The Villager Voice

A Chester neighbor said to me the other day, “I love driving by your church and reading your message board – you always have such inspiring messages.”

While I appreciated the comment, it evoked two different thoughts in me.  The first took me back to my former church, which sat at a busy intersection.  The four-way stop light meant that drivers often sat at the corner waiting for the light to change.  I thought it the perfect spot for a sign like our own, because it could speak to a temporarily captive audience; it would be readable from three of the four corners.  But when I made the suggestion to the leadership, I met a surprising amount of reluctance.  Some of the folks in the room had seen other church signs and winced at some of the corny, sometimes bordering on treacly, messages the signs sported. It must have been early in my ministry there, because clearly they hadn’t yet picked up on the fact that I eschew the corny and treacly.  So I assured them we would use it mostly for sermon titles, as we do in Chester.  They agreed, and the sign went up, and for the most part I kept my word:  one of the rare exceptions was the statement of support we posted following the Boston Marathon bombing, which really hit the community hard, and words of solace were both needed and welcome.

The second thought I had was, “Inspiring messages?”  We just post sermon titles on our sign, because I remain allergic to corn and treacle.  But if a mere sermon title can be inspiring, then I’m glad that our neighbors read it that way.  Like beauty, inspiration is in the eye of the beholder, and I’m grateful that the prime real estate occupied by our church sign is appreciated by passers-by.  The neighbor I was conversing with also observed that it was a good thing I have the last name I do, because it is much more memorable than Rev. Smith or Jones….  I can’t take much credit for that, but if the sign speaks to folks, and is memorable, then it has fulfilled its ministry.

Don’t forget the Church Rummage Sale tomorrow, there are lots of treasures to be had, and even more opportunities for conversation with the community.

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United Church of Chester, 29 West Main Street, Chester, CT 06412. (860) 526-2697


From the North: Take CT Route 9 South to Exit 8 (old exit 6) (CT 148). Turn left; we are 1 mile on the right.


From the South: Take CT Route 9 North to Exit 8 (old exit 6) (CT 148). Turn Right; we are .8 miles on the right.

Office Hours

Church Office:

Tuesday - Friday 9-1


Minister's Hours:

Wednesday  - Friday



Mailing Address:  

Post Office Box 383, Chester, CT 06412


Physical Address:  

29 West Main Street, Chester, CT 06412





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