If you found you missed something indescribable over the summer, if something was not quite right, maybe you missed your spiritual home, our beloved FCC, Darien. We certainly missed you, although our summer attendance was actually up this year. In any case, Welcome Back Sunday is this Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016. And it has grown into quite a celebration in recent years.
We will offer up a Jazz Sunday with the uproarious strains of joy that emanate from our own Katherine Hedlund and her trio. We will welcome ten new members into our fellowship. A massive picnic will follow with pulled pork, courtesy of Jim Barker’s smoker on the premises. Expect fun and smiles at happy reunions, welcoming new friends, and activities for the children. We surely hope you are making plans to be with us as we feel the energy surge anew among us.
It might seem best to tamp down the scope of our ministry, what with the rough luck of being out of our meetinghouse sanctuary for now because of its approaching repair and remediation. Truth be told, that’s not remotely the case. Expect us to take our ministry to whole new places.
On Sunday, Sept. 18 we will worship outside on our lawn under a tent like the one for our House Tour. We’re calling the event, “Under the Sacred Canopy: A Racial Reconciliation Sunday.” It began with John Wygal’s desire to do around the festering issue of race in America what he did by welcoming two thoughtful and faithful Muslim families to share and educate us.
Our Racial Reconciliation Sunday has grown out of my friendship with the Rev. Paul Smith. He is an experienced local church UCC pastor who was mentored by the likes of M. L. King, Jr. and Andrew Young. Paul has also worked extensively with hospice, even written a book on dying. Paul has done diversity training for Honda all over the country. And he is bringing with him Nolan Williams, a pastor, skilled composer and musician to work with Dan Hague and our choir.
After worship with Dr. Paul Smith preaching, and a brief Coffee Hour, we will head back out into the Sacred Canopy, where I’ll participate with Paul, Nolan, and Catalina Horak of Neighbor Link, Stamford in a panel discussion. We hope to field questions and hear comments from all of you.
Why are we doing this? The same reason we hid fugitive slaves in the 1800’s, supported the Civil Rights marches in the Sixties, and created the ABC House here in Darien back in the 1980’s. Congregationalism has always been at the forefront of racial reconciliation. We don’t plan to relinquish that role soon. Some from other churches claim we have a genius for reconciliation.
Finally, on Sunday, Sept. 25 we will tempt the weather again by worshipping outside for our annual Blessing of the Animals, which is a unifier of generations, families and even neighbors who happen to be strolling by with their pets. More on that later. Just whetting your appetites.
See you on Sunday at Welcome Back Sunday, one service at ten am, new members, and picnic!