This year it was Newtown United Methodist Church’s turn to host the Interfaith Thanksgiving Gathering. An annual event presented by members of Newtown Interfaith Clergy Association, the November 22 service was attended by approximately 45 people who enjoyed just over an hour of prayers, music, texts, and readings from myriad faiths, and an offering that benefited one of the town’s food pantries. Many of the town’s religious leaders participated in the Sunday evening gathering, offering words of strength and support, encouragement and friendship. Laughter broke up the solemnity of the event a number of times, adding levity to the 70-minute event. If there was a recurring theme Sunday night, it was “The Golden Rule.” In varying ways, speakers repeatedly encouraged attendees to be kinder and gentler toward all others.
The Newtown/Danbury unit of Church Women United is planning its annual World Community Day celebration. This year’s event will be Friday, November 6, in The Great Room of Newtown Congregational Church, 14 West Street. All are invited. Coffee and light refreshments will be served at 6:30 pm, and the evening’s keynote will begin at 7. Chris George, executive director of Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services (IRIS), will be the guest speaker. Newtown Congregational Church will then host another program, “Global World: Global Church” on Saturday, November 22. A conversation on displacement and the refugee crisis will be led by United Church of Christ Global Ministries Intern Ariel Royer.
Newtown Congregational Church hosted its third Low County Shrimp Boil, a community benefit to support Back Bay Mission in Biloxi, Miss., last weekend. The church established a relationship in 2005, when it sent financial support to the United Church of Christ mission following Hurricane Katrina. It has continued to send financial and physical support since, with groups of NCC members traveling at least once each year since October 2006 to rebuild homes in the city on the Gulf.
Trinity Episcopal Church hosted a conversation on racial equality and racial justice on October 11. The speaker was Bishop John L. Selders Jr, the Organizing Pastor of Amistad United Church of Christ in Hartford, and a leader of the Moral Monday CT movement. At the end of the evening Bishop Selders suggested that those in attendance who truly want to make a difference “start local,” and stand in front of the church showing solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement as a first step to opening up conversation and dialogue with the wider Newtown community. On Monday, October 12, members of Trinity did just that.
Grace Family Church, 174 Mt Pleasant Road, is offering SonSpark Labs Vacation Bible School during the week of August 10-14. Sessions will run from 9 am until 12:30 pm daily. The program is open to children ages 4 to those who have just completed the sixth grade, and families do not need to be members of GCF for their children to participate in the program.
"Unity in Diversity" can be viewed on Charter Community Vision (Channel 192) each Monday at 12:30 pm and again on Wednesday at 5:30 pm. This program features interviews with prominent pastors, rabbis, imams and other spiritual leaders of a variety of faith traditions.
Grace, hope, love, change, solidarity, and forgiveness were recurrent themes as members of Newtown’s interfaith community addressed a crowd of approximately 175 people at the #NewtownRisingForCharleston vigil, held Sunday evening, June 28, at Newtown United Methodist Church. The 7 pm service of song and prayer to honor the nine lives lost June 17, at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C., when a young man gunned them down at a Bible study meeting, began more than half an hour before that, with individuals solemnly waiting in line to add their names to a large orange banner that had been laid out in the narthex. Kara Fitzgerald, of Moms Demand Action, said the banner would be sent later this week to “Mother Emanual” AME Church, as a sign of Newtown’s support.
Unity in Diversity can be viewed on Charter CommunityVision (Channel 192) each Monday at 12:30 pm and again on Wednesday at 5:30 pm. This program features interviews with prominent pastors, rabbis, imams and other spiritual leaders of a variety of faith traditions.
Members of Newtown Congregational Church hare “rented” parking spaces for the day so that they participate in a group tag sale on Saturday, June 6, at Newtown Congregational Church. The rental fees will be donated to NCC Youth Group for future projects and mission work. The public is invited to enjoy some shopping between 9 am and 4 pm in the parking lot of Newtown Congregational Church, 14 West Street. Many of the participants have also promised to donate a portion of their proceeds to local charities or church organizations.
Nearly 100 members of Newtown Congregational Church shrugged off the rain last weekend to celebrate a decidedly American custom: a mortgage burning party. While some congregants stepped outside the church’s upper rear entrance, others gathered at utside the church’s upper rear entrance, others gathered at windows to watch the spectacle, when the Reverend Matthew Crebbin handed the church’s mortgage off to Peg Forbell and NCC Moderator Robert Hall. With Mr Hall holding the papers, Mrs Forbell used a grill lighter to set the document aflame. “Peg is our financial secretary,” Rev Crebbin said, explaining why Mrs Forbell had been given the honor of starting the celebratory fire. “She has been the lead person in receiving and tracking our mortgage payments for years.” The Rev Crebbin said this week the opportunity to burn the mortgage came after an unexpected gift was received by the church recently.