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Sacred Heart University Starts Online Forum on Rebuilding the Catholic Church

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Sacred Heart University has established an online forum to help rebuild the Catholic Church in a time of disunity and spiritual decay. The forum, “Go, Rebuild My House,” will serve as an open forum and allow experts from all over the world to contribute posts. When news broke in late summer about U.S. bishops covering up sex crimes committed by priests, SHU President John J. Petillo knew the University could have an important role in shaping what would happen next. Petillo said the Church has lost its way, and it is due time the University follows the vision of Saint Francis of Assisi and helps to rebuild it. “We at Sacred Heart believe, as an institution of higher learning, in the Catholic intellectual tradition.

Independent Investigation Announced Into Bridgeport Diocese’s Past Handling of Clergy Sex Abuse Charges

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Bishop Frank Caggiano, head of the Diocese of Bridgeport, the largest religious organization in Fairfield County and in Darien, has announced an investigation into how the diocese reacted in past decades to charges of sexual abuse of minors by priests. Leading the investigation will be a non-Catholic retired judge with experience investigating sex abuse charges. On Thursday, Caggiano said in a speech at a church Synod in Rome that recent news of Catholic clergy sex-related scandals has degraded trust in the administration of the Catholic Church. He said bishops “must continue to face courageously and honestly the betrayal of young people by clerics to whom they were entrusted.”
Background
This summer there were reports that Archbishop Theodore McCarrick had been accused of sexual abuse of teenagers, and sexual coercion of seminarians and young priests. Also, a Pennsylvania grand jury released a report detailing incidents of clerical sexual abuse across that state for decades, and prosecutors in other states have announced that they are starting or considering similar wide-ranging investigations.

Bible Classes for Children Are Available Free at the Christian Science Reading Room

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Want your children to broaden their horizons this summer? Introduce them to the Bible. During these free, one-hour classes at the Christian Science Reading Room in Darien, children will learn about and discuss Bible characters and beloved Biblical texts. Bible classes will take place in 10 sessions from 11 a.m. to 12 noon, weekdays from July 23 to 27 and Aug. 6 to 10 at the Christian Science Reading Room, 1904 Post Road, Darien.

St. Luke's Choir 2017

Hear St. Luke’s Choirs in Saturday Service: ‘Spring: A Maritime Evensong’

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The choirs of Saint Luke’s Parish in Darien will present Phrases of the Spring: A Maritime Evensong, the last Choral Evensong of the season, on Saturday, April 28, at 5 p.m. A wine and cheese reception will follow. There is no charge for admission, and all are welcome. The service will feature special prayers, hymns, and blessings for boaters, sailors, and those looking forward to getting back to the water this spring. Featured music will include the Evening Service (Collegium Regale), composed for King’s College, Cambridge, England, by Herbert Howells (1892–1983), as well as his Hymn for Saint Cecilia, the martyr and patron saint of hymns, great musicians, and poets. Evensong, one of the great legacies of the English Reformation and most cherished of Anglican services, has its origins in the ancient monastic tradition of marking the day with specific times of prayer.

Beyond Thoughts and Prayers Darien United 2018

Public Meeting Wednesday on Mass Shootings and What to Say to Children About Them

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On Wednesday night, March 14, Darien United, the youth group that brings together kids from several Darien churches, will present a “thoughtful faith-based conversation” on school shootings for parents. The event,  “Beyond Thoughts and Prayers: A Christian Response in the Age of Fear and Anxiety,” takes place from 7:30 to 9 p.m. in the Middlesex Middle School cafeteria. “The goal is to have a conversation about how to help children survive and thrive in a time when school shootings dominate the headlines,” the group says in an announcement. “Shootings in public spaces are leaving many in our community fearful and fragile—especially our children,” the announcement says. “Parents, who are on the frontlines of addressing these fears, find themselves looking to reassure children afraid to go to school.

United Church of Rowayton 910-26-16

Special Music Service Sunday, March 11 at United Church of Rowayton

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The public is invited to attend a special music service entitled “Abound in Hope,” combining a 10-piece orchestra and a 35-member choir at the United Church of Rowayton, 210 Rowayton Ave., at 10:15 a.m., Sunday, March 11. “The ‘Abound in Hope’ service is a celebration of the days leading up to Easter,” says Pastor John Livingston. — an announcement from the United Church of Rowayton
The orchestra and choir will be under the direction of Marsha Hall, the church’s music director. All the musicians are from the local area. The ensemble will be performing “The Tree of Peace” by the internationally applauded composer and arranger Gwyneth Walker, D.M.A.
The text for “The Tree of Peace” was adapted from the Jon Greenleaf Whittier poem “O Brother Man.”
“We are excited and honored to present this inspiring work,” says Marsha.

Christian Science Church Darien First Church of Christ Scientist 11-15-17

Thanksgiving Morning Service at First Church of Christ Scientist, Darien

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The members of First Church of Christ, Scientist, Darien invite you and yours to join us for a special Thanksgiving service to hear an uplifting Bible Lesson, sing songs of thanksgiving and share expressions of gratitude from the congregation. The Thanksgiving Day proclamation of the President will also be read. The service will take place Thursday morning, Nov. 23 at 10:30 a.m at the church edifice, 2331 Post Road. The Thanksgiving Bible Lesson emphasizes how God sustains and cares for us. What can be more natural than singing praises to God for the blessings already received and for the good to come?

