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The Importance of Traditions

Providing Unity, Structure and a Sense of Comfort...

Karen and Jay share thoughts on the vital role of traditions in shaping our families, our communities, our nation, and our lives.

In our fluid and ever-changing world, traditions give us a sense of structure.  Something solid, something we can depend on. Even a feeling of comfort.  We honor the advances of the past and pay tribute to the values we hold dear. Whether they be family traditions or important observances in our community, traditions form patterns that help us make sense of the world and our place in it. 


In a larger sense, traditions serve as a sort of glue – that tends to bind us and unite us together, providing a sense of continuity, belonging, and connection to our past, present, and future. At the family level, traditions play a vital role in fostering bonds and strengthening relationships among relatives. Whether it's annual holiday gatherings, shared meals, or cherished rituals passed down through generations – such as that wonderful recipe or dish that only grandma knows and can make - family traditions create a sense of warmth and intimacy that binds family members together and creates lasting memories.

Throughout New Hampshire and across the nation, in our communities, traditions serve as a unifying force, bringing residents together and fostering a sense of camaraderie and mutual respect. From local festivals and parades to community service projects, these shared experiences contribute to the fabric of community life, promoting social cohesion and solidarity among residents.

On a broader scale, patriotic American traditions play a crucial role in unifying the nation and preserving our cultural heritage. From national holidays such as Independence Day and Memorial Day to traditions like the Pledge of Allegiance and singing the national anthem, these rituals instill a sense of pride, patriotism, and shared identity among us as Americans. They serve as reminders of the sacrifices made by previous generations to secure the freedoms and opportunities that we enjoy today, and they inspire a sense of duty and commitment to upholding the principles of freedom and liberty.

And in ‘sync’ with our spirit here at the Sunshine Report, traditions serve as a positive force and catalyst for personal and societal growth.  Over the years, it has become so apparent that embracing and honoring traditions is essential for nurturing a sense of belonging, fostering resilience, and cultivating a shared sense of purpose and pride in our common heritage as Americans. 

Old Home Days – NH Tradition

Traditions are the threads that weave a sense of belonging, making an area truly feel like home. These traditional events often revolve around objects or practices that the area is known for, such as a particular plant, food, or even a unique way of celebrating. It is these traditions that make people celebrate and feel a deep connection to where they're from.


In the early 1900’s, many of New Hampshire's youth, much like today, were enticed by the allure of bigger and brighter cities and economic opportunity to the west. However, the governor at the time, Frank Rollins, recognized the value of inviting these young people back to their hometowns. He saw the importance of celebrating the place that had shaped them, leading to the birth of the New Hampshire tradition of Old Home Days, originally established as ‘Old Home Week.’ This was a testament to the enduring connection between people and their hometowns, a connection that Rollins believed was worth preserving.


Across New Hampshire, towns have found unique ways to embrace their heritage. From annual festivals to the preservation of historical sites, each town has its own special way of celebrating its past and connecting with its residents. 


Before being elected, Rollins wrote this plea to the youth that left the state:


“I wish that in the ear of every son and daughter of New Hampshire, in the summer days, might be heard whispered the persuasive words: Come back, come back! Do you not hear the call? What has become of the old home where you were born? Do you not remember it — the old farm back among the hills, with its rambling buildings, its well-sweep casting its long shadows, the row of stiff poplar trees, the lilacs and the willows?”


Nearly one hundred and twenty-five years later, the tradition lives on in parades, craft fairs, breakfasts, fireworks, and much more.  So, this summer, keep an eye out for your town’s celebration, or if you want to return home from out-of-state, prepare to fall in love again with your hometown.

In Keeping with Tradition – A Barn in New Hampshire

Here’s a great story about how a group of devoted residents of Weare, New Hampshire, are actively honoring tradition – embracing religious freedom and practicing their faith in a unique place of worship – a barn in Weare. 

To place this in a context, let’s turn the page back to the very early days of our country – as the roots of American Christianity date back to the Pilgrims. As undoubtedly, you recall, they were a group of separatists who left England and first immigrated to Holland, then in 1620, arriving in what is now called Plymouth, Massachusetts. While they found greater religious freedom in Holland, they didn’t find economic opportunities, so they sailed across the Atlantic in search of both.

About a year ago, in a barn on their property in Weare, New Hampshire, Howard and Martha Kaloogian, established a unique church – embracing time honored-tradition.

Since the 1980s, learning from the late Jack Hayford, lead pastor of Church on the Way in Van Nuys, CA, and author of many books and hymns, including the popular anthem, “Majesty”, Howard Kaloogian knew that he had a calling. After becoming ordained in early 2023, from Grace International, a family of more than 4900 churches worldwide, Pastor Howard started Grace New England. This is the first church plant in New England for Grace International, and there are a few ways in which it is steeped in tradition.

First, the church is not held in the type of building most people would consider a church. In keeping with tradition, all of the early churches in the new world were started in someone’s home. Or perhaps in their barn. Service at Grace New England is currently held on Saturday evening. This practice dates back prior to Constantine allowing Christians to openly practice their religion. Baptism and communion are among some of the services. There are snacks and tea, or water served prior to service.

Every service begins with worship (this is the singing of songs to honor God), followed by small groups of two, three, and four at the most sharing prayer requests with each other and everyone having the opportunity to pray for others and have their prayers heard. This is followed by a sermon, benediction, and finally, parishioners mingling and talking afterward.

