Through our ministry, we share our faith with one another. We offer ministries tailored for children, teenagers and adults; ministries that enable the exploration of spirituality through music and the arts; and a comprehensive and compassionate pastoral care program.
Youth & Families
We support and welcome families of all kinds.
For the children and youth in our congregation, we offer ancient wisdom through a modern mindset that helps connect them to their families and the Divine with joy, hope and a lot of laughter; a chance to inhabit a truly diverse community that’s both queer and straight, multiracial, intergenerational, and inclusive of all abilities and incomes; and moral development through stories, service and the arts. We have a Sunday School program called God’s Neighborhood for younger children and, for junior and senior high school students, we offer the Junior and Senior Pilgrim Fellowship programs.
For the parents in our congregation, we offer a network of honorary grandparents and community support to help parents through the red-letter days and challenging seasons of parenting; free, high-quality childcare during our Sunday worship services; and a chance for your children to be loved by human beings the way that God loves them – unconditionally.
God’s Neighborhood Sunday School Program
In addition to regular Sunday School meetings which explore important spiritual themes and stories through lessons, prayers, songs and healthy snacks, our youngest students participate in a variety of different activities, including volunteering to serve the community, gardening, field trips, cleanups of local beaches, theater arts camps – as well as annual events, such as the blessings of the bicycles, backpacks and animals, and the end-of-summer church picnic and Christmas pageant. For more information, please contact Director of Christian Education Lisa Doggart at email@example.com. The Sunday School program is currently meeting weekly on a socially distanced basis, with teachers and students wearing masks and observing other public health protocols.
Pilgrim Fellowship Programs
The junior and senior high school students who belong to our Pilgrim Fellowship programs meet regularly throughout the year to explore important spiritual issues and pursue charitable endeavors that benefit the community and the world. Many of these activities involve traveling to meet with other young people and explore commonalities in different faith traditions. Our students have met with their counterparts from the Greater Hartford Islamic Center and Berlin Mosque here in Connecticut; with youth from the Green Grass Church on a reservation out in South Dakota; even young people down in Haiti who participate in the work of the Crosby Fund. They have traveled to New London to donate food and serve meals in soup kitchens; to New York City to help homeless people through the Midnight Run organization; and to Georgia and Alabama to better understand the origins of the U.S. civil rights movement. Plus, here at home, there are a variety of social and fund-raising events throughout the year, including bowling nights, bonfires, weekly soup suppers and a Mardi Gras breakfast. For more information, please contact Director of Christian Education Lisa Doggart at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Pilgrim Fellowship programs are currently meeting weekly on a socially distanced basis, with teachers and students wearing masks and observing other public health protocols.
Please go here for information on our Children’s Choir.
At the start of each calendar year, we offer a series of confirmation classes that are open to all young people in the 9th to 12th grades who would like to be confirmed as full members of the church. Meetings are held between January and April where these participants attend classes, get paired with a mentor, participate in church-arranged field trips and perform community service hours. For more information, please contact Senior Associate Minister Laura Fitzpatrick-Nager at email@example.com.
Our extensive music ministry enhances both our worship services and the lives of our congregation members. We support a nearly 60-member Senior Choir, a Children’s Choir, an a cappella group called the Agape Singers and a seasonal bell choir called the Old Lyme Ringers – all led by professional directors and soloists. In addition, we regularly hold music sessions during our Sunday School classes, as well as special concerts throughout the year. We believe God can be revealed through music and our lives can enriched by these experiences.
Our Senior Choir performs during our Sunday morning worship services for most of the year and arranges special holiday performances for our Maundy Thursday and Christmas Eve worship services. This choir also joins with the choruses from Saint Ann’s Parish and Christ the King Church to enhance the annual Ecumenical Thanksgiving service. Membership is open to all congregation members. For more information, please contact Director of Music Simon Holt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Children’s Choir rehearses and provides special performances for worship services celebrating Easter, Mother’s Day, Children’s Day and Christmas. Membership is open to all of our younger congregation members. For more information, please contact Director of Children’s Music Rachael Jungkeit at email@example.com.
The Agape Singers is an a cappella group that performs at nursing homes, senior centers, private residences of homebound individuals – anywhere where people might benefit from the joyful and healing comfort of song. Membership is open to all congregation members. For more information, please contact Lisa Feltes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Old Lyme Ringers
The Old Lyme Ringers rehearse and provide a special bell-ringing performance each year during our Easter worship services. Membership is open to all congregation members. For more information, please contact Gary Jungkeit at email@example.com.
Our three ministers are available at all times to meet the pastoral-care needs of our congregation and other members of our community. These gifts of service include ongoing visits to private homes, hospitals and nursing homes, as well as meet private meetings in our church offices when someone is in need of support or encouragement. Our ministers provide memorial services and grief counseling year ound, as well as pre-marriage and baptism counseling. Both the Ministers’ Discretionary Fund and the Love in the Time of Corona Fund enable our pastors to provide direct financial support to neighbors in need.
We strive to help our congregation members develop a robust spiritual life through study groups, and ongoing prayer and fellowship with one another. We join together to tackle life’s toughest challenges, explore and share our faith traditions, and embrace one another in our times of need.
