We range in age from 1 to 91. We're married, single, widowed, firemen, communicators, bus drivers, judges, lawyers, grandparents, teenagers, teachers, engineers, students, wallpaper hangers, retirees, homemakers, paralegals...you get the idea. We're a diverse group who has one thing in common...we all have chosen Emmanuel Church as the place to express our faith, get some spiritual nourishment and, of course, to spend time together in fellowship.
Our outreach programs include Helping Hands Food Bank, Amazing Grace Food Pantry, St. Vincent dePaul's Place, Bishop's Fund for Children, Heifer International, Lulac Head Start, New Horizons Women's Shelter, and Mision Divino Salvador in Bogota, Colombia.
A full-time missioner oversees all four parishes. He and three other priests take turns presiding at our services for a month or two at a time. Since we're a small congregation, we share resources with churches in Northford (St. Andrew's) and Higganum (St. James'). Together, we are known as the Middlesex Area Cluster Ministry.
Emmanuel Church is listed on the Federal Register of Historic Places and is one of Connecticut's oldest houses of worship. In 1800, a group of poor farmers spent 15 years raising the austere building and called it Union Church. The pure white exterior is without embellishment and the only ornamentation in its 100-seat interior is a single stained-glass window and brass chandelier. When times were tough, there was thought to selling the building. But the church was revitalized in the early 1900s by the Rev. George Gilbert whose ministry was chronicled in his best selling book, Forty Years a Country Preacher. There was no electricity in the church until 1970 and the congregation--and visiting bishops--used an outhouse until 1987 when a parish hall, kitchen and indoor bathroom were added.
For such a small country church to have this fine instrument is a delight. The organ, opus 154, was designed and built by the firm Karl Wilhelm Inc. of Mont-St. Hilaire, Quebec. In its design and construction, the organ is true to historic principles, dating back to the 17th Century. The free-standing self-contained case is made of white oak with hand-carved butternut pipe shades, which are gilded with 22 karat gold leaf. The natural keys are covered with ebony and the sharps are rosewood and plated with cow bone. There are 8 stops of metal pipes which are of tin-lead alloy, that provide an amazing versatility of sounds, from soft to bright and full. The Bourdon 16’ and 18’, played with the feet on the pedal board, are made of wood and are used to play the bass notes. There is a total of 636 pipes.
The memorial garden of Emmanuel Church has been created for the scattering of ashes and will be a place foe rest, meditation and prayer. This garden has been created for a dignified, natural memorial for loved ones to rest in.
The administration of the garden and the book is the responsibility of the Emmanuel Church Mission Council and the persons chosen by this council
Give rest, 0 Christ, to your servants with your saints, where sorrow and pain are no more, neither sighing, but life everlasting.