a major way, Hancock Church.  When the folks left for their new building, a scrapbook was presented by the children of the Temple to Hancock Church.  This is what I would like to share with you today.

The opening page has this introduction.



This phrase has rung out many times during the congregational life of Temple Isaiah.  We have all said it, meant it, and felt it deeply.  Hancock Congregational Church has shown us what brotherhood is – every day of the year.

Our children have been nourished by the generosity and warmth of your church  you have built for us a bulwark against bigotry and prejudice.

In years ahead, our children, as they grow, will  remember our early years as a congregation and will continue to give “thanks” to Hancock Church.

The rest of the scrapbook consists of various thank you items from the children.  The kindergarten and first graders stuck mostly to drawings of the church, many featuring both a cross and a menorah.  The second graders wrote basic thank you notes, such as

“Dear Hancock Church, thank you for letting us use your church.  Love, Pam Lucas.”

“I think it was very nice of you to let us use the church   Marcia Black.”

By the time we get to the third grade, we have some wonderful, thoughtful notes, such as:

Dear church, thank you for sharing your happiness with us.  You gave us a place to pray and a place to learn.  Soon we will have our own place to pray and learn. You set an example to us that we will teach to others.  Jane Goldman


We also have a student who may have had just a little bit of help from her parents, one of whom is probably a lawyer:


To the Congregation of Hancock Church, its minister and board of officers.  We the third grade Sabbath school class of Temple Isaiah wish to thank you and let you know how  much we appreciate being able to hold our classes in your building.  Next fall, we invite you to visit us in our new temple on Lincoln Street.  Gratefully yours, Charlotte Kritsick.


The third grade students also seem to feel authorized to offer their new building to us.  We have Jody Pollins who says:

Thank you for letting us use your church while we were building our temple. If anything happens to your church you can use our temple.


And then we have Gary Wethein who is obviously a no-nonsense young man who says:

If your church gets wrecked we will let you borrow our temple.


By grade five we are seeing some poetry such as the following:

Help from Hancock Church

When we came here,

No house of worship for us was near.

We looked around

Your help we found


The days we spent

Were happy ones.

And now that we have our new temple,

The time to leave has come.


Now that we’re going to leave,

Our sincere thanks you’ll receive.

When you’re in need

Our temple will do the deed!




It’s four long years,

Since we’ve been here.

It’s hard to say without a tear,

That the time to go is coming near.

Our thanks will show warmth and cheer.


We hate to say good-bye to you,

We’d like to share our building too.

If you’re ever in need,

We’ll come through.

Hancock Church, shalom to you


And from grade six

Four years and many religious school days ago

Our fathers brought forth upon this community a new congregation

We came upon the hancock congregational church

Hoping we could have a place for services and school

We will be leaving you since we have a new temple

We have all learned something about the lesson of brotherhood


Learn more about Temple Isaiah, a vibrant community of faith here in Lexington, HERE.