Bearing Fruit for 325 Years
(Posted April 29, 2021)
“I am the vine; you are the branches.”
I’ve challenged my mind to imagine it; I also challenge you.
Imagine the feelings of those eight original families from Norwalk, having sought and received permission from their Congregational church on the green, as they struck out on foot to that place on the northwest “frontier:” The place that would become Danbury, Connecticut.
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Imagine placing all of your meager possessions and every person you cherish in a wagon. Imagine, too, that although you knew that the indigenous people one might find elsewhere beyond the frontier were mostly absent from where you were going, there would be native wildlife such as wolves and bears to contend with. But also remember what else would be absent from that first setting down of roots. No doctor. No midwife. Nothing standing between you and your new life – or death- on the edge of swamp and forest, except your faith in God.
325 Years in Danbury
From that first setting down of roots since our church first gathered in 1696, there has been a continuous strand of a vine, then many vines, then many branches. We find ourselves in this challenging year of 2021 and realize that this is our 325th anniversary year growing from that original root. “Through many dangers, toils and cares, we have already come....”
Jesus tells us this Sunday when we honor our long time members, “I am the Vine, you are the branches.”
He explains that his Father is the Gardener who has planted him here on earth, that we who listen to his promise of eternal life may branch off and grow. Not only do we grow, but we must continue to bear fruit that will become the sweet wine of acceptance and love as we enfold others in God’s family.
This Sunday, I hope you’ll plan to join us, and if you’re able to worship with us in person. Weather permitting, we plan to have a simple version of our Coffee Hour outside under the trees. Blessings, and congratulations on growing and sustaining one another! - Pastor Pat Kriss