[FNCA History]

Love Letters from the Past

The FNCA has received hundreds of love letters over the years. Here is just a small sample in chronological order.

NEW on this page in recent months:
From                                 Year    Posted
Annual Appeal quotes         2001     9/29
Judy Siegfried                    2021     7/27
family of Bill Leighton         2021     2/25

 1947  1949
  1950   1954 




From Mary Jane [last name unknown], to Miss Charlotte Diener:

© FNCA 1939
© FNCA 1939



From Mrs. Elizabeth Jacobson, who was writing regretting that she could not attend the session that year:

I pretended I was really there in the flesh as well as in spirit. I have eaten breakfast with you, attended the lectures, enjoyed those good dinners, and listened to the talks and laughter. I have rested and visited with you individually. Together we have watched the sunsets and walked under the stars in the moonlight. On Sundays, I have sat with you in the dear little Fryeburg church. And on Wednesdays, I've gone on lovely drives through the White Mountains and picnicked with you.


From Lilybell Bates of Milton MA:

May and I send greetings.

Directly and indirectly we have learned that you were at first smaller in number, but being very good. That everything was going well, and that you were having such a good time that you did not care whether we were there or not.

Of course we are thinking of you and wishing we were there - and hoping that everything well be joyous, happy and peaceful.

If the young people are as sweet, and the older ones are as nice as they were last year - don't let us know, as we are breaking our hearts to be there anyway.

And still, with all good wishes, we are -
Most sincerely yours.

Lily - May


1. From Gwynne and David Mack in Newport NH:

Thanks to all for one of the happiest vacations we have ever had.
~ Gwynne, Dave, Gretchen, Penny, Denny, & Quentin

© FNCA 2013


2. From Mary Seward Coster in Orange NJ to the secretary of the Women's Auxiliary of the FNCA, which ran the Sales Table at the time:

My dear Mrs Kuenzli,

Thank you very much for your lovely letter written at the request of the Women's Auxiliary of the Assembly. I so much enjoyed knowing that it had been so quickly organized to start this summer's work.

It may seem funny but I really feel as though I was with you all up there now - for I so strongly feel the love from you that is travelling to me here - and my thoughts and love that is going out to you all (even though I know that I am here in bed in Orange while I am getting mended.)

My greetings go to each one and please tell them that I am counting on being with them all next summer if I again have the use of my two legs.

I want very much to send a small check to the table for I was not able to make any thing for it. As I am not sure who the treasurer is this year, may I have it made to you so that you can pass it over to the right treasurer?

I cannot tell you how much I am enjoying the letters and messages that are coming from Fryeburg now - Thank you all so much.

All the friends here now know of Fryeburg - have seen pictures of it and see the pictures of Laura's and my cabin up there that Mrs. Foster painted last summer and that now hangs in my room here - and they have heard of the happy times there.

Very lovingly,
Mary Seward Coster


3. From Edith Blackmer:

To all Fryeburgites -- big + little + in-between!

Heartiest greetings and best wishes for a most successful 25th Anniversary Session. We are thinking of you in your customary activities as the days go by and wish we were there to have our part in them.

Edith + Horace Blackmer


4. From Pearl Pausch of Baltimore MD:

Dearest Friends and Fryeburgers:-

Many, many thanks for the greeting to us from so many of you in the beautiful Assembly at Fryeburg,— and to the Bateses who seem to have begun the message from Milton in Massachusetts. We have thought of you and talked about you often here, in Baltimore, where we have stayed all Summer— of the mountains, the Saco at your feet, the village, but most of all the friends united in common worship and meditation under the pines and in the Church and the assembly rooms. We have even thought of the baked beans on Saturday night, as if we were true New Englanders! We know that you have had a profitable and rewarding session, now drawing to a close.

Our best wishes and thanks to all of you, including "Lill and May", to whom a copy of this letter goes.

Pearl and George Pausch


A letter to Mrs. C.S. (Laura) Mack at the Ladies Aid of the New York Society:

Dear Mrs. Mack:

I apologize for not writing this long overdue letter of thanks and wish to say thot the tardiness fo it does not reflect my gratitude for the twenty dollars the Ladies Aid Society granted me for my stay at Fryeburg. Since my return from Fryeburg, my school and work program have been such that little free time has been at my disposal. My school hours are eight to ane and my work starts at one-thirty and I arrive home about six thirty. Along with homework and some home chores I find it difficult to write.

Before going to Fryeburg this past year, I had a vague idea as to what our church's doctrines were and I had little interest in attending church mainly because I dod not have a broader understanding of our doctrines. While at Fryeburg I soon learned what the church means and what it teaches. It answered many questions I had been pondering about for a long time. Questions such as: Who, what, and where is God? What will happen to me after death? For what purpose am I here on thi earth? I now enjoy church and look forward to attending.

You gift made my attendance at Fryeburg possible and helped clear many of the quetions in my mind.

I hope you will forgive me for not thanking you sooner.

Sincerely yours,
Joseph Flynn


From the Fall letter to FNCA members:

We who have an intimate, present interest in the progress of the Assembly find ourselves the proud owners of a beautiful plot of ground and a group of buildings. But if that were all we had, we would be poor indeed. Our real wealth lies in the experience, the tradition, and the examples of service and self-sacrifice which have been handed down to us. The history of the Assembly is our inspiration; its future is what we make it.


From Werner Schmidt in Freiburg Germany:

In gladness we remember the happy experience we had there. May everyone who has to stay away or depart once like we now have to, be never apart from her in spirit like we ourselves shall never be.



