As our website states - As devout members of the Puritan Reform Party, our founders at First Church embraced high Christian ideals. By 1643, the time had come to “gather together in a church way.” The first Meeting House, erected on the Green, was a primitive stone structure with a thatched roof. By 1713, the congregation had outgrown it, and a larger building, also on the Green, was constructed. This is said to be the first church in Connecticut to have a steeple clock and bell. After a century, there was a move to clear the Town Green of its buildings. A site overlooking the Green was purchased and our present church was dedicated in 1830. It remains basically the same today.
In 1948, First Church favored the union between the Congregational Christian Churches and the Evangelical and Reformed Church to form the United Church of Christ. By 1957 the merger of the Congregational Christian Church and the Evangelical and Reformed Church formed The United Church of Christ (UCC). Both of these denominations had themselves came into existence through prior mergers: The Congregational Church and Christian Church merged in 1931 to form the Congregational Christian Church; the (German) Reformed Church and (German) Evangelical Synod of North America merged in 1934 to from the Evangelical and Reformed Church.
When the Historical Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island Conferences began conversations several years ago, another dream was set in motion. These three conferences are now the Southern New England Conference of the United church of Christ. Our mission together is to Make Disciples of Jesus; Make God’s Justice and Love Real; Bring New Life as Agents of Change; and Form Covenant Partnerships. SNECUCC clergy and staff information and a history of the UCC are available on the denomination’s website.
Recently I have served on the search committee to select six new associate conference ministers for the SNECUCC. During this process, I have witnessed both a change in how we function as a conference and a desire to embody the Spirit as we expand ways of loving neighbor as ourselves.
On Sunday May the 9th, our Executive Conference Minister, Rev. Darrell Goodwin, will be our guest preacher. Please take time to visit the SNECUCC website and read more about him and his journey.
I love our denomination. I cherish our ideals. I am thankful to work with many others to help press those goals to be realized. We are an imperfect people who seek to build God’s beloved kin-dom.
In the early 1990’s, I found the UCC and found home. These two concepts (UCC mottos) spoke to my heart and mind as I discovered and embraced my new ministry position at First Congregational Winchester, MA. Whoever you are and whenever you are on life’s journey, you’re welcome here and In essentials, unity- In non-essentials, diversity- In all things charity. To this day, I am grateful.