Windsor Presbyterian Church members share a commitment as part of a congregation known for its reputation as an accepting community of faith that welcomes everyone coming through its doors.
Interim Pastor Pam Novelly said this large, yellow church at 251 Windsor River Road was built around 1900, making it one of the oldest buildings in town still in use, as well as a designated historical preservation site less than two blocks from the train station in Old Town.
Originally built by the Methodists 118 years ago, this iconic structure, with its classic bell tower, stained glass windows and uniquely patterned wood shingle siding, is a striking landmark that has been home to local Windsor Presbyterians for the past 28 years.
“A while ago we surveyed our members to help us define our local mission and determine what our unified focus should be,” said Pastor Novelly. “Rather than plan programs designed just to attract people to our church, the consensus was that we should strive to have a strong presence in Windsor, one that involves getting out into its neighborhoods and determining how to best meet the needs of the people around us.”
“Our firm commitment to the community begins with our connection with each other and our fellow human beings in the name of our role model Jesus. The congregation is a very thoughtful, caring and welcoming group who come together in a number of ways to get connected and help.”
As evidence of being committed to a positive presence in the community, the church’s 100 members participate in a variety of programs that benefit Windsor residents, including a clothes closet and a food pantry located in a separate building behind the church open 8 to 10 a.m. on Tuesdays, operated by Linda Mansell and Dana Johnson.
People who come to the pantry on these mornings, are impressed with volunteers there who know them by name, show concern for how things are going in their lives and treat them with dignity and respect. For those who cannot come in person, bags of food are delivered directly to homes.
One unique program provided by the Windsor Presbyterian Church involves serving as a site for a variety of health screening activities, each Tuesday morning from 9 a.m. until noon, conducted by St. Joseph Health’s mobile clinic team.
This weekly clinic provides medical checkups, diagnostic screening, a nutritional class focused on the preparation of healthy meals, diabetes counseling and other outpatient services.
In addition, a 12-step program is also offered on site, outlining a course of action for recovery from addiction, compulsion or other behavioral problems. There is a session devoted to Al-Anon (Tuesday 7 p.m.), and Alcoholics Anonymous classes (Wednesday at 8 p.m. and Thursday at 7:30 p.m.) as well as a class for Over Eaters and Food Addicts in Recovery (Wednesday at 8 a.m.). All are free and open to the public.
Everyone is invited to attend regular Sunday morning services, including a worship hour and Sunday School starting at 9:30 a.m., along with a Wednesday evening Bible study held at 5:45 p.m. at the church. The Bible class is currently working its way through the New Testament, depicting the ministry of Jesus from the perspective of the book written by Dr. Luke, a physician who was among Christ’s disciples.
“We believe in making creative connections with those around us and partnering with Windsor churches to engage in collective humanitarian outreach. Our members are encouraged to see what God is doing in the lives of others where they live, and also to assess unmet personal needs, while also determining issues people are struggling with, so we can better respond and make a difference,” Novelly said.
Novelly said there is a role for all those wishing to get involved, from young people to seniors in addition to those who are part of the millennial generation who have an earnest interest and desire to serve others.
“No matter where you happen to be on your spiritual journey through life, whether a longtime believer or still searching for answers, come join us and learn more about God’s good news of life and joy,” she said. For more information, contact Novelly at 707-318-6512.
Gary Quackenbush is a Windsor resident and writer with his own public relations consultancy. He is the founder of the Windsor Care Network and a former CEO of the Windsor Chamber of Commerce. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.