Seven Sundays of Music

You can be taken by surprise when you walk through the doors of the Old Dutch Church during our unique program “Seven Sundays: A Celebration of Music in Worship”. I certainly was when we were gifted with a performance by two members of Taiko-Masala along with four of their many drums. Continue reading “Seven Sundays of Music”


Flat Andre Visits the Old Dutch Church Part 2

I can’t resist adding a second part to my original post. The most incredible thing happened yesterday at the Old Dutch. For the first time any of us can remember, we had a Hessian visit the church. Now when we tell the story of the Headless Horseman, we also touch on the role that Hessian mercenaries played in the American Revolution, especially in the area around the Old Dutch Church and Sleepy Hollow. Let us take a moment to remember this grievance against King George the III as it is enumerated in the Declaration of Independence: Continue reading “Flat Andre Visits the Old Dutch Church Part 2”

Flat Andre Visits The Old Dutch Church

jj feild
British actor JJ Feild as Major John Andre in the AMC production TURN.

We are used to having fans of the first internationally acclaimed American writer, Washington Irving, visit The Old Dutch Church and Burial Ground. Followers of the various television and film adaptations of his story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” are always on site looking for tell-tale signs of the Headless Horseman. But we have a new fandom visiting us – followers of the AMC series TURN, Continue reading “Flat Andre Visits The Old Dutch Church”

Sleepy Hollow S4 Ruminations

Sleepy Hollow S4 has me thinking in a way it never has before. The writers, who wrote these episodes long before the November elections, have displayed prescience concerning current events in the real America. I’m probably reading too much into it, but after episode 11, the Way of the Gun, I can’t look away. Up until this episode, the writers have been carefully crafting a difficult but plausible transition necessitated by the loss of Abbie Mills at the end of S3, which moved the action of the play from my beloved Sleepy Hollow to Washington, D.C. (But make no mistake, this relocation did not diminish the memory of Abbie who remains very much on the minds of Ichabod and Jenny throughout the whole season thus far.) The writers took the remnants of the original story to a location we all have our eyes on right now- the capitol of our nation.


I don’t need to rehash the story because the people who will read this have already watched and re-watched each episode at least once or twice. But last Friday night, when Ichabod Crane took a magic bullet for Agent Thomas, and our champion of democracy was turned into the Horseman of War, I just lost it. My genre story suddenly became an allegory. This little story started with a grade school play about Valley Forge, a place where great sacrifices were made, and where soldiers were molded into an Army inspired by the vision and words of General Washington, a true leader. Cut to the final scene and we see a would-be leader, Malcolm Dreyfus, with the assistance of his demonic companion, Jobe, point his weapon and hit the wrong target, Witness Crane, who begins his transformation into the very being he has been called to destroy – The Horseman of War. Before our very eyes we watch as Tom Mison masterfully uses word and expression and voice to show Crane trying to resist, but finally overcome – “I have become war!” Who didn’t feel a wave of hopelessness at that declaration.ichabod war

Before this year, my twitter feed was mostly Sleepy Hollow. But gradually my feed has become post after post of a president making decisions that are dragging a lot of us in a direction as far away from the principles of democracy as Crane now finds himself. At the agency of another, Crane is turned into a thing he has raged against. And every time I check twitter or the news media I feel the same about our nation. At the agency of our current president,  we are become War!

This is just my reflection. But it reminds me of how important genre shows are. They can be stories or allegories. They can play with the past, present, and future. Fact, fiction, and legend can exist together.  You can spend your time wondering what will happen next week, or you can reflect on a single moment that seems to reach out at you and shake you from your complacency. Sleepy Hollow has had a tough 4 seasons, but for those of us who have stuck with it, we continue to be enthralled as the writers explore the value of our democracy through the life and times of Ichabod Crane.

Photos – Fox





#SleepyClaus Ornament Raffle to Celebrate Sleepy Hollow S4

Sleimg_1547epy Hollow was a little spooky for a 4th Sunday in Advent. The snowfall yesterday, combined with warm temperatures today caused a mysterious mist to rise and float across the burying ground at the Old Dutch Church, playing a game of hide and seek with the ancient headstones. For a moment, it appeared that the Headless Horseman was going to come roaring out of the fog and push Sinterklaas out of his position of primacy. But the spirit of the season prevailed and our galloping Hessian continues his winter hibernation. But the Legend is always on our minds in Sleepy Hollow and a quick peak into Bella’s Boutique in Tarrytown after Sunday service revealed this little ornament, limited edition, from a local artist. It combines two of img_1548Washington Irving’s creations – the Headless Horseman and Santa Claus.

SleepyAddicts (Christine Piccolo) and I used to have a lot of fun running SleepyTrivia the first 3 seasons of the show. In the spirit of the season and in anticipation of the Headless Horseman making a S4 comeback, I’d like to raffle off 1 of these ornaments.

To play, respond to the tweet with the hashtags #SleepyClaus #SleepyHollow and I will enter you into the drawing. Drawing closes at 10pm EDT, Monday, Dec 19th. I will mail out the ornament on Tuesday, Dec. 20th.

Mele Kalikimaka!


PS -Mailing to US, PR addresses only.

Weekends at the Old Dutch Church – Annual Dutch Fest – October Weekends

Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman, Sleepy Hollow, NY

The roads around Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown are packed this time of year as folks from all over make the trek to these river towns in search of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. I wonder if Washington Irving knew that this place he described as “drowsy” and  “dreamy” would become the destination of choice Continue reading “Weekends at the Old Dutch Church – Annual Dutch Fest – October Weekends”

Sundays at the Old Dutch Church- August 14th, 2016

Erin Hill and Harp at the Old Dutch

If the organ is the “King of Instruments”, I propose the harp is it’s Queen. The final performance in our series of Seven Sundays Celebrating Music in Worship was beautifully executed by Ms Erin Hill. Continue reading “Sundays at the Old Dutch Church- August 14th, 2016”

Tweeting Sleepy Hollow

As the docent for the Old Dutch Church in Sleepy Hollow, NY, I remind visitors that during the American Revolution, this historic church sat in the middle of an area known as “Neutral Ground”. While Americans may have been waging a revolution against Great Britain, in places like this, they were in fact, waging civil war. Continue reading “Tweeting Sleepy Hollow”

Sundays at the Old Dutch Church – August 7th, 2016

I grew up in the Washington, D.C. area during the Cold War. I remember learning how to “Duck and Cover” in the hallway of my elementary school, in case of nuclear attack. I took Russian Language, Russian Literature, and the Politics and Economics of the Soviet Union in high school. I continued this line of study into college when I decided to declare a Russian Studies major. At the end of my sophomore year I transferred to the Institute of Soviet and East European Studies at a Canadian University.  Having enough credits to complete the major, I decided to double-major in Religious Studies. I thought that if more people understood the language, history and literature of a people, we could make peace, even if our governments failed us. Continue reading “Sundays at the Old Dutch Church – August 7th, 2016”

Sundays at the Old Dutch Church – July 31st, 2016

On April 21, 1697, the first child was baptized at the Old Dutch Church. Her name was Rebecca, daughter of Jan and Maria Heyert. Thus, began the cycle of baptisms, marriages, and deaths up to this, our 331st year as a church community. Continue reading “Sundays at the Old Dutch Church – July 31st, 2016”