Alice is a longtime member of Round Hill Community Church. For many years, she and her husband Patrick spent winters on their boat in the Caribbean. These days Alice can be found most Wednesdays in the Molly Cook and Alice O’Gorman Studio, which is located on the second floor of the Community House. She and Molly, along with several other dedicated artisans, create exquisite objects for the home to sell at Christmas on Round Hill.
What brought you and your family to the Church; when was it; and why do you stay involved now?
Patrick and I moved here in 1951 and I said to him, “Maybe we ought to try the church.” And he said, “My church is at the end of the breakwater.” I asked him if he thought this world should be without churches and he didn’t think so. I told him if that was the case, he was going to have to support them. So we gave it a try and liked it very much and would go when we weren’t away sailing. Then the children came along and I decided to get involved in the Sunday School, which I taught for twenty-five years. I still go to church when my back allows me to.
What is the most striking way the Church has changed?
When we realized the Methodists wanted to take away our right to be a community church, it was remarkable that a group of people felt so strongly about it that they united to move to a new location. The very fortunate thing for us was that the Round Hill Association had given the Community House to the Church with the understanding that it remain a community facility, so no one had claim to it the way the Methodist denomination did with the old church building on John Street. There was this great sense of unity and determination to keep our community church. So we decided that our new church should be built on the property where the Community House stands today.
Can you tell us about the Round Hill Studio?
In 2006, I had taken a faux finishing course at the Garden Education Center, given by the Isabel O’Neil Studio of New York. Some of the people who were organizing Christmas on Round Hill saw the pieces I had created. They asked if I would be willing to lead a workshop for members of the Church to create pieces for sale at the Christmas Fair. Molly Cook saw the article about the workshop in the newsletter and got involved, which was a very good thing for us. Molly had spent several years taking courses at Isabel O’Neil and she is an amazing talent and source of information and inspiration for us. We have been doing it every week ever since that time.
Are others, who may not be so artistically inclined, welcome to take on a project at the Studio? Do you offer training or guidance? Do participants have to show up every week?
Yes, there are projects like decoupage that do not require great artistic ability but rather attention to detail and perseverance in the execution. We are all happy to work with people who would like to join our group. It is possible to take a project home to work on, although we all like to get together each week because we enjoy each other’s company and love our studio space.
Are there other activities or events at the Church that you enjoy?
I loved teaching Sunday School when I was younger. I go to the Harvest Supper, Annual Dinner, and Christmas on Round Hill and enjoy them all. I also enjoy the music concerts but am hesitant to drive at night.
What do you do for fun?
I love working in the Studio creating items to sell at the Christmas fair. I always liked refinishing furniture pieces at home and now I have a place to do it that benefits the Church. I also love cutting the grass at my home with my John Deere tractor.
How has the Church deepened your spiritual life?
I believe in a God but don’t really personalize God. I think that the church should be open and giving of itself to all people who come here and we should all accept people as they are.
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