First Congregational Church filled with Christmas cheer

The holiday season is fast approaching and First Congregational Church has a whole host of programs planned in the next few weeks to make this a Merry Christmas for all of Greenwich.

Things start this weekend with the annual H.O.M.E. Craft Sale on Saturday, Nov. 17, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 18, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. People can stop by and enjoy a bit of Maine hospitality while shopping for handmade quilts, Christmas decorations and gifts including woolens, pottery, wooden toys, weavings, homemade jams, maple syrup and more.

H.O.M.E. stands for Homeworkers Organized for More Employment and is a craft co-operative working with the rural poor in Hancock County, Maine.

H.O.M.E.’s efforts to help those in need include the operation of a free clinic, a soup kitchen and food bank, a homeless shelter, learning center with daycare, literacy and GED tutoring, alternative educational programs and job and craft training.

All proceeds from the church’s sale will go directly to H.O.M.E.

Admission is free. The church is located at 108 Sound Beach Avenue in Old Greenwich.

And then, instead of sleeping off that Thanksgiving turkey, you can head out to the church’s Christmas tree and wreath sale on Saturday, Nov. 24 at 9 a.m.

The sale will then continue on Sunday, Nov. 25 and go through each weekend in December until the trees run out.

The church will also be selling wreaths, garland and kissing balls.

All proceeds from this sale go to local charities and a full list of these charities are on display at the tree sale.

On Saturday, Dec. 15 and Sunday, Dec. 16, First Congregational Church will hold its 46th annual Messiah performance at 4 p.m. on both days.

First presented in 1966, these concerts are a holiday favorite and are considered one of the finest performances given by musicians from the tri-state area. Soloists include soprano Adele Crawford, who has sung with the Metropolitan Opera, alto section leader Linnea Conley, tenor Jonathan Blalock, who has sung around the world and most recently in Israel and the Santa Fe Opera and new church member Daniel Schlorff as bass soloist. Craig Scott Symons will be conductor for the holiday treat.

Before you know it, Christmas will be upon you and the community is invited for one of the church’s Christmas Eve celebrations. At 10 a.m. on Dec. 24, there will be lessons and carols for families with young children including a live Nativity.

Then at 4 p.m. there’s a family service including the Once in Royal David’s City Children’s Pageant followed by the 5 p.m. community carol sing around the tree, the 8 p.m. communion service and carols and the 11 p.m. candlelight service and carols.

For more information on the church’s programs call 203-637-1791.

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