Dan England’s Letter to the Congregation

June 20, 2014


I came to The First Congregational Church of Greenwich, initially, with the understanding that I would stay three months. It has been a Gilligan’s Island experience since then. I will always be grateful to David Young for having taken a chance on me since I had been out of formal parish ministry for some time. Then the Bible Study took off — with the invaluable perseverance of Marge York — and I found myself staying for nearly seven years. Beware the temporary.

Now I have been called as Interim Minister of First Congregational Church of Litchfield and I have accepted. My last Sunday, officially, at Greenwich will be June 29, 2014. I am looking forward to this new opportunity but it is a bittersweet moment to leave a church that has meant so much to my life.

From the beginning, I was embraced by the congregation and throughout my time at FCCOG — and I have heard Mark say this as well — no one ever told me what I couldn’t do. It has therefore been a joyful and positive ministry with plenty of chances to participate in worship with preaching, praying, administering sacraments (but those silk-covered babies still make me nervous), working on the website and even writing a play or two along the way.

I won’t name the members of the staff who have been really nice to me, because they all have (and occasionally covered for my unintended oversight). I have to thank John Collins, though, because from him I have learned some important lessons about being a good interim that will guide me in Litchfield.

I want to thank the church for supporting me in my role as Chairman of the Committee on Ministry for the Fairfield West Association and for finding a way to keep me (and Avery) around when things got a bit dire. I suppose my only lasting regret is that I will have to surrender the skeleton key to my office, which is just so cool.

And, of course, I will miss the wonderful people of the congregation whom I have gotten to know and prayed with, occasionally cried with and, importantly, laughed with as well. You have been faithfully supportive at every turn and I give thanks to God for each of you.

So, now a new day, for me and for the church. I have no doubt that The First Congregational Church of Greenwich is about to enter into a period of strength and faithfulness that will make for a future worthy of its illustrious past. I am honored to have been part of it.

In Christ’s love,

Dan England