United Church of Rowayton 910-26-16

United Church of Rowayton Sponsors Food Drive for Person-to-Person

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Area residents are invited to join in The United Church of Rowayton’s fall food drive October 1-9, to help fill the shelves at Person-to-Person (P2P). “This is the first year for our newly remodeled food program at P2P,” says Susan Zelman, site manager. “Our goal is healthier eating habits and lifestyles,” she says. “The new program can be seen at MyPlate.gov.”
Non-perishable food donations are welcome such as canned beans and lentils, canned tuna, salmon and chicken in water, canned or boxed soups, stews and chilies,  100% fruit spread, pasta sauce, and healthy snacks such as protein, breakfast and granola bars, unsalted nuts and seeds, whole grain crackers and single-bag popcorn. Bill Peltz, with the church’s Board of Christian Outreach, says, “Hunger is not limited to the holidays.

St Luke's Service of Unity and Community 08-15-17

Message at Interdenominational Church Event in Reaction to Charlottesville: Bigotry and Christianity Don’t Mix

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God’s message of love for all nationalities — a message repeatedly seen in the Bible — is a powerful rebuke to bigoted hatred of others, Christian preachers from different Darien Churches told an audience Monday at a service held to counter messages coming out of Charlottesville, Va. this past weekend. About 65 people attended the special “Service of Unity and Community” held in the front of St. Luke’s Church early Monday evening. “We’re here tonight for love and for the radical embrace of God and Christ that’s able to break down every barrier,” the Rev. David Anderson, pastor of St.

Noroton Presbyterian Church NPC Service Day 05-09-17

28 Community Service Projects in Noroton Presbyterian Church’s Annual Service Day

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Hundreds of members of Noroton Presbyterian Church (NPC) participated in 28 community service projects around Darien on Sunday, April 30 for the second annual NPC Service Day. The idea developed last year was for the church community to come together, all ages and stages, and serve their greater community. “NPC Service Day was a wonderful opportunity for our congregation to serve our community,” Interim Senior Pastor, Rev. Dr. John Seiders said. “What a great joy it was to see children, youth, and adults caring for people and the larger community in which we live. “In a day and age when people are polarized about all kinds of issues, it is our desire to actively care for our community and the people who are here.”

The day had projects for everyone, i.e. outside projects, sitting down projects, manual labor projects, etc.

Memorial Service National Homeless Day 912-22-16

Memorial Service for Area Homeless Held in Church of a Religion Started by a Homeless Man

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In recognition of National Homeless Persons Memorial Day, approximately 100 members of the community gathered together at the First Congregational Church of Stamford last night to remember those who died homeless in Stamford this year. The nondenominational memorial service began outdoors in the cold, on the longest night of the year. 

Leaders from Pacific House, Inspirica, Laurel House and Optimus Healthcare lit candles for Shante Kippings, Ebony Jordon, Kerri Burke, Douglas Tate, Melvin Murphy and Anthony Cromedy, each of whom died without a place to call home. Four currently homeless men: Gary Butler, James Blakeley, Norberto Ramirez and David Dukes, shared their stories. “I’m 68 years old and I never thought I was going to live in the streets.  I couldn’t find a place and started feeling lonely, depressed, like nobody wants you.” said Ramirez. “At Pacific House shelter I found life.  People really care for you there and now I’m living with hope; it seems like I could still go and be someone.  There are a lot of people that don’t have a home.  Thank you to everyone that supports this place.”
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— an announcement from Pacific House
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“This is a powerful service,” said the Rev. Mark Lingle, Rector at St.

Animal Blessing United Church of Rowayton thumbnail 910-26-16

You Can Bring Your Pet or Stuffed Toy To Be Blessed This Sunday at United Church of Rowayton

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Adults and children are invited to bring a pet or favorite stuffed toy to the second annual Blessing of the Animals, from 10:15 to 11 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 30 at The United Church of Rowayton. “It is like turning the church into to a virtual Noah’s Ark,” said Pastor John Livingston. ______________

— an announcement from the United Church of Rowayton

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Dogs, cats, gerbils, birds, turtles and stuffed toy animals or any other kind of pet are welcome. “The animals enjoy coming together in a large group and behave very well,” said Pastor Livingston.

Rev. Andreis Dorta Diaz 8-20-16

Cuba Conference for Nonprofits To Be Held at St. Luke’s in Darien

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Is your nonprofit or faith community is considering involvement in Cuba? A conference in Darien this fall will provide networking opportunities, travel tips and information on developing successful projects with communities in Cuba. Saint Luke’s Parish will host a regional conference on building mission relationships with churches and organizations in Cuba on Saturday, September 17, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

All are welcome attend, especially those exploring or pursuing projects with churches in Cuba. Details and online registration are here. As U.S.-Cuba political relations begin to normalize, many U.S. churches in Connecticut, New York and New England have been working separately to develop mission partners Cuba.

First Congregational Church of Darien 5-21-16

United Church of Christ Roof ‘Unsound’ — Services Moved to Parish Hall for Now

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The Meeting Hall of the First Congregational Church  at the corner of Brookside Road and the Post Road is closed after an engineer inspected roof beams and found them to be unsound, Senior Minister Dale Rosenberger has announced. In a message dated Thursday, May 19 on the website of the oldest congregation in Darien, Rosenberger wrote:
[W]e’ve learned the timbers in our historic Meetinghouse roof and ceiling are structurally unsound and need rebuilding. Before I detail that, the upshot of this sudden news is that we are unable to occupy the Meetinghouse at all, until after reconstruction. Right now, we are still assessing the instability looming overhead in our sanctuary. So for the months ahead we plan to worship Sunday mornings in our Parish Hall.