Friday, 10 September 2010 00:00
The Reverend Dr. Sean B. Murray, Pastor of the Community Church of Syosset, United Church of Christ, has announced that the church is beginning a yearlong celebration of its founding 150 years ago. In the summer of 1860, five Syosset residents met and agreed to establish Syosset’s first church. They named it the Free Church, and constructed the small wooden meetinghouse on the north side of what is now Church Street, west of Berry Hill Road.
Originally an independent church, it was incorporated in 1928 as the Community Church of Syosset. In 1962, the congregation voted to affiliate with the national denomination, the United Church of Christ. In 1999, the church declared itself to be an open and affirming church to which all people are invited and welcomed.
Since its founding in 1860, the church has continuously served the Syosset community with services, prayer meetings, church school, a nursery school, a senior day care center, meetings of church and community organizations, and more recently, a hub site for AHRC.
The Sesquicentennial Celebration begins on Saturday, Sept. 18 with the kick-off event: an 1860 country fair. The event is open to the community and will be complete with a country store, Civil War-era brass band, food, drinks, raffles, a petting zoo, games and other entertainment. The following day, Sunday, Sept. 19, the church will have a special 5:30 p.m. service to recognize the sixty years of pastoral assistance extended to it in its earliest years by the First Presbyterian Church of Oyster Bay. The Reverend Dr. Jeffrey Prey, Pastor of the Oyster Bay church, will be the guest preacher.
Additional events are planned for later in the year. On Nov. 19, the anniversary of the erection of the original building, a new lamppost and a plaque will be installed in a brief late-afternoon ceremony. On Dec. 5, an organ concert of Civil War period music will demonstrate the capabilities and range of the church’s new Allen Organ.
On Feb. 11, 2011 all couples who were married in the church will be invited to attend a special service to renew their wedding vows and at the end of April, all former choir members and directors will be invited to participate in a social and musical weekend.
The final event of the celebration will be a banquet, open to all, at the Fox Hollow Restaurant on June 30, 2011, the 150th anniversary of the formal dedication of the original church building.