From the 2001 annual appeal letter:

© FNCA 2001



From Esther Capon in Concord CA, describing undated but most likely fairly recent writings of her late husband, the Rev. Edwin Capon (1924-2009), who served as dean to the New Church Theological School for 22 years, as well as president of Convention for 6 years:

I am enclosing two sheets that Edwin was working on about Fryeburg. I do not know which one he worked on first, but it looks like he was working toward a final paper to send to the Messenger. Also some pictures from those years.

Please understand, this was worked on at a time when he was declining and there are many spelling and grammar errors, which was not Edwin as he was a Harvard Language major. He would have had me edit it for him before he submitted it to the Messenger but he didn't reach that stage when he passed away.

The pictures he mentions, I gave to the Rev. Dr. James Lawrence [current SHS dean] before I found these pages. The Swedenborg House of Studies in Berkeley CA has set up an archive in Edwin's name and he may have put them there. I really don't know. I just know that Edwin would have wanted the Fryeburg Assembly to know about the history of the Camp.

And here's a combined, edited (at Mrs. Capon's request) version of Edwin's papers:

Fryeburg New Church Assembly 1936-1940

Following the Civil War, northern New England became very popular for summer visitors. This included Fryeburg. My grandfather, Robert Capon, visited there in 1889, and seems to have been thinking of returning in 1890, for I have a letter dated 1890 giving him information about two boarding houses in that town.

At the time, he was living in Montreal, which had good train service to Maine and New Hampshire. How often he and his wife came to Fryeburg, I do not know. But he and his wife and youngest son are in the group picture of those attending the Assembly in 1933. My grandparents are in the group picture of those attending the Assembly in 1936, too.

1936 was also my first year at the FNCA, though only for two or three days. Fortunately, one of those was an Outing Day, and I was welcomed to go with a group of Flames in a climb up South Baldface Mtn. in Chatham, New Hampshire. The only ones in the group I recall were John and Louise Swanton who took turns carrying their baby. (30 years later, the theological school moved to within two blocks of the Swanton's, who were helpful in getting the neighborhood to accept us.) We never did get to the summit that day, but we did get above treeline and had a great view over Fryeburg towards Mount Pleasant.  From this experience, I became a frequent mountain climber.

In those days, the Assembly was held for three weeks. The next four years, I spent either two or three weeks at the Assembly. I waited on tables to help with my expenses. Waiters had our own table in a corner of the kitchen.

The first Outing Day of each session was set aside for what we called "Round River", an all-day canoe trip down the Saco River. Today, the river is so crowded that canoes run into one another; but in those days, we sometimes ran into skinny-dippers.

I don't know when the dorm for the boys was built, but it was fun to sleep in Army pyramid tents. Some nights were cold, but some were warm enough to bring out the mosquitoes and citronella. I particularly enjoyed the freight trains that went by about 4:00 a.m. every night. The ground seemed to shake. But the tracks have been silent now for some years.

I enjoyed having the Sunday evening worship in the Fryeburg New Church. Nowhere else have I participated in a 1912 service for Sunday evening: we chanted the Magnificat instead of the Benedictus. I still remember the tune for it. Many of us would walk to and from that service.



From Rev. Dr. Ray & Star Silverman. Rev. Dr. Silverman was the 2019 Rev. Everett K. Bray Visiting Lecturer. The letter is addressed to the Camp Registrar. The others mentioned are the Camp Director, Activites Director, and Religious Program Coordinator.

Dear Beki,

Star and I wanted you, Jason, Trevor, Susannah, and the rest of the FNCA staff to know that we had an absolutely wonderful week. We made so many new friends, and rekindled many friendships.

© Rev. Susannah Currie 2019The topic for the week was dear to our hearts, and it was wonderful to see how it was both embraced and lived during the week.

We will take with us so many wonderful memories, including the great lectures, stimulating discussions, one-on-one sharing, playing with the children, singing at mealtimes, polar bear plunges, puzzles, delicious food, and so much more.

Thank you for your hard work and excellent organization in making all of this possible. And thank you for your generous hospitality.

May the Lord's blessings be upon you, upon the Fryeburg New Church Assembly, and upon all those who strive to live according to the life-changing truths of the Open Word.

With gratitude and affection,
Ray & Star



© Grace Shields 2019

Grace's daughter, Cornelia Shields, included a note with this that contained the following remarks:

"Enclosed is a letter and check from my mom. I don't believe Mom really stole that book. There is or was a price written in it, which I may have erased due to my habit of erasing stray marks in books. It may have been sold for 10¢ at a yard sale if the camp ever had one, but if she wants to pay for it, fine. We have enjoyed it over the years."

Webmaster note: Most likely, she bought it off the Sales Table.


From the wife and children of Past Camp Cook, Bill Leighton, who cooked for us 2017-2019 and died during vFNCA 2020.

© FNCA 2021
© FNCA 2021


From Judy Siegfried
sister, aunt, and great aunt of the Phinney/Greenwood clan




from Jane Seibert
outgoing President of Convention


Dear Friends at FNCA!
   Hope you have a good camp year. Wonderful people and community. I'll be back.
   Thank you for your generous donation for youth scholarships — NOW to get more kids to come.
        May all be well,
        Rev. Jane


*****     *****     *****     *****    *****


An FNCA Postcard from 1930

© FNCA 1930

[FNCA History]

84 Main St, Fryeburg, ME 04037 (map)