By Shelley Scarano
Each month Emmanuel continues to celebrate with special events to bring parishioners and the community together. February was the beginning of the celebration with a special service to commemorate the 200th Anniversary of Emmanuel Episcopal Church being the first in Little Falls to become incorporated. In March, the special event was learning how to decorate Ukrainian Easter eggs as we prepared for the special celebration for Easter in April. The May event was the concert, which exceeded expectations of bringing the community together to celebrate with song and organ. People from ages 8-80s shared their love of music, and for eating cookies at the reception that followed!
For June, we have another very special event planned to celebrate. A Ladies’ Tea will be held on June 10th at 2:00 P.M. in the Parish Hall. Why did we choose to have a Tea to celebrate? One of our parishioners, who has an interest in history and background in working at General Herkimer’s Historic Home, came up with this idea. Nancy Ressue, has spearheaded this event and worked tirelessly to make this Tea come to fruition. Nan, along with Roland Randall who has much experience with catering and putting on dinners and events at the former Portobello Inn, Lorna Zelman who is decorating and helping with the food, and others on the committee, have planned every detail to make this tea a very special connection to Emmanuel’s roots from the English Church. Some of the founders of the church in Little Falls may have been familiar with ladies having afternoon tea. It is a tradition that some still hold to today, especially in England where the Anglican Episcopal Church originated.
To fully appreciate experiencing a Ladies’ Tea, it is helpful to know a brief history of its beginning. Tea was first brought to Britain in the early 17th century by the East India Company from India and then China. Tea was expensive and only the rich could afford it. It was considered a treasure and often kept locked up. The wife of Charles II, Catherine of Braganza, introduced the ritual of drinking teas to the English Royal Court and the habit was adopted by the aristocracy. The first tea shop for ladies opened in 1717 and slowly tea shops became a popular place to meet. It is understandable why Teas became such a special event with ladies dressing up in their finest, including gowns, hats and gloves. Although originally a custom only affordable to the wealthy, eventually the availability and abundance of tea made it popular throughout Britain, the colonies, and other countries. (historic-uk.com)
Emmanuel’s Ladies’ Tea will be an afternoon Tea in the “English Manner”. We will be serving 2 options for Hot Tea, Iced Tea, and Pink Lemonade. The menu includes: Cold Strawberry Soup, Orange Cherry Scones, Devonshire Cream, Lemon Citrus Curd, Heavenly Grape Jam, Assorted Tea Sandwiches and Chocolate pots de crème. Our waiters will be gentlemen from the church decked out in formal attire, and ladies are encouraged to dress up for the occasion, including wearing hats. There will be a brief presentation on the history of tea, and the English custom of ‘taking tea’, as well as piano music from two local artists. This event is open to the public; seating is limited. Tickets are available to be purchased until June 7th by calling the church at 315-823-1323. Please leave a message and we will return your call. No tickets may be purchased at the door.
I recall as a very young child having Tea with my Grandmother Dorothy Ferguson in the dining room. It was not as formal as some of the Teas may be, but we used cloth napkins and the “good” china, as we ate little crustless sandwiches and scones. This tradition has been carried on in a less formal way with my daughter when she was young, and with my grandchildren. I look forward to attending this Tea with them. Come join us for this special event by calling for tickets today!