Newtown United Methodist Church Celebrates 2022 ‘Thankful Day’

Published: Jul 03, 2022 08:00 AM

Newtown United Methodist Church Pastor Lori Miller offered a message titled “Milestones” on June 5. The message was ahead of a post-worship service gathering to celebrate “200+ years of worship and ministry,” according to notes in that month’s newsletter and the morning’s bulletin.

The church’s Stewardship Committee coordinated the event to celebrate two centuries of achievements, of all sizes, by the church and its members.

The post-worship service celebration featured grilled hamburgers and hot dogs, and plenty of sides and desserts collected through potluck offerings. Members assembled outdoors, with tables offering seating options under the sun and under shade.

Old fashioned games were also laid on the tables. Ball and cup, and its challenging counterpart bilbo catcher/bilboquette, were among the entertainment offerings. Guests were also invited to play jacks, hoops, quoits, three graces, and do sack races during the late morning/early afternoon celebration.

A collection of scrapbooks was set out, inviting the morning’s guests to look back through archive photos and ephemera.

“Not being entirely sure when this building was constructed,” Miller said during the 10 am service in the morning, “and not even totally sure of the gathering of the first United Methodists in Sandy Hook, the Stewardship Team claimed this day as the day that we would celebrate Thankful 2022.”

The morning was also Pentecost, she noted, “when the church celebrates a major milestone — its birthday.”

For multiple reasons, Miller said that morning, milestones are celebrated. Milestones are as big as births, graduations, anniversaries, and even deaths, she said. They are also much smaller, and often go unnoticed — making a phone call, writing a letter, marching, offering resources, “offering yourself to a needy world,” she said. “We don’t have rituals to mark all those actions, do we? We don’t know about them, often.”

Miller explained that in planning for the June 5 observance, NUMC’s Stewardship Committee “wanted a chance to really hold up the ministries that are done by folks here that maybe are not recognized, maybe not even seen by people a lot of the time, and yet daily, impact human life. We wanted a chance to look back and to celebrate some of the things that had happened in 200 years of ministry here, but we also wanted the chance to look ahead.”


Managing Editor Shannon Hicks can be reached at

Newtown United Methodist Church Pastor Lori Miller said the June 5 celebration was an opportunity for milestones of all levels to be recognized. —Bee Photo, Hicks

Jaret Lynch and Barbara Bloom look through some of the scrapbook assembled ahead of the Thankful Day event. —Bee Photo, Hicks

Rob and Brian Sibley were the first to play Ball & Cup during the NUMC 2022 Thankful Day celebration. It was one of two variations of a game guests at the post-worship lunch could challenge themselves with. —Bee Photo, Hicks

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