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Newtown Faith communities and others offer weekend gatherings

A number of organizations and religious institutions are offering events and services this weekend in Newtown.  Governor Dannel Malloy is calling for houses of worship to mark the first anniversary of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School by ringing their bells 26 times at 9:30 Saturday morning.


Ben’s Bells Newtown studio will also have extended hours on Saturday, with its doors open from 9 am to 9 pm.  A $5 donation is suggested. All ages are invited to create and/or paint clay beads, flowers and other pieces to be strung into works that are hung in public places, also paint Kindness Coins. Visit for additional information about the studio located at 17 Church Hill Road.


CT Counselors, at 107 Church Hill Road in Sandy Hook, will open its doors for individuals to visit, sit quietly and reflect between the hours of 1 and 4 pm.  A group session called Reflections will also be offered, for those who would prefer to reflect in a group setting. Groups will begin at 2 pm and will be available first come, first served.  For additional information call 203-270-9888 extension 2 or send e-mail to


Newtown Youth and Family Services, 15 Berkshire Road, will be open Friday from 9 am to 8 pm, Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm, and Sunday from noon to 6 pm.  The agency provides walk-in support services with staff therapists who can address concerns, answer questions and provide referrals for ongoing services if needed.  The agency will also be open for its regular walk-in hours on Tuesday and Thursday, December 17 and 19, from 4 to 7 pm; and Wednesday, December 18, from 9 am until noon.

Information from the Town of Newtown's website:
Congregation Adath Israel (115 Huntingtown Rd.)
December 7 at 9:30 a.m.~ Regular Sabbath Saturday morning service followed by a Traditional Yizkor Memorial Service which will commence at about 11 a.m. and will include traditional liturgy and memorial readings. Cantor Deborah Katchko-Gray will assist Rabbi Praver in the Service. We hold this service on the 7th rather than on the 14th because we are following the Hebrew date of the anniversary.
December 14 at 3:00 p.m. - A time for contemplation and commemoration with readings and quiet music. For more info: 203-426-5188


Trinity Episcopal Church~(34 Main St.)


Saturday, December 14th~at 9:00 a.m. Service will include prayer, music, silence, Eucharist and the lighting of candles for remembrance and comfort. The service will be followed by a pot-luck breakfast together with comfort dogs, music and art therapies for children and youth. The Church will be open all day for prayer.
A prayer vigil will be kept in the chapel at front of church on Main Street from~8:00 p.m. Saturday to 8:00 a.m. on Sunday.
Sunday December 15th – In our worship we will celebrate Gaudete Sunday with Bishop Laura Ahrens among us. For more info: 203-426-9070.
Newtown Congregational Church (14 West St.)
December 14 at 9:00 a.m. - Service of Prayer and Reflection with the Newtown Youth Voices Choir. We will be joined by Rabbi Shaul Praver of Congregation Adath Israel as well as other faith leaders from our CT Conference and surrounding communities who have supported our leaders and our community on our journey this past year. Immediately following our gathering there will be a time for fellowship (including Fidelco Dogs) and refreshments in the Great Room. The sanctuary will be open for individual reflection and prayer all day. For more info: 203 426-9024


The~Newtown United Methodist Church,


The Baha'i Community of Newtown
Dec. 14th at 9:00 a.m.~Our three communities will share a collaborative worship service hosted by the Methodist Church (92 Church Hill Rd.) The Sanctuary will remain open until 5:00 PM for individual prayer, reflection and support. For more info: (203) 426-9998


St. John's Church of Newtown


5 Washington Ave ~Sandy Hook Center, 06482. Memorial Service 12-14-13 at 5 PM. All are welcome. The Rev Mark R Moore, pastor, officiating.


Christ the King Lutheran Church (85 Mt. Pleasant Rd. - Rte. 6)


December 14 at 9:20 a.m. - Memorial Prayer Service and Comfort Dog Drop-In~
On the one year remembrance of the Sandy Hook School shootings, Christ the King will hold a simple memorial prayer service. All are invited to attend and are asked to be at the church by~9:20am. A brief prayer service will begin immediately afterwards.~ After the service's completion, we will have several of the Lutheran Church Charities comfort dogs (including our own Maggie and Addie from Immanuel Lutheran in Danbury) available in the Fellowship Hall for any within the community who can benefit from that service. This drop-in time will be held until noon. All are invited and the church will be kept a media-free property. For more info: (203) 426-6300



St. Rose Catholic Church



December 14 at 9:30 a.m. - Mass - Most Reverend Frank Caggiano, Bishop of Bridgeport, will be the main celebrant and homilist. Bells of Remembrance from Washington, DC will be tolled prior to the service. Following Mass, a permanent memorial will be dedicated.
At~6:30 p.m. - Annual Living Nativity will take place on the grounds by our school.
At~7:30 p.m.~ - Candlelight Prayer service and dedication of the Angel of Hope statue (located in front of Saint Rose School) will take place.~For more info: (203) 426-1014
Faith at Newtown (4 Riverside Rd)
December 14 at 10 a.m. - Prayer Service. For more info: 203-364-1448 or email
Newtown Christian Church (210 Sugar St.)
December 14 at 5:00 p.m. – Candlelight Vigil for those who lost their lives at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Weather permitting – service will be held outdoors. For more info: 203-426-6189


