Holiday messages and happenings at Wilton congregations
Local congregation leaders will preach a variety of messages this holiday season and various events and services will take place at their churches.
Rev. Dr. K. Jason Coker said the Wilton Baptist Church is currently in the season of Advent — “a four-week time of preparation for the birth of Jesus on Christmas Day.”
“Since all this revolves around Jesus’ birth, which Christians consider the incarnation of God,” he said, “I will be concentrating on what it means to be human.”
Coker will specifically, focus on “what kind of human being do we want to be and how are we living into that vision,” because, he said, he feels it is “particularly important right now with so much uncertainty in our world.”
“We always have a choice about what kind of person we will be. When terrible things happen to us, we still have the very human capacity to determine how we will respond and live our lives,” he said.
“As people of faith, the choices of what kind of person we are will reflect our religion and religious values. This is the litmus test to see if our religion is one of hope, peace, joy, and love — the traditional themes of Advent — or hopelessness, fear, anger, and hate.”
Wilton Baptist Church’s Christmas Eve service will begin at 5:30 p.m.
The Wilton Baptist Church is at 254 Danbury Road.
For more information about the church, visit wiltonbaptist.org or call 203-762-2429.
Our Lady of Fatima
Father Reggie Norman of Wilton’s Our Lady of Fatima Parish said the message for his congregation this Christmas will be: “N ot the end of life’s sufferings, but the dawn of true hope given by Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh.”
“We need to find hope in this season of renewal when there are so many negative things going on around us. We need to remember that we are united as spiritual brothers and sisters because of this gift to us,” he said.
“God issues us a new invitation to receive him, to let him into the poor manger of our hearts, and to build our lives around him, just as the Blessed Virgin Mary did.”
Norman said Jesus “came to the world on that first Christmas as a little baby,” but before he could fulfill his mission, “he needed Mary to care for him, watch over him, protect him, feed him and help him grow.”
“Jesus is a savior who makes us partners in our own salvation,” he said.
Our Lady of Fatima will have communal penance services on Saturday, Dec. 19 and Dec. 26 at 4 p.m.
On Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, the church will have a children's mass at 4 p.m., a youth mass at 6, a general mass at 7:30, and a midnight mass with a Christmas prelude by the adult choir at 11:30 p.m.
Christmas Day masses will take place at 9 a.m., 10:30, and noon.
Our Lady of Fatima is at 229 Danbury Road.
For more information, call 203-762-3928 or visit olfwilton.org.
In her sermon, Rev. Mary Grace Williams, of St. Matthew's Episcopal Church, said she hopes to address "how the power of the birth of Christ gives us the means to overcome the darkness of all the tragic and sad events that have occurred in the world recently."
"As we celebrate this miraculous birth," she said, "we are reminded that we are all called to partner with God to bring about peace and justice for all God's people."
On Christmas Eve, the church will have a pageant service at 4 p.m. in the sanctuary, followed by a Christmas Eve service at 10:30 p.m. A Christmas Day service will take place the next day at 10 a.m.
The church office will be closed for winter break Dec. 24-Jan. 3.
St. Matthew's Episcopal Church is at 36 New Canaan Road.
For more information, call 203-762-7400 or visit stmatthewswilton.org.
Wilton Presbyterian Church will have Christmas Eve services at 4 p.m. and 9 p.m., with a musical prelude at 8:45.
Rev. Shannon White said both services will include a lessons and carols component, but also have a message crafted for the particular gatherings.”
“At the 4 p.m. family service, my message will be the retelling of a true children’s story of how a Christian community stood together against hate directed toward a different faith group. The same thing is happening today to our Muslim friends and neighbors,” she said.
“Jesus taught his followers to welcome all, and that by doing so, we welcome angels unaware, even Christ himself. By standing with others who are both like and unlike us, we welcome Emmanuel-God-with-us.”
White said the 9 p.m. service will follow a similar theme tied to current events, and focus on “how the coming of the Christ-child helps open us to find God everywhere we look.”
“Only then may we find hope, joy, peace and love in our everyday living,” she said.
