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From:
Subject: [S-I] In The Midst
Date: Fri, 8 May 2009 22:11:41 EDT


Greetings,

My name is John Charles Giacoletti. I am a former contributor to this
List. I have been away ten years. In my previous contributions I was
Giacolet at Compuserve.com and JCMcLay (John Cowan McLay). I am a researcher of
Alderman John Cowan formerly High Sheriff of Derry and a participant in the
Seige of our most famous gated city and resident of St. Johnstown, Donegal
(who is not a direct relative). My ancestor is John Cowan who relocated in
Sheepstown, County Down from Scotland in 1637 in "consequence of a duel."
My MacLay (McClay) line originated in Kilfinan, Loch Fyne, Argyll with
Baron MacLea in the 1580's whose three sons relocated in County Tyrone.

I have been raking the soil in my Presbyterian garden. I was born
12/17/1942 in Kittanning, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania. I was raised in
Cowansville, East Franklin Township, Armstrong County. Cowansville was named for
my 5th great-Grandfather, also a John Cowan, who settled on 500 acres of
unclaimed Revolutionary War redemption lands in 1796, along with his wife
Esther and 1st son William, and John's brother, also William. He was later
joined by his Father, another John Cowan, who died in 1811.

I was baptized April 25, 1943 in Union First Presbyterian Church. The
same day I was enrolled in the Cradle Roll Department. In reviewing that
certificate I had one of those uncanny experiences of recollection, connecting
the present moment with an experience eight years or so in the past.

I had visited the Ulster Folk Park Museum in County Tryone. While
exploring the various buildings in the reconstructed village of the late 1700's, I
visited an early Presbyterian church. And what struck me was a wooded,
gated square in front of the pulpit and between the raised stage and the
first row of pews. I was told this was the Nursery of the early church, where
infants in arms through adolescents were seated, some with their siblings
or parents.

My Cradle Roll Certificate reminds my parents that "there will be special
occasions when Baby will be invited to be present at our gatherings. The
Christian Church has learned from its leader to place the little child in
the midst and in His name, it receives your little one."

"Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them."
Matthew 18:2.

We are told in Ephesians 6:1-4 that Paul addressed the church and had
special words for the children. Also, Joshua 8:32, "There was not a word of
all that Moses had commanded which Joshua did not read before all the
assembly of Israel, with the women, the little ones, and the strangers who were
living among them."

I was struck by how our Ulster ancestors adhered to scripture and
accommodated the children by placing them "in the midst" of their worship
observances.


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