New Hope Community Church


December 14~at 6:00 p.m. - Candlelight Vigil on the Ram's Pasture.~
For more information contact Youth Pastor Hiram Orama,


Al Hedaya Islamic Center in Newtown (all functions held at 115 Mt Pleasant Road)


Friday December 13, 1:00pm to 2:00pm - A congregational prayer for unity, peace and hope towards a better tomorrow.~
Saturday December 14th, 2pm to 4:30pm - Aromatic teas for the soul; a time for reflection and healing. A warm welcome for all to join us to soothe their souls with international teas and desserts. ~There will also be ~henna for all ages and ~arts and crafts for the children. ~This event is courtesy of Al Hedaya Islamic Center. ~


Sandy Hook Promise


December 14 from 4:00 to 5:00pm there will be a group meditation offered in the big community room of the library for those who learned the TM (transcendental meditation) technique that was offered to Newtown residents.  A note from the organizers: If someone has a spouse or partner who wants to come and just sit with us or do some other technique that is ok but we are not promoting this a group meditation for everyone who does any kind of meditation.~We are not wanting to be exclusive but there is a more powerful group effect when everyone is doing the same technique.
Sandy Hook Promise announces that therapy dogs from Camp Bow Wow, based in Boulder, Colo., will be at C.H. Booth Library from 11 am to noon. Dogs from Camp Bow Wow visited Newtown previously, in August.


Walnut Hill Community Church (156 Walnut Hill Road, Bethel CT 06801)


Holding a public prayer service on Thursday, December 12th at 7:00 p.m.~~


Resiliency Center


RCN will be open from 9-3 on Saturday, December 14th offering a safe place for people to gather. ~We will have peer support, therapists and holistic services (reiki, reflexology, herbal remedies). ~


Newtown Kindness is planning NO events in our community near the anniversary. We are only encouraging others to tell us their stories of kindness!



Trinity Episcopal Church (36 Main Street)


Offerings for December 14 and 15, 2013 - In an effort to gather those who desire to come together on Saturday, December 14th there will be a service beginning at 9:00 a.m. which will include prayer, music, silence, Eucharist and the lighting of candles for remembrance and comfort. The service will be followed by a pot-luck breakfast together. Dr. Grant (a Jungian Psychiatrist and ordained minister) will be among us should anyone desire his support. There will be comfort dogs, music and art therapies for children and youth among us. Please feel free to invite anyone who might need to be in community on the 14th. Also feel free to attend both, one or the other or neither of these morning offerings. We simply want to offer support through opportunities to come together in worship and/or fellowship.


The Church will be open all day for prayer. Pastor Kathie will be available throughout the day. For those who would like to help us keep a prayer vigil from 8:00 p.m. Saturday to 8:00 a.m. on Sunday.


On Sunday December 15th we will celebrate Gaudete Sunday with Bishop Ahrens among us. Gaudete Sunday is the Third Sunday of Advent and takes its name from the Latin word Gaudete- Rejoice- the first word of the introit of this day’s service: Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico, gaudete. Translated: Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice.


The spirit of the Liturgy all through Advent is one of expectation and preparation for the feast of Christmas- the Incarnation of God coming among us- as well as the second coming of Christ. The penitential nature of this season of preparation is suspended on Gaudete Sunday in order to symbolize the joy and gladness of our expectation that the coming of God among us will bring new life and renewed hope. All are most welcome.



Newtown Social Services and The Newtown Fund will be delivering holiday baskets for our needy families on the morning of 12/14/13.~ It is called Depo Day.~ Individual people, schools organizations, business all adopt and bring the purchases to our distribution place which this year will be at the Fraser Woods Montessori School 173 South Main Street, Newtown.~ I have been part of this for 25 years, it is amazing to see the generosity from the people of Newtown for the less fortunate. (The Newtown Funds)~ This fund has been in existence for over 30 years.~ Linda Bates is the Chairperson for the Newtown Fund board.~ Ann Piccini Newtown Social Services,  203-270-4330



Newtown Youth Academy Sports and Fitness “Family Open Play”


December 14th, 9am-8pm: Free to all Newtown Residents.
Unlike previous “Open Plays” that NYA has hosted over the last year, this “Family Open Play” format is not a child drop off day. Instead, this day is about providing families a safe media free opportunity to play with neighbors, friends and each other. Multiple games and activities will be provided to encourage this theme. All residents should feel welcome to attend and join in at any capacity they’d like. There is no registration, but waivers must be completed upon arrival.


Day’s Events & Timing: The building will be open from 9am- 8pm. There will sporting equipment available for free game activity in any space not being used during the structured time line below.


  • 10:00a-4:00p – Bounce House, Slide & Obstacle Course for 3-14 years old in the Field House Courtside Turf Area.
  • 10:00a-1:00p – Organized Family Soccer Games for all ages on the Turf Area.
  • 1:00p-2:00p – Volleyball Games for all ages in the Field House.
  • 2:00p-4:00p – Basketball Games for all ages in the Field House.
  • 1:00p-4:00p – Whiffle Ball & Kickball Games for all ages in the Field House Tennis Court.
  • 4:00p-8:00p – Basketball Games for 14 Years and Older in the Field House Tennis Court.
Updates regarding this event can be found @

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