While there are some modern enhancements, such as a 75-inch television screen to show song lyrics and bible verses, plus electric sound equipment for the worship leaders; the church is based on tradition. On the second floor for all to see from the first-floor seating area, is a cross built from old barn timbers.

The Kaloogian’s and regular members of Grace New England welcome everyone to come and visit and become part of this movement to restore the American tradition of attending church and witnessing to others by sharing the good word. Sharing stories of the blessings that have been bestowed upon them from their attendance and how it has improved their lives.  From a year ago when some first started attending until today, attendees can honestly say that many areas of their lives have dramatically improved and have reported seeing positive changes in other people as well.  Hats off to the Kaloogian’s for taking the initiative to lead by example and share our American tradition of religious freedom. To learn more, please visit and enjoy deepening your understanding of these time-honored traditions.

Kingston, NH – Where Traditions are Strong! 


As part of our continuing series featuring towns throughout the Granite State, we are delighted to highlight a community with a rich history, steeped in tradition - Kingston, New Hampshire.  A town with a population of slightly more than 6,000 people and nestled in Rockingham County, Kingston holds historical significance dating back to its colonial roots. Established in 1694, the town was originally part of a grant from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Its location along the Powwow River provided fertile land for farming and access to waterways for transportation and commerce.


Geographically, Kingston is characterized by its picturesque New England scenery, with rolling hills, forests, and farmland defining its landscape. Its proximity to the seacoast and the White Mountains makes it an attractive destination for outdoor enthusiasts, offering opportunities for hiking, fishing, and scenic drives.


One of the great traditions in Kingston is an annual celebration known as ‘Kingston Days’ - occurring each year on the first Friday, Saturday and Sunday in August. It celebrates the town's incorporation date of August 6, 1694. Held in and around the town’s beautiful downtown green, there is live music and activities, family fun and a large flea market, car show, and motorcycle show. Further, it also includes various events such as a karate show and a police dog demonstration. And even more, the Kingston Historical Museum complex is open to the public, in conjunction with the Nichols Memorial Research Library, throughout the celebration.


Meanwhile, the town’s historical significance is exemplified by its well-preserved colonial architecture, including landmarks like the Kingston Town Hall and the Josiah Bartlett House, home to one of New Hampshire’s signers of the Declaration of Independence.


Overall, Kingston, New Hampshire, is not only rich in history and natural beauty but also in community spirit and traditions to be enjoyed by residents and visitors alike.  Next time you have an opportunity to visit the wonderful community of Kingston, we urge you to do so.  You won’t be disappointed!

Positive Profile of the Week - Tammy Wright 

Tammy Wright is 2nd from the left in grey.

This week we are delighted to highlight as our Profile of the Week – Tammy Wright, Clerk of the New Hampshire State Senate. 


At the helm of the Senate’s administrative operations, Tammy Wright has been an integral part of the Senate’s functioning for the past more than seventeen years, since 2006.  Her role as Clerk is vital in maintaining the Senate’s efficiency and adherence to established rules and responsibilities – as well as the important traditions of the institution.


As Clerk, Tammy plays a multifaceted role in the Senate.  She is responsible for managing the Senate’s day-to-day operating functions, including record-keeping, correspondence, and the dissemination of legislative information. Additionally, she serves as the custodian of Senate records, ensuring their accuracy and accessibility for senators and the public alike.


Tammy’s significance to the execution of rules and responsibilities within the Senate cannot be overstated. Her expertise in parliamentary procedures enables her to provide invaluable guidance to senators, facilitating the smooth conduct of legislative proceedings. She assists in the interpretation and application of Senate rules, ensuring that debates and votes adhere to established protocols.


Moreover, Tammy serves as a liaison between senators, legislative staff, and external stakeholders, fostering communication and collaboration within the Senate. Her meticulous attention to detail and commitment to professionalism contribute to the Senate’s reputation for integrity and accountability.


In addition to her dedication and commitment to seeing the duties of the Senate Chamber be executed, Tammy is a certified yoga instructor. As many of you know, I am a firm believer in the synergistic linkage amongst physical, mental, and spiritual well-being and yoga helps holistically on all of these dimensions. By itself, being an instructor of anything is commendable but even more so is that Tammy volunteers her time for First Responders and Veterans - helping them achieve peace of mind and Zen via yoga. Truly admirable! 


Tammy Wright’s role as Clerk of the Senate is indispensable to the effective functioning of the New Hampshire State Senate.  We are grateful for all her positive contributions to our legislative process and the greater Granite State community. 

Quotes of the Week:  The Importance of Tradition

"Tradition is the glue that holds a society together. It’s what provides continuity, stability, and a sense of identity." - Jared Diamond


"Traditions represent a critical piece of our culture. They help form the structure and foundation of our families and our society." - Marc Bekoff


 "Tradition is not to preserve the ashes but to pass on the flame." - Gustav Mahler


"Traditions remind us that we are part of a history that defines our past, shapes who we are today, and who we are likely to become." - Harriett Jackson Brown Jr.


"Tradition is not just what we inherit from the past, but what we choose to preserve and pass on to the future." – Unknown


"Traditions are the guideposts driven deep in our subconscious minds. The most powerful ones are those we can't even describe, aren't even aware of." - Ellen Goodman


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