From September through May we offer more than two dozen Adult Forums where experts are invited to help the congregation explore and discuss challenging issues or topics of special interest. Past forums have focused on climate change, conflict resolution, charitable-giving strategies and immigration; as well as offered spotlights on area museums, homeless services, legal aid groups and LGBTQ+ issues. The forums are held in the Sheffield Auditorium on Sunday mornings between the 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. worship services. Currently, as a result of the pandemic, the forums are being held monthly on Zoom at 5:00 p.m. For more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bible Study Group
Rev. Becky Crosby leads weekly Bible Study lessons throughout the year where our members gather to read and interpret Bible excerpts and stories, and share their ideas and understanding of the teachings involved. Currently, as a result of the pandemic, the Bible Study group is meeting weekly on Zoom at 11:00 a.m. For more information, please contact Becky Crosby at email@example.com.
Caregivers Support Group
Our Caregivers Support Group meets monthly to enable members to share their experiences and challenges in taking care of a loved one. Currently, as a result of the pandemic, the group is meeting on the last Friday of the month at 10:00 a.m. on Zoom. For more information, please contact Senior Associate Minister Laura Fitzpatrick-Nager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grief Support Group
Our Grief Support Group, “Healing in Good Company,” meets monthly on the last Thursday of each month on Zoom to help individuals cope with loss. The group is cofacilitated by Senior Associate Minister Laura Fitzpatrick-Nager and Mary McGannon-Kollman. For more information, please contact Laura at email@example.com.
Our Walking Group meets weekly in front of the church on Wednesday mornings at 9:00 a.m. to share a one-hour walk together. For more information, please contact Senior Associate Minister Laura Fitzpatrick-Nager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Committee on the Environment
Our Committee on the Environment keeps the congregation informed on environmental issues; explores ways to reduce or offset the church’s carbon footprint; and helps our Sunday School teachers incorporate environmental messages into their lessons. The committee also works with local community leaders and environmental groups to promote energy conservation, food-waste reduction, sustainable food networks, zero-emission vehicle deployment and environmental protection. For more information, please contact Patsy McCook at PMcCook125@gmail.com or Tink Willauer at email@example.com.
Ladies Benevolent Society
Our Ladies Benevolent Society (LBS) – which, despite its name, includes both women and men – is a group of congregation members who continuously raise funds to support the church’s charitable endeavors. Three of its most popular activities are included here:
Throughout the year, the LBS arranges a series of educational and informative lunches that are open to members of our congregation and community, where delicious meals are served and speakers address topics of interest. Admission to these luncheons is $5, plus a donation of a canned good to support the Food Pantry. For more information, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The luncheons have been temporarily suspended during the pandemic.
Ladies Who Stitch
The Ladies Who Stitch (LWS) is a group of 21 extraordinary local craftspeople and congregation members who – under the direction of Eunice Taylor – sew clothing and other homemade crafts that are either donated to people in need, or sold to raise money for the church’s missions. During the pandemic, the LWS stitched and distributed hundreds of face masks, which were then donated to community members and charities. For more information, please contact Eunice Taylor by sending an email to email@example.com.
White Elephant Sale
The LBS’s annual White Elephant Sale (WES) which takes place every July is an extraordinary, annual fund-raising event that the entire Old Lyme community plans its summer around. This popular, once-a-year tag sale raises massive funds for church missions and charities with the help of more than 200 volunteers and items donated by area residents. The last WES – which was held in 2019 – was one of the largest sales in the event’s history. The WES was canceled in 2020 and again in 2021 as a result of the pandemic. The next WES is scheduled to take place in July 2022. In December, we traditionally hold a much smaller version of the WES called the Elephants-in-Winter Christmas Sale to raise additional, year-end funds for charities and missions. As a result of the pandemic, it is unclear yet whether the winter sale will be held in 2021.
We offer a variety of arts groups and activities that enhance the lives of our congregation members, including a book club, a writing group, a poetry group – even a pottery-making studio.
Our Book Club meets several times a year to read and discuss books of current interest – such as Barbara Brown Taylor’s “Altar in the World” and Parker J. Palmer’s “Healing the Heart of Democracy.” This past summer, the Book Club focused on several books about racial justice, including “How to Be an Anti-Racist” by Ibram X. Kendi, “White Fragility” by Robin DiAngelo and “Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America” by Michael Eric Dyson. For more information, please contact Senior Associate Minister Laura Fitzpatrick-Nager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Writing from the Spirit Group
Our Writing from the Spirit Group meets on alternate Wednesdays from October through April at 3:30 p.m. in the Hoag Parlor. Participants either bring in written work of their own to share, or a poem or short prose piece by a favorite author. All writers of prose or poetry are welcome. For more information, please contact Vicki Murphy at email@example.com.
Poetry Reading Group
Our Poetry Reading Group meets on alternate Wednesdays from October through April at 4:30 p.m. in the Hoag Parlor – i.e., on opposite Wednesdays from the writing group. Participants share their work and listen to the poetry of others. For more information, please contact Alan Bradford at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Walt’s Pottery Studio
Some time ago, a member of our congregation donated funds to create a pottery studio in the basement of our Parish House in memory of her husband, Walt. The studio contains pottery wheels and a kiln, as well as an assortment of clays and finishes – and serves as a place for master potters to offer classes and teach their craft to local artists. Once a year, the studio artists donate a collection of their handcrafted bowls to our popular “Soup Bowl Supper,” which raises money for our Food Pantry. For more information, please send an email to email@example.com.