The Divine Journey: A Painter's Mission

Vermont Artist Janet McKenzie is challenging the traditional iconography of sacred art in her paintings depicting images of Jesus, Mary and other Christian figures. By using the forms of women and people of color she is expanding the diversity of culture, race and gender into the iconography of religious art historically dominated by images of males and light skin.

In 2016, McKenzie was commissioned by Harvard Memorial Church to create a painting for the renovated student and common space on the ground level of the historic church. The painting, “The Divine Journey – The Companions of Love and Hope” is the result of more than six months of work in her small studio in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom.... Read more about The Divine Journey: A Painter's Mission

A family in fellowship

Professor Jonathan L. Walton

By Professor Jonathan L. Walton

“I am writing you little children, because your sins are forgiven on account of God’s name. I am writing to you fathers, because you have known God since the beginning. I write to you, young people, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you.” (I John 2:12-14)

The New Testament book of I John is a profound pastoral letter. The author, known simply as the elder, reminds an early community of Jesus followers of their beliefs—God is light and love. He reminds them of their objectives—to have fellowship with God is to walk in God’s light and love.... Read more about A family in fellowship

The University Choir sign from the loft of Memorial Church during Pal Sunday services.

Renovation eyes evolving mission of Memorial Church

April 18, 2017

By Jeffrey Blackwell/Memorial Church Communications

The Memorial Church is fully open to the Harvard Community following an eight-month renovation designed to transform the 85-year-old building into a more accessible, comfortable and versatile place for the evolving mission of Harvard’s “space of grace.”

The multi-million-dollar project, completed in January, is one of the most extensive renovations of the church since its construction in 1932. Visitors will notice little, if any, change inside the historic sanctuary. But those who venture downstairs will discover a complete redesign of the ground floor into a contemporary space featuring a new “Student Oasis,” meeting rooms and music rehearsal suite.... Read more about Renovation eyes evolving mission of Memorial Church

The historic Memorial Church Bell on display at the church

Historic bell granted new life at Memorial Church

April 10, 2017

By Jeffrey Blackwell/Memorial Church Communications

Gregory Curci can look at a piece of cast metal and read the craftsman’s skill like an archeologist brushing away the sand from a long-forgotten artifact. Deep in the lines and imperfections of a piece of solid iron weighing thousands of pounds, he sees the hands of the maker.

“You can see what almost look like brush marks, it’s like they dug the mold out of the sand,” said Curci, running his hand across the 1,500-pound yoke of the bell that once hung in the spire of the Memorial Church. “Someone put every one of these brush strokes in this casting. A modern casting would look like it came out of a machine. This looks like someone made it by hand and sculpted it out of clay.”... Read more about Historic bell granted new life at Memorial Church

Students and Professor Walton cut ribbon on Student Oasis

Slideshow: Memorial Church Celebrates New Student Oasis

February 16, 2017

Memorial Church Re-Opens With Fanfare


Harvard’s Memorial Church held a festive reception for around 90 students Friday night to celebrate the re-opening of the Church after months of renovations.

In a ceremony punctuated by musical performances and speeches, invited students attended the ribbon cutting and a formal dinner in the new “student oasis,” the 2,500 square foot centerpiece of the revamped basement. The downstairs area also contains two newly designed conference rooms and a kitchen for student use. Click here to read more: Read more about Slideshow: Memorial Church Celebrates New Student Oasis

In the dust of renovation, Memorial Church defines its mission

In the dust of renovation, Memorial Church defines its mission

October 19, 2016

By Jeffrey Blackwell/Harvard Memorial Church Communications

The distance between Memorial Church in Harvard Yard and the Knafel Center in Radcliffe Yard is roughly a half-mile. And the nagging question for the leadership of the church this fall was centered on whether or not students and loyal regulars of Sunday services would find their way from one yard to the other during the renovation of Harvard’s historic sanctuary.

... Read more about In the dust of renovation, Memorial Church defines its mission

Construction Update: Week of 7/18/16

Site Activities

  • Dumpsters will enter the site each day through the Broadway gate. 
  • The site will be prepared for excavation activities, which will begin the week of 7/18.
  • Deliveries will come through the North gate on Broadway Street daily.
  • Demolition will take place on the interior.
  • Removal of the granite steps at the West entry will occur.

Renovation Groundbreaking

Photo of MemChurch renovation groundbreaking ceremony

Representatives from Harvard University, Payette Associates, and Elaine Construction Company, Inc. gathered on June 20, 2016 with shovels in hand for a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of construction for the Memorial Church renovation. Pictured from left to right: Elaine Construction President Lisa Wexler; Jonathan L. Walton, Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church; Harvard University President Drew Faust; Edward Elwyn Jones, Gund University Organist and Choirmaster in the Memorial Church; and Charles Klee, AIA, LEED AP Principal, Payette. (Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer).... Read more about Renovation Groundbreaking

Construction Update: Week of 5/30/16

Site Activities

  • Workers will start to mobilize the site.
  • Temporary fencing will begin to be installed.
  • Deliveries will come through the north gate on Broadway Street daily.

Memorial Church Renovations

Photo of Memorial Church
We are excited to announce that the Memorial Church will undergo much needed renovations in the coming months. The project will focus on long-deferred building and infrastructure maintenance, including accessibility and safety compliance upgrades; a reconfigured lower level that enhances and supports the teaching and programmatic mission of the Church and the University; and a new climate control system for the upper and lower levels of the Church that will allow for more comfortable, year-round use of the building.

Beginning immediately following Commencement, the project is anticipated to extend through the end of the year and the Church building will be closed for the duration of the project.... Read more about Memorial Church Renovations