Chapter 3 – My father

The time has come for me to write about my father, but I don’t want to. I’m afraid that I’m going to make him sound like an ogre, and he really wasn’t. Most of the time he was a pretty decent sort, but I grew up living in dread of the times when his internal … Continue reading Chapter 3 – My father

The last best hope of mankind

Twenty-five years ago, as I walked the dirt streets of Plimoth, Massachusetts, Samuel Fuller fell into step beside me and began to visit.  “The churchmen in England say that we have no church here because we have no ministers.  A church is made up of Christian people; they don’t have a church over there.  Who … Continue reading The last best hope of mankind

I have a funny name

I belong to an old family, the various spellings of the name revealing to which genealogical line we belong.  Our ancestors came from Wiltshire to Massachusetts on 1638.  The descendents of Edmund spell their name Goodenow or Goodnow and are mostly still found in New England.  Another subgroup of this line spells their name Goodeno … Continue reading I have a funny name

The head or the heart?

The year is 1620, we are on board the Mayflower, anchored at Plymouth, Massachusetts.  Several ladies are sitting on the deck beside their possessions, waiting to disembark.  Suddenly there is an intrusion from the 20th century, several young girls dressed in the manner of young girls in 1990. The ladies gasp in shock, “Were you … Continue reading The head or the heart?

Should Christians Celebrate Christmas?

Maybe No The date and most of the customs associated with Christmas originated with the Roman Saturnalia, a winter solstice festival celebrating the rebirth of the Sun.  Schools were closed, great feasts were prepared, gifts were exchanged, all in honour of a heathen god.  Early Christians considered this an abomination, but somehow it has crept … Continue reading Should Christians Celebrate Christmas?


The book of Leviticus describes three major festivals for which every adult male was to be present in Jerusalem.  The first was the Passover, observed the fourteenth day of the first month, roughly equivalent to April in the Julian calendar.  This was a celebration of their deliverance from bondage in Egypt.  Grain was seeded in … Continue reading Thanksgiving

English Christianity – Part 5

ENGLISH MENNONITES IN HOLLAND In May of 1610 there was a conference between the Waterlanders and John Smyth’s congregation. At this time a confession of faith was drawn up and signed by those participating and it appears that the Englishmen were now accepted as part of the Mennonite church. It may be that they were … Continue reading English Christianity – Part 5

English Christianity – Part 4

JOHN SMYTH AND THE MENNONITES John Smyth, a minister of the Church of England, was dismissed as a preacher of that church in 1602. He continued to preach without a license, becoming the spiritual leader of a number of like-minded people from Lincolnshire and adjoining areas of Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire. For a time these people … Continue reading English Christianity – Part 4

English Christianity – Part 3

CHURCH OF ENGLAND In 1529, while the Catholic church was under attack from Lutherans and Zwinglians on the continent, King Henry VIII persuaded Parliament to pass an act separating the Church of England from the authority of the pope. There were many in the English Church who hoped for a reformation, some motivated by true … Continue reading English Christianity – Part 3

Massachesetts Melodies

Three hundred and seventy-four years ago, the good shippe Confidence landed at Watertown in Boston Bay and disembarked a group of men and women come to establish a new home in a new land.  They moved inland to an area along the Musquetaquid River and established the town of Sudbury, the second town above tidewater … Continue reading Massachesetts Melodies