My wife, Valerie, and I were attracted to the little white church at the corner of King Street and South King Street in 1974. We had recently moved to Danbury and were ready to start a family. We decided to make a church part of our life together. It simply felt like a necessary
step to take. She is the first girl I ever loved. And this has been the first church I ever loved.
I was raised in the Methodist faith. My mother pushed for the family’s participation in church life. My father was a good man who worked hard for his family. But he chose not to be involved with religion. I never asked him about it. I now wish I had. For me, going to Sunday worship was something to tolerate. You had to be there. And after being confirmed I never went to church again. I continued to celebrate a secular Christmas and Easter. That was it. I never had any negative feelings towards the Methodist church or people I grew up with there. I just didn’t care.
Forward to 1974. Valerie and I walked into worship service that spring and felt at home. People were welcoming and we stayed. A few of those people are still at King Street. Others have moved away. And many of them have died. I still remember their lesson to me. It became clear that many church members need to work at keeping the church alive and moving ahead. Being a United Church of Christ body, we have been called upon to support worship, care for the place, care for one another, and do outreach. We still are.
During many years of worshiping at the King Street United Church of Christ I have benefited from the leadership of several pastors. They have shown me how to be more tolerant, understanding, and patient. I have learned about my need to have a spiritual framework from which to live and try to understand other people. My love and acceptance for others has grown. I have come to believe that church membership is more than belonging to a group of altruistic people. The first purpose is to gather with others and worship God. Micah’s call to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly follows from first declaring your belief in and praise for God. Jesus Christ was God on earth, sent/coming here to share the message of God’s unconditional love and caring for me.
King Street’s current pastor has stated that the foundation for all of his sermons are words to the effect that God loves us and expects us to do the same, followed by God loves everyone else and expects us to do the same. With the support and example of the members of King Street
UCC I will continue to work on it.