Waterbury church celebrates 30 years

United Methodist Church of Waterbury will celebrate its anniversary this weekend/Tracy SimmonsWATERBURY – Sunday is a big day for The United Methodist Church of Waterbury.

The church will celebrate its 30th anniversary with special guest Bishop Jeremiah J. Park of the New York Annual Conference.

It’s the first time a bishop has visited the church, located at 250 Country Club Road.

The Rev. Mary Hoynes said a Memory Wall will be on display in the narthex, featuring pictures of the churches 30 years of ministry.

“I think it’s important to remember the past, as well as look to the future,” Hoynes said.

UMC of Waterbury, now the only Methodist church in Waterbury, formed in 1979 after four area Methodist congregations merged. The church now serves about 200 people, from members in their early 20s up to their 80s, Hoynes said. She added that the church also has an active youth group. The teen group will be performing a special drama skit for the bishop on Sunday.

Park, who calls himself the “singing bishop” will deliver Sunday’s sermon at 10 a.m. Hoynes described him as engaging and energetic.

“You can really see the spirit in his preaching,” she said.

She said she hopes the Waterbury community will visit the church and celebrate its milestone with them, even if they’ve never worshiped at UMC Waterbury before. A picnic-style lunch will be served from noon to 2 p.m.

We invite them to, “share in the happiness and so we can get to know them, and they can get to know us,” she said. “We feel we’re all a community together, but so many times we don’t know our neighbor next door.”

The special service this weekend not only commemorates the churches beginning, but also the start of The Country Garden Preschool, which is housed at the church.

Deborah W. Platt, director of the preschool, said activities will continue from noon to 3 p.m., including inflatable rides, an appearance by Sparkles the Clown and pony rides.

The school averages about 100 students a year from all across the region. Platt said she is expecting the event to be a reunion and bring in visitors who once attended the pre-school who now may have their own children in the program.

“We’ve always tried to have that family-feeling with the school,” she said.

Anyone interested in attending the festivities are asked to call the school at (203) 574-4981, or the church office at (203) 754-6928.



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