Before Christmas, the church will have its Children's Christmas Pageant, with special Christmas festivities following worship, on Sunday, Dec. 20.
The pageant will begin in the sanctuary at 10 a.m., followed by hot cocoa, cookie decorating and other activities in Parish Hall at 11.
The Wilton Presbyterian Church is at 48 New Canaan Road.
For more information, call 203-762-5514 or visit wiltonpresbyterian.org.
This Christmas season at Wilton Congregational Church, Rev. Anne Coffman said, “we are talking about trusting God and the power of Christ's light to overcome the darkness.”
On Saturday, Dec. 20, Wilton Congregational will host a Children's Holiday Shoppe in the church’s Menson Room, from 10 to 11 a.m. At this first annual event, children will be able to shop for presents, ranging from 50 cents to $5, for their families.
Volunteers will wrap their presents and help them create cards to place under their Christmas trees at home. All funds raised will go to the church's mission partner, Covenant to Care for Children.
Those interested in volunteering for the Children’s Holiday Shop can email Candice Dolberry at email@example.com. Parents are asked to register their children in advance for the event.
On Christmas Eve, Wilton Congregational will hold a family service, from 4 to 5 p.m., in the church sanctuary, followed by 7-8 p.m. and 9-10 p.m. worship services.
The church office will be closed Christmas Day, Dec. 25.
Wilton Congregational Church is at 70 Ridgefield Road.
For more information, call 203-762-5591 or visit wiltoncongregational.org.
At Hope Evangelical Free Church, Rev. Dave Gish said, “we take several weeks to focus our services and sermons around key Christmas themes in order to present the Christmas message to all who want to hear it.”
“Starting with ‘The Grinch Who Stole Jesus,’ we will highlight the importance of not letting the material side of Christmas overshadow the spiritual component that Jesus represents. It is so easy to focus on the business and activities of the season, or to be consumed by depressing circumstances in our world or in our own lives,” he said.
“God promises, through Jesus, to be our peace to conquer fear and despair as we turn to Him and follow Him. These are scary times we are living in, but God’s peace and love can conquer all.”
At Hope Church’s “special Christmas service” on Sunday, Dec 20, at 9:30 a.m., Gish said, the theme of the sermon will be “What to Do With That Gift?”
“As we receive a variety of gifts from friends and family, spanning the gamut of the good, the bad, and the ugly, we all have to make decisions about whether we will use the gift, ignore the gift, or the ever-popular re-gift it option,” he said.
“In a similar way, God gave His son Jesus to the world as the greatest gift of all, so we too must decide how we will respond to God’s gift of Jesus.”
On Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, the Hope Church will have a 5 p.m. family candlelight service that focuses on the presence of God.
“God came to earth as our Immanuel, which literally means ‘God with Us.’ He came to earth to show us our worth, to meet us in our world, and to reveal His nature and plan for life,” he said.
“Through believing in Jesus and receiving Him as our forgiver and leader we can experience the presence of God with us everyday, leading us through every high and low.”
Gish said the presence of God is “manifested through the birth of Christ when God came near,” and “despite appearances, or rumors to the contrary, God has not left the building.”
“He has not abandoned us but loves us deeply, and we need His presence with us more than ever,” he said.
Hope Evangelical Free Church is at 240 Wolfpit Road.
First Church of Christ, Scientist
The First Church of Christ, Scientist’s 10 a.m. Sunday service will focus on the Christmas story as given in the books of Matthew and Luke.
“Citations from the Bible will be read to the congregation with an emphasis on the spiritual import of the message that Christ Jesus brought to humanity for peace and healing,” said Jeff Sydness, chairman of the church’s board of trustees.
Correlative readings will also be shared with the congregation from the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Christian Science founder Mary Baker Eddy.
“The musical portion of the service will include a vocal solo and hymns of the Christmas season,” said Sydness.
First Church of Christ, Scientist is at 531 Danbury Road.
For more information, call 203-762-3809 or visit christiansciencect.org/church-wilton.