Is July 2 the real Fourth of July? (picnic to follow)

John Adams, a Unitarian, thought so. In this Sunday service, at 11 a.m., we’ll explore lesser known ideas about the Fourth of July, including the notion that truth is essential to honor the promise of America.

John Adams

For example, it was actually on July 2, 1776, that the Continental Congress declared independence. John Adams wrote: “[July 2] will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival… It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade with shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”

Just one problem (not counting 18th century orthography). The now famous declaration, which Adams helped write, was still a draft on July 2. Final edits took a couple of days. The Continental Congress approved the final version of Declaration of Independence on July 4.

We’ll celebrate on Sunday, July 2, anyway. We’ll acknowledge the heroism and genius of the nation’s founders. We’ll sing songs. And we’ll remind ourselves that too often we gloss over uncomfortable parts of our story and that turning history into myth diminishes us. The United States of America was ingeniously designed, right from the start, to be a work in progress.


The picnic starts at noon in our covered, outdoor pavilion, next to the proudly babbling Heiferhorn Creek. We’ll have a grill and some basic food and drinks. If you’re a member of the Fellowship, bring a side dish to share (and your own special drink, if you want). If you’re a guest or visitor, just bring an appetite. We’ll have plenty. You are welcome here.