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Welcome to the Gregarians!

On the second Sunday of each month The Gregarians sponsor a social event. This may include museum visits, nature walks, game nights, BBQ's and much more. Sometimes we get very creative.  

As the name implies, The Gregarians are a "gregarious" group of individuals.  Membership is open to the public and participants represent a diverse group of individuals from the Glen Cove area. Please see below to view upcoming events. For inquiries call First Presbyterian Church at (516) 671-0258 or email scheney@optonline.net to be addeed to our Gregarian email list.

 Upcoming Events!

Sunday December 9th- Deck the Chruch and Potluck Luncheon

 If you have questions on any of our events or would like to suggest an event, please contact Sue Cheney via scheney@optonline.net.

 Past Second Sunday Events

           Game Afternoon at Chris Ghent's September 2012

A few of us die hards showed up for some friendly competition, delicious goodies and hearty belly laughs at Chris's house. We opted to play Scattergories and discovered that one of us is REALLY bad at it (I won't mention any names). And since this is a church website, I won't go into detail about what we were laughing at, but I will mention that it had to do with a part of someone'sd anatomy.

          Tour of Hempstead Plains and Pool Party at Joe's August 2012

Our August event was an educational tour of Hempstead Plains, followed by a pool party at Joe and Scott's house in Sea Cliff. Thank you to Scott for giving an amazing tour of an area of Long Island that most of us did not know existed.  Thanks also to both Joe and Scott for hosting the pool party amidst native plantings in their back yard.

                         Presbyterian Pool Party July 2012

In July, we all got wet and a little sun-burned at our annual pool party at the Cheney's. There was lots of food, drinks, sunshine and laughter. But then again, that is always included at anything our congregation does.

                                    PFLAG BBQ June 2012

Thanks to Dean Yoder and Jonathan Grimm, a good time was had by all in their beautiful backyard. Dean and Jonathan opened their home to members of PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) and, of course, we Prebyterians just just happened to be in the neighborhood, and we just happened to bring along a salad, so we showed up as well. It turned out to be a hot day, so most people ended up cooling their feet in the wading pool. Many thanks to our gracious hosts.

                   Walk through Old Westbury Gardens May 2012

A few of us showed up to spend Mother's Day afternoon at Old Westbury Gardens. It was sunny and not too hot. A perfect day for a leisurely stroll through the Gardens and a quick tour oif the house.

                              Green-Wood Cemetary April 2012

In April, a group of 15 went to Greenwood Cemetary in Brooklyn for the historic trolley tour. Founded in 1838 as one of America’s first rural cemeteries, the Green-Wood Cemetery soon developed an international reputation for its magnificent beauty and became the fashionable place to be buried. By 1860, Green-Wood was attracting 500,000 visitors a year, rivaling Niagara Falls as the country’s greatest tourist attraction. Crowds flocked to Green-Wood to enjoy family outings, carriage rides and sculpture viewing in the finest of first generation American landscapes. Green-Wood’s popularity helped inspire the creation of public parks, including New York City’s Central and Prospect Parks.

The tour was given by a very energetic guide named Marge Raymond. Marge is a singer and actor and brought her talent into the tour. She had wonderful tales about the various people that were buried there. She even sang excerps from West Side Story while standing on Leonard Berstein's grave.

Our cemetary trip was followed by a meal at Joe Gutleber's house in Brooklyn. Joe and his partner, Scott did a magnificent job of restoring the building. Everyone oohed and aahed as Joe showed us around. Another wonderful day!

                               St John the Divine March 2012

In March, a group of us went to visit St. John the Divine Cathedral in New York City. A few of us met up with Gaitley and Jim at Penn Station, and then we took the subway uptown. We got off the train one stop past the cathedral, so we could walk back through Columbia University, since it was such a beautiful day. The cathedral itself is absolutely glorious. When you step in, you feel like you're not in New York anymore, but have walked into an ancient structure in Europe. We all went our separate ways and ended up meeting in the choir loft when the organist sat down to begin practice. At first, the music was low and calm, but slowly it began to intensify to the point where you could feel it in your very bones. It was quite a moving experience.

