SI350 and the Memorial Church of the Huguenots
In 2011, Staten Island celebrated it’s first and continuous European settlement in 1661. This celebration, SI350, included various cultural, social, educational, political, religious and economic institutions. SI350 was a collaborative endeavor spearheaded by professors at CUNY College of Staten Island, Wagner College, Saint John’s University, and New Jersey’s Union County Community College. It included participation by our Island’s elementary and secondary students in everything from their classroom curriculum to various projects and contests. Twelve history trails, one for each month in 2011, were established with a total of 350 sites. Exciting events followed a thematic calendar.
This anniversary celebration educated the public on the important role their hometown has played and continues to play for the region, the nation, and the world at large. This imparted an important sense of belonging, a crucial component to the well-being and continued creativity of all our Staten Islanders and our tri-state neighbors as well.
Our church, the Memorial Church of the Huguenots, seeks to continue this celebration of Staten Island and it’s important history. We, here at the Reformed Church of Huguenot Park, will be celebrating our own 163rd anniversary as a congregation. Our church, including its founding members, has a unique and courageous story to impart. In 1661, our ancestors, the French Huguenots, were among the 19 settlers granted “permission to found a community upon Staten Island” by Peter Stuyvesant, the Director General of New Netherlands. Moreover, their courageous story goes back beyond those 350 years. We are delighted that our story fits right in with our hometown’s anniversary.