Originally published in Compass, August 8, 2013
Rousing sermon to end Wilson Museum’s storytelling festival
On Sunday, August 18, at 10:30 a.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Castine, David Avery will bring to life the Rev. Edward T. Taylor (1793-1871), the pastor of Boston’s Seamen’s Bethel and one of the city’s most popular preachers during the 1830s-1850s. This will conclude the weekend festival Storytelling by the Sea and will be part of the Unitarian Universalist Church’s Sunday morning service, always free to the public, the Wilson Museum announced in a press release.
The Rev. Edward T. Taylor, better known as Father Taylor, had been a sailor himself before becoming a Methodist preacher, and he was known for his colorful sermons, homespun metaphors and sheer energy. The Seamen’s Bethel (place of worship for sailors) was supported and financed by Unitarians, with William Ellery Channing and Ralph Waldo Emerson among Father Taylor’s admirers.
Avery holds a Ph.D. in biological oceanography and has published several papers on zooplankton resistance to toxic algae. He teaches mathematics and science at Maine Maritime Academy. The Rev. Taylor’s sermon was researched and prepared by Wendy Knickerbocker, a former academic librarian and current trustee of the Witherle Memorial Library. She has written a book on Father Taylor that will be published in 2014.
Storytelling by the Sea festival is sponsored by the Castine Arts Association, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Castine, Wilson Museum, Witherle Memorial Library and Friends of Witherle Memorial Library. The Festival runs August 16, 17 and 18. Advance tickets may be purchased from the Wilson Museum and the Witherle Memorial Library in Castine. For more information and a full schedule of events visit wilson museum.org/calendar.html or call 326-9247.