First Congregational Church
164 Deer Hill Ave.
Danbury, CT 06810
Phone:(203) 744-6177

How to Celebrate 325 Years

A community rooted in love for 325 years!

Rev Pat Kriss(Posted Nov. 11, 2021)

"Tomorrow belongs to those of us who conceive of it as belonging to everyone; who lend the best of ourselves to it, and with joy." --Audre Lorde, American writer

I hope that, as you read this message, you’re already planning on joining us this Sunday for the celebration of our 325th year, rooted here in the land that is the beginning of the Berkshire foothills. As I was researching how the first eight families came here and clung together against the wilderness, I learned that they had looked around at the hills and marshes, and decided to name the place Swampfield.

Obviously, marketing was not an effective skill at the end of the 1600’s, but descriptive truth was.

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Before long the Governor for the area who, like many a politician, DID have a sense of marketing, thought the better of it in that “Swampfield” invoked thoughts of mud.  The Governor was fond of a beautiful town in Essex, England and so he took the initiative of renaming it Danbury.

First Congregational Church Celebrates 325 Years

The pandemic may have pushed our festivities toward the end of the year, but it only gave us time for our enthusiasm to grow.  Music minister Jim Moriarty has a spectacular “procession” of joyful hymns through the centuries we’ve been gathered as a church. Our own Meeting House Quartet will be performing along with the jazz undertones of Doug and Ginny Hartline and their excellent band.

Some of the people who attend may be dressed in any one of many costumes our members wore over the centuries we’ve existed. If you’re vaccinated you are welcome to join in the festivities, whether you’re masked or not. And if you’re not vaccinated, come anyway and we’ll give you a mask.

Our Roots Are Love

Of course, one of the greatest joys this Sunday will be our time with people who represent the past, present and future for First Church Danbury. Our guests will include Reverend Dr. Michael Ciba, our regional Conference Minister; Reverend Darrell Goodwin (if our denomination believed in bishops, he’d be one of ours), Executive Conference Minister; and a very beloved pastor and my mentor, Reverend Robert Naylor, who is no stranger to our pulpit, as he was our 24th pastor. I will be speaking about the ways our “roots” planted in faith have produced a beautiful creation that has borne fruit for our conger and our community.

Our Fellowship folk have prepared a reception after the service that would make Annie Orr very proud, with tea and sandwiches PLUS a display on the history of First Church that will bring back memories for us all.

So, whether it’s been a long time since you were last at our church or not, you are welcome here, to join in our joy and fun this Sunday. It starts with the 10 a.m. service and continues for as long as the smiles and memories flow afterward. See you Sunday!


First Congregational Church
164 Deer Hill Ave.
Danbury, CT 06810
Est. 1696

Phone: (203) 744-6177

Office Hours:
Monday Closed
Tuesday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Wednesday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Thursday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Friday Closed

Thrift Shop Hours:
Saturday 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Sunday Worship:
Sunday   10:00 a.m.–11 a.m.


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