300th Year Celebration
The Green's Farms Church 300th Anniversary and related activities during the past year have caught the attention of our United Church of Christ Connecticut Conference. They have summarized our events, along with the 300th anniversary celebration of the Congregational church in Canterbury, CT., in a short article in the "News" section of the CTUCC website. Click here for a link to that article.
BELLS, ART & DVDs: For those of you who attended the June 12 luncheon, and did not have a chance to pick up your 300th anniversary commemorative bell, please stop by the church office. Also, we’ve received several inquiries about purchasing the Sunday School Art Mosaic notecards and posters as well as copies of the Remember, Rejoice, Renew DVD. Notecards may be purchased in the church office for $15 per pack, matted 16 x 20 prints are $35 each and the GFC documentary DVDs are $20 (with additional copies priced at $10 each).
During the weekend of June 10-12, Green’s Farms Congregational Church celebrated the 300th anniversary of the church’s founding in 1711. The evening of Friday, June 10 was marked by an art show, open to the public and exhibiting many paintings and sculptures by church members and local residents. Sunday, June 12 featured a special Sunday worship service, which included original music, a commemorative ceremony attended by numerous Westport and Connecticut government officials, and a luncheon for 485 members and guests under festive tents in our parking lot. This wonderful celebration involved over 100 volunteers, as well as a number of outside organizations. We would like to thank the many individuals and groups who contributed their time and talent to make this day such a memorable occasion. We want to express our special appreciation to the business partners who generously donated their products and services to our cause: A Dash of Salt Catering; Newman’s Own; and New Canaan Wine Merchants. We are blessed by their dedication to community service.
Moderator of Green’s Farms Church
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CELEBRATION SUNDAY, June 12 was the culmination of our year long tri-centennial festivities. It was truly a magical day! See below for a word of thanks to the entire congregation from the 300th Anniversary co-chairs, Steve & Diane Parrish and Jim & Mary Ellen Marpe:
What a celebration year it has been! From the introduction of the theme Remember, Rejoice, Renew at Heritage Sunday through last Sunday’s celebrations, this congregation has been engaged, interested and involved in this milestone year. You have served on committees, written checks, taken photographs, shared your stories, attended concerts, sung your hearts out, created art, baked, bought, set up, cleaned up, given your time to the less fortunate in our community and beyond. Well over 50% of the members and friends of Green’s Farms Church have participated in a meaningful way for this 300th year celebration. Thank you, each and every one of you! This commemoration couldn’t have happened without you and it wouldn’t have been the wonderful event it was without your overflowing generosity.
Our 300th Anniversary activities kick into high gear in the coming weeks. We have a number of events in the works, so mark your calendars.
MUSIC SPECIAL EVENTS. On March 27 we will present our third and final musical premiere at the 10am service. This beautiful piece of music, Psalm 150, is the work of Westport composer, Edward Thompson. On April 3 at 4:00pm, conductor Eckart Preu and a group of fine musicians from the Stamford Symphony will present a chamber music concert at GFC. Visit the Music section of the website for more details.THE POWER OF STORIES. On Wednesday, March 30 at 11 a.m., GFC Seniors will gather in the Meetinghouse to reminisce and share memories and stories about GFC. Allen Raymond will lead off with a brief historical overview of our church’s first 300 years. Then, several other long time members will relate their memories and tell stories about the Ed Strait (1950-1968) and Bill Bryant (1968-1994) eras, leaving time for others in the audience to participate. Lunch will follow in the Social Hall when there will be an opportunity to continue to reminisce in small groups while looking at pictorial directories from 1969-2006. Pizza, salad and soda will be served. A small fee will be collected in the Social Hall to cover the cost. All GFC Members are most welcome to join us and learn about the history of our Church.
ADULT BIBLE STUDY. On April 3 and April 10 Jonathan Lee of Hartford Seminary will speak on the history of Congregationalism in New England. Visit the Adult Bible Study section of the website for more details.
ORPHENIANS IN CONCERT. The Orphenians, a select group of outstanding vocalists from Staples High School, will perform in the Meetinghouse on May 1 at 4:00 p.m. This will be a fundraiser in support of the music program at the Columbus Elementary School in Bridgeport. The Orphenians will be joined for two numbers by students from the Columbus Elementary School in Bridgeport and various members of the Westport 4th and 5th grade choruses. A freewill offering will benefit the Music Department of this Bridgeport School
GFC BIKE RIDE. On May 7 GFC will sponsor a bike ride with stops at Fairfield Congregational Church, Saugatuck Congregational Church and Green's Farms Church. At each stop hosts will provide riders and interested observers with some historical perspective on each church. The ride will be open to the public, participants can join us for all or part of the ride and will raise money and collect food for local food banks.
SONS OF THE CONGREGATION. Two members of the GFC family who have been called to the ministry will return to our pulpit. Peter Allen, son of Marge and Bruce Allen, will preach on Sunday, April 10 and Jeff Braun, son of Nancy and Dave Braun, will preach on Sunday, May 1.
PLAQUE DEDICATION. Justin Weist has created a plaque honoring ministers who have served GFC. The plaque will be unveiled during the worship service and following the service, Allen Raymond will lead a discussion of the history of Westport and GFC in the parlor.
ART EXHIBITION. Members of the congregation will show their work under a tent on the church property on Friday, June 10 at 5:00 pm. Amateur or professional, part-time or full-time, all GFC creators of art in all media are encouraged to submit their work for our exhibition, which will be publicized and open to the entire community. Contact Diane Parrish if you have questions or if you are interested in contributing.
CELEBRATION SUNDAY. Sunday, June 12 promises to be an extraordinary day with a special service, special music and special guests. Join us for an all-church picnic (and a few surprises) after the service as we Remember, Rejoice and Renew.
Many other things are being planned, including a video documentary history of the church, filmed onsite over the past few months and featuring interviews with many of you. It's the history of Green's Farms Church told through the stories of its people. You won't want to miss any of this, so check our website, the Steeple, the Sunday Bulletin for news and updates.
300th COMMITTEE PLANS ART EXHIBITION
Westport Patch has posted a very nice article about our 300th Anniversary, driven by the reporter's personal coverage of Sunday's extraordinary Homecoming service and celebration. She interviewed Eileen and Jim Marpe following the service and has done a good job of focusing on the key events in our history as well as our new hymn. Nice pictures, too. Westport Now has also posted an article on our 300th Celebration, with a picture of Jan Topercer hanging the banner over the Meetinghouse doorway.
On September 26 at 3:00 p.m. the Westport Historical Society will sponsor the Annual Lantern Tour of the Green's Farms Church Upper Cemetery (across the street from GFC), conducted by local historian, Peter Jennings. On August 6, Susan Schmidt and her children Lauren, Hannah and Justin, along with Diane Parrish and her son Clay, spent a few hours cleaning the headstones in the cemetery in preparation for the tour. Check out the article on Westport Patch for details about the headstone-cleaning and some really cool pictures.
Contact the 300th Anniversary Committee.
- George Frideric Handel's "Rinaldo", the first Italian opera written for the London stage, premiered.
- Louis XIV was King of France.
- The tuning fork was invented.
- Scottish philosopher David Hume was born.
- And Green's Farms Church was founded.