After, we went to Gaitley and Jim's apartment for a late lunch (early dinner?). This apartment is as surprising and fun as the cathedral is grand. Every nook and cranny has been used to make the small space well utilzed. We had fun looking for secret compartments hidden here and there, and the loft bed complete with television was a hit for the kids. We were served a hearty meal of chili, bread and salad out in the back courtyard where Jim had already planted some pansies. We were all so hungry after our long day, that I think we each had about six helpings.

                              Rafting the Colorado February 2012

Lance Cheney gave a presentation on his rafting trip that he took with his two sons, Max and Beau. He showed images of his 16 day adventure on the river. The talk was preceded by a Southwestern meal that was prepared by Sue and Beau Cheney.   

Michael, Margo and Beau enjoying a romp through Shu Swamp.

               Nassau County Museum of Art January 2012

A group of ten Gregarians showed up at the Nassau County Museum of Art. We joined the docent tour that described the works of Louis Comfort Tiffany which is on display currently at the museum. The exhibit included enough of his work to show the diversity in his technique. None of us seemed too familiar with his paintings, so we were pleasantly surprised by the collection of his oil and watercolor images which were painted on canvas, wood and, believe it or not, wrapping paper. Of course, the collection included the more familiar and beautifully displayed Tiffany lamps and stained glass windows.
                During the tour, we stopped in the Contemporary Art room where they had a few pieces by Lego artist, Nathan Sawaya. In this room are five sculptures that are constructed out of tens of thousands of Lego blocks. Whether you like contemporary art or not, you have to admit, these pieces are incredible. Five out of the ten people on this trip were aged 16 and under. I’ll give you one guess as to which part of the tour they liked best.

A recent Gregarian event was a guided tour of Coe Hall at the Planting Fields Arboretum led by Sue Cheney.  For details on other events contact the church office at (516) 671-0258.

 English Country Dance
 and Potluck!

The Gregarians periodically sponsor English Country Dances. Please check back in the future for possible dates and times. There are no dances currently planned for this winter or spring.

What is Traditional English Country Dance?
English Country Dance is the dance form that was popular in England and America in the 1600's, 1700's and early 1800's. It is one of the dance forms from which moderncontra and square dance are descended. If you've seen any of the recent Jane Austen movies then you've seen this sort of dance.

Click on dance images below to view video clips of English Country dancing!

 join in
the fun!


Right Hands Across

History of English Country Dance

English Country Dancing is believed to be the oldest form of folk dance still being danced in the world. Its origins can be traced back at least as far as 1480, or many years before Columbus sailed to America (the date of the tune of “Sellenger’s Round,” a circular or maypole dance that uses a variation on the hymn tune “All glory, laud and honor to thee redeemer King”). Many names of English Country Dances appear in sixteenth and early seventeenth century literature (including in Shakespeare), and many of their tunes appear in manuscript and published sources of the period, but the earliest surviving set of dance instructions appears on a 1648 manuscript, and the earliest published source is John Playford’s The English Dancing Master of 1650-1.

The earliest dances seem to have been in the form of large circles, suitable for dancing outdoors. Related to them were circles intended for three couples and four couples (the latter being the ancestors of modern square dances), and petty-squares for two couples. Early dancers also danced nonprogressive longways dances for three or four couples, and progressive longways dances for as many couples as were interested. English great houses of 1560 to 1650 developed long picture galleries to accommodate these longways dances.

From the scant surviving information, most of the folk dances of Europe were so simple as to be boring. By contrast, the dances danced at court were so difficult that only the leisure classes could afford the time to learn them. English Country Dance stands in the middle between those extremes. It is simple enough that most people have little trouble learning enough to enjoy themselves, and yet challenging enough to hold the dancers’ interest. As a result, English Country Dance spread rapidly throughout Europe and the European colonies around the world, displacing the indigenous folk dances. For example, a 1770 manuscript from Mexico City, discovered in the late twentieth century, gives both tunes and instructions for many well known English dances.

Special thanks to contributing photographers Michael Ach and Robert McNally.