West Suffield Congregational Church Makes a Difference

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Photo submitted by Denise Peterson
Warming center goods on display.

56 Pairs of socks. 44 pairs of gloves. 40 handwarmers. 40 hats. 14 scarves. 10 warm coats. 17 sleeping bags. 34 pillows. 97 blankets. 17 pillowcases. 10 Prayer Shawls.

377 bits of warmth and care and comfort.

When the church pantry needed to end, it felt as though a big piece of the West Suffield Congregational Church was going away; churches thrive on passion and good works, so we knew it wouldn’t take long for us to find a new way to make a difference… and we did.

I came into the church one morning in early December and realized that our fellowship hall stage was completely blocked off by a mountain of warm things. Pillows, blankets, and sleeping bags, were piled in glorious abandon prior to being taken to the Enfield warming center. As Christmas neared, we added gloves, mittens and hats to our collection. We are a small church with a big heart.

Over the Christmas season, we listened as our organist and music Director, Ed Napolski played the new organ. The choir serenaded us with beautiful anthems, we caroled and sang along. We gathered for pizza, crafts, and decorating to bring a new glow to our precious sanctuary, and there was standing room only on Christmas Eve.

This February we will be celebrating our Boy Scouts, with a special Scout Sunday on February 4. My middle son was a Scout; when he got married, the other Eagle Scouts that went through the program with him were all in attendance. Scouting teaches independence, organizational and interpersonal skills. It also provides opportunities for the development of deep friendships and maturity. If you have a youngster who is curious about Scouting, the fourth would be a good day to see what they’re all about. I hope you join us.

We’re also going to have the first of our Debbie Halladay Pierce Super Souper Bowl of Caring food drive on February 11th. At church, we like the children to understand that they can contribute to the community and work to make it better. The kids will be making posters and displays, they will gather mountains of food, and they will see it dedicated and blessed before it is taken out to be distributed to those who have food insecurity. Debbie was a driving force in this community for many years, teaching both high school and Sunday school. She loved organizing this kind of event. It will be a fitting tribute to remember her in this way. We’ll open the church hall for donations on Saturday the 10th from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m., so everyone who knew Deb can have a chance to support the kids. Please join us!

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