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Wakefield's UU Church Celebrates 200 Years on Sunday

Congregation's bicentennial celebration, including a combined choir and more, is Sunday, April 28th at 3 p.m. All are welcome.

The following was provided by the Unitarian Universalist Church of Wakefield:

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Wakefield is pleased to invite the community to its Bicentennial Celebration on Sunday, April 28 at 3 PM.  The celebration will be held in the Sanctuary of the church located at 326 Main Street followed by a reception in its Social Hall.

The theme of the Celebration asks the question, “What does Universalism look like in Wakefield in the 21st Century: Drawing a Wider Circle.” The sermon, “Alone Together: the Fall and Rise of Universalism” will be delivered by the Reverend Mark Harris of the First Parish of Watertown. A combined choir conducted by the church’s minister Reverend Maddie Sifantus will include singers from the Wakefield Interfaith community, the Wakefield Rise Up Singing, area UU congregations and friends. It will be accompanied by church pianist Alla Vishnevetsky, a string ensemble and a band featuring members of the group TVS—The Vocal Section with drummer Nigel Sifantus, the son of the church’s minister. A special anthem for the occasion, “Holy Love” for Soloist, Choir and Congregation is being written by Caitie Daphtary, composer and Director of Religious Education of the First Parish in Malden. The piece will be accompanied by a Celtic ensemble including former minister Reverend Edmund Robinson now of Chatham Unitarian Universalist Fellowship on concertina.

Greetings will be brought by former ministers who have served the congregation, coming from as far as California and Montana. Greetings will also be delivered by Steve Maio, the Town Manager, the Reverend Matthew Cadwell representing the Wakefield Clergy Association, Tony Fisher of Reading representing seminarians from the Andover Newton Theological School who have filled the pulpit on a regular basis, the Reverend Tim Kutzmark, minister of the congregation’s sister church, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Reading, and others.

The congregation is the sixth oldest of the denomination in Massachusetts, first meeting on April 29, 1813 when seven people from the Congregational Church left to form the First Universalist Society of South Reading, as Wakefield was then known.  The building was completed in 1839 and moved to its present location in 1859. The congregation is currently in the midst of a Capital Campaign to address issues on the exterior of this historic meeting house which is the oldest worship structure of the faith communities in Wakefield.

The Sunday service follows the Saturday, April 27 season finale of the Standing Room Only series, “Celebrating America, Sounds That Inspired a Nation. The concert features the world’s only big band dedicated to performing the lost music of Juan Garcia Esquivel.

Other upcoming Bicentennial events include the Historic Wakefield Scavenger Hunt at 4pm on Saturday, May 11 and a special Bicentennial Rise Up Singing on Friday, May 17 with Rise Up Singing songbook editors Annie Patterson and Peter Blood.

For more information, check www.wakefielduu.org, “Like” the congregation’s Facebook page at Unitarian Universalist Church of Wakefield or leave a message at 781-245-4632. To join the choir, email Rev. Maddie at minister@wakefielduu.org.

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