WHERE WE WORSHIP
The event will be on the church property, 164 Deer Field Avenue, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Rev. Laura Westby said the fair will feature seasonal foods, arts and crafts, gift baskets and other items. The church thrift shop will be open and for the tirst time the festival will have an Amber Alert id booth set up.
Westby explained that the event is only one way that the church reaches out to the community. The parish was founed in 1696. Back then churches served as community meeting houses, which is an idea that the First Congregational is trying to recapture.
“We’re trying to reclaim that as part of our ministry here in Danbury. We have a huge facility, like a lot of downtown churches, and we don’t use it for ourselves so we’re making it available to different groups in the community so we can be that meeting place once again,” Westby said.
Besides allowing Alcoholics Anonymous groups and other organizations to use the building, First Congregational also hosts concerts, forums and other events. The church also serves as an overflow shelter for Danbury’s homeless population from November through April and has an active feeding ministry. Westby added that the church also has a strong global ministry, particularly in Haiti where they sponsor the Good Samaritan Hospital.
She said First Congregational is a hospitable church where all people can come, adding that the church has a large LGBT population. Each Sunday about 65 people worship at the church. Westby hopes that number will rise. Sunday services are at 10 a.m.
“We’re in a time of rebuilding and growing,” she said. “But I’m feeling very positive about things here.”
Services are fairly traditional, though the church is exploring ways to reach more families, possibly through a contemporary service in the future.
“This church is a good fit for someone who is looking for a faith community trying to live out the teachings of Jesus in the 21st Century,” Westby said. “It’s a great place for folks who didn’t quite fit in (somewhere else) and are looking for a community to just accept them where they are.”
For information visit http://www.firstchurchdanbury.org/ where you can find a link to Westby’s blog.
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