The oldest church in Greenwich continued its historic celebration on July 19 with its 350th Founder’s Day! In honor of this special occasion, the congregation “traveled back in time” for an “Olde Tyme” worship service followed by a lobster roll lunch on the front lawn.
The 10 am service began with an introduction by Senior Pastor, Richard DenUyl, Jr., followed by the reading of the official Greenwich Founder’s Day Proclamation by First Selectman Peter Tesei and a special presentation by Congressman Jim Himes. Also in attendance was Davidde Strackbein, Town of Greenwich 375th Anniversary Chair. The founding of the Town of Greenwich and The First Congregational Church of Greenwich are closely tied.
Next, as was the tradition in the 17th Century, the service was officially begun by the blowing of the conch shell, blown on this day by member, Jeff Aselin. A wonderful assortment of musical selections by American composers from each century and with ties to the local area were included throughout the service. Ushers and others were dressed in period costumes to add to the atmosphere and very enjoyable readings were ‘performed’ on “The Early New England Church Service,” Pilgrims and Indians,” “The Tithingman,” “The Role of the Deacon,” and “First Church Polity Early 20th Century.”
Immediately following the service, there was a lobster roll lunch, as well as colonial style games for the children, a display of historical items, and a fun photo opportunity!
This was a very special event in this year-long 350th Anniversary celebration of First Congregational Church. Look for some other great events coming up in the fall, including our Fall Open House, Brenda Stiers Memorial Speaker Series, and a family Halloween event! “We are honoring the past, celebrating the present, and leaning into the future toward another 350 years!”