What a great start to the year-long celebration planned to commemorate the 200th Anniversary year! The first event was held on February 19th, with a special service, including anthems sung by the Emmanuel Choir. Although Father Jack and family were missed due to illness, Father Joe Famulare, a former member and former Deacon of Emmanuel stepped in as the celebrant. The service was followed by a special coffee hour which was well attended, and included a cake with a picture image of the church and sparklers, along with other treats. A highlight was when Father Joe blessed the plaque listing Emmanuel being placed on the Historic Registry in 2009.

Although this year’s illness and a snowstorm caused plans to be changed a bit, our observance of Lent continues. For many years, Emmanuel’s tradition was to hold a weekly service during Lent on Thursday evenings, followed by a covered dish supper. Last year we began a new tradition, with the service held on Tuesday evenings, with both Father Joe and Father Jack celebrating the service together. Each week the service will alternate being held at Emmanuel and Holy Trinity Lutheran Church at 6:00. It will be held at Holy Trinity Lutheran beginning on March 7th. All are welcome to attend.

Each month we will be highlighting one of our ministries. One of our most well-known ones in the community is our monthly dinner held on the 3rd Thursday. Mike Bell is our head cook and organizer. Thanks to Mike, Emmanuel’s Parish Hall has a state-certified Kitchen. He has quite a crew of parishioners and friends who help with the prep, set up, and clean up. There are also volunteers who deliver meals to those unable to pick up or eat in. These dinners are often sold out, as many in the community look forward to the fellowship found when eating in, and the complete meal that is provided at a reasonable cost. Money made on these dinners is used to help defray the cost of the items bought to make the dinner, to help with upkeep, and to aid a specific cause. Currently, some of the proceeds are being given toward a project created by one of our teenage parishioners who is working toward becoming an Eagle Scout. Come join us to help support this young man and get a great dinner on March 16th.

The next event on our 200th Anniversary calendar is being held on March 19, 2023, at 3:00 P.M. in the Parish Hall. Come learn about the fun and rewarding art of Ukrainian Easter Egg decorating! Fr. Jack and Carol Whritenour are teaching a class on “pysanky,” the Ukrainian art of decorating Easter eggs with beautiful spiritual motifs using beeswax and colored dyes. Originating as a pagan tradition, decorated eggs were adopted by Christians to become the traditional Easter egg. Christians embraced the egg symbol and related it to the tomb from which Christ rose. What began as pagan sun worship symbols were adapted to represent Easter and Jesus’ resurrection.

If you ever wanted to learn this but thought it might be too hard, we promise you that if you follow the simple steps that will be taught in this class, you will leave with a beautiful piece of art that is your own creation! The cost is $25.00 which includes the kit that you can bring home to make many more decorated eggs and share your knowledge of this craft with family members and friends. If you would like to take the class, please text Fr. Jack at (203) 535-6423, or call this number to speak with him, or leave a message. Anyone interested should call and register by March 8th to allow time for the kits to be ordered and arrive in time.

Our special event for April is all about attending services. With Palm Sunday, Holy Week, and then Easter being celebrated, our focus, as it was since the beginning, will be on worship. Although, over the years, some traditions may change, the very reason Emmanuel began has not changed. It remains a church whose very name, Emmanuel, was, is, and will be forever a reminder that God is with us.