My family goes to the Greens Farms Congregational Church. It’s a beautiful building on a hill overlooking the Long Island Sound. Last week we celebrated the 300th year of continuous worship. I’ve spent a lot of time in Europe where 300 year old churches are thick on the ground — but not so much in the US. In fact, the history of our church is the history of our town.
A group of settlers (among them, John Green, who gave his name to the parish of Green’s Farms), were tired of schlepping 8 miles by foot, horseback or wagon to their home parish in Fairfield. They petitioned to have their own church. This meant more than just building a new more convenient church — it meant that they would administer justice, collect taxes, choose a minister, care for the poor and educate the children. It meant they were ruling themselves.
The church asked me to write a history and I’m in the middle of the project. I’m building my history on the all the various histories that were written before. In 1861, the Rev. Relyea presented a 40 page single spaced incredibly dense “Historical Discourse on the History of Green’s Farm Church.” But in the 20th century, things are more casual — remembrances more than discourse. For the 275th anniversary the church staged a play.
My history is thematic with lot of shoutout for remembrances, fun facts and “did you know?s”. I’m working with a team of volunteers who are enthusiastic, committed and work incredibly hard. I love being a part of something that has gone on so long. I may not be the most regular church goer but I’m making a lasting contribution to the church and even my town.