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.
Newtown Middle School student Laura Augenbraun, daughter of Deborah and David Augenbraun of Sandy Hook, recently decided to raise awareness and money for Newtown-Strong Therapy Dogs. The decision was for her social service community project, something each seventh grade student at B’nai Israel Religious School in Southbury performs in preparation for becoming Bar/Bat Mitzvah, “son/daughter of the commandments.”
The Newtown/Danbury unit of Church Women United is planning its annual May Friendship Day celebration. This year’s event will be Saturday, May 16, beginning at 10 am, in the lower meeting room of C.H. Booth Library, 25 Main Street. The theme of the celebration is “Journey Of The Caregiver.” According to program notes published by Church Women United, this year’s May Friendship Day celebration is for all people who struggle with their calling of caring for the needs of others.
Thursday, May 7, will be the nation’s 64th observance of the National Day of Prayer. The theme of this year’s event is “Lord Hear Our Cry,” based on the Scripture of 1 Kings 8:28, and a group of residents are again planning to host a local observance at Edmond Town Hall. All who would like to pray for the nation and community together in a biblical context are welcome.
Guided by Rabbi Shaul Praver, members of the Newtown Interfaith Clergy Association were joined by a few dozen members of the public for the 2015 Interfaith Seder on March 29. As he is known for doing, Rabbi Praver imbued the gathering with his wonderful sense of humor. He repeatedly drew laughter from everyone attending the special event, while also keeping a focus on the solemnity and importance of observing Passover, which commemorates the liberation of the Israelites from Egyptian slavery.
On Wednesday of Holy Week, April 1, at 8 pm, the Mystery Players of Immaculate Heart Central High School in Watertown, N.Y., will present the Stations of the Cross in a very creative way at St Rose of Lima in Newtown. The Mystery Players bring the stations to the modern level through the use of special lighting, music, pantomime, and paraliturgical readings. It may not be appropriate for children under the age of 10, but all others are invited to attend this unique and powerful prayer experience.
The cable television 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. The program features interviews with prominent pastors, rabbis, imams, and other spiritual leaders of a variety